[Front Page] [Features] [Departments] [SGAP Home Page] [Subscribe]

Australian Plants online

First Cuttings

Australian Plants....in print!!!

"Australian Plants online" is a fairly recent publication of the Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants but the Society has been involved in publishing for much longer....since 1959 to be exact, when the first issue of the journal "Australian Plants' was published.

Australian Plants - Cover

"Australian Plants" is a 48 page, quarterly journal packed with information of practical interest to the average grower but also including reports on recent scientific research. The journal is liberally illustrated with colour photographs and drawings and has built up a high reputation since its first issue in 1959. It is held in many libraries both in Australia and overseas.

The journal regularly features up-to-date information on new species, new cultivars and hybrids, new propagation techniques and plant identification changes.

The "Australian Plants" journal is included with Society membership (either as a standard benefit or by means of an additional fee). It is also possible to subscribe to independently of Society membership. The cost is $18 annually ($AUS30 overseas), including postage. If you would like to subscribe, print out the Subscription Form and post or fax the appropriate fee to the address indicated on the form.

Here's a sample of some of the topics covered in recent issues,

Plants for wet areas
Philotheca and Eriostemon - name changes
Lilly Pilly cultivars
Tropical legumes
Eucalyptus cinerea - lignotuber studies
Nutritional needs of Proteaceae
Labichea and Petalostylis
Xyris in Australia
Ferns in a garden
Yellow Waratah...Telopea truncata form
"Pines" of Tasmania
Tasmanian plants in horticulture in Britain
Eucalypts of Tasmania
Cut flower production trials
Emu Bush - Growing Eremophila
Kangaroo Paws - for colour
Creating a native garden...For beginners
Native honeysuckle; The genus Lambertia
Fertilizing for grevilleas
Creating homes for birds and mammals
Mistletoe; their natural biological control
Bladderworts - carnivorous plants
New Banksia releases
Edible wattle seeds - southern Australia
An introduction to legumes of Australia
Bernawarra Gardens, Tasmania
Orchids as garden features
Native lowland grasslands of Tasmania
Orities - Tasmanian endemics
Gardening in clay
The daisy family
The tea tree oil industry
Riceflower - an everlasting daisy as a cut flower
Corkwood as a source of medicine
Outback Gardening - Achieving water efficiency
Pioneering Quandong as a fruit
Commercial cropping in the dry Interior
Bush food plantations
Rainforest plants- horticulture and bush tucker
Native fruits - Aboriginal food
About plant roots
NSW Christmas Bush: Cut flower industry

A Question of Ethics

The following extract from a recent newsgroup discussion suggests that, when it comes to environmental responsibility, some gardeners just don't give a stuff.......

The message was a response to someone asking about suitable plants to attract birds........and I quote......

"Banksias and Grevilleas to attract the honey-eaters -autumn/winter/spring - will attract other birds, too.

Acacias to attract the cockatoos in late spring.

Cotoneasters - ignore the idiot greenie fundamentalists who say cotoneasters are not native and therefore bad - they are an excellent source of food for parrots in Autumn and winter.

Plant some dense, spiky grevilleas to attract the smaller finches and so-on (gives them a place to hide).

Make sure you have water in your garden, they love a bath - especially the magpies."

Well...some useful info but apparently it doesn't matter that cotoneasters are invading native bushland in many areas, spread by the birds that are attracted to its berries. I think it's clear who the "idiot" is in this case.

Families of Flowering Plants of Australia: CD-ROM

I haven't seen this new production but it sounds interesting......

CD Cover

It is an interactive Identification Guide selling for $69.95 and has been published to complement the revised edition of Flora of Australia Vol.1. The Families of Flowering Plants of Australia "will enable researchers or amateur enthusiasts alike to place any native or naturalised plant within its correct family. It has been prepared with the help of many expert botanists, from all states of Australia and from several major international herbaria. Used in conjunction with the Flora of Australia book series, it is an important resource for anyone seeking to learn more about Australia's unique flora."

The CD includes over 1500 full-colour photographs and drawings and requires a 486 processor, 4 Mb RAM and Windows 3.1 or above.

William Dampier - 300th Anniversary

Many readers will remember that Sturt's desert pea was transferred from the genus Clianthus to Swainsona some years ago. Alex George (well known to many for his work in the revision of Banksia and Dryandra and for his work on the Flora Of Australia project) has long thought that Sturt's pea is significantly different from other swainsonas to warrant it being placed into its own genus. He has recently published the revision in the 'Western Australian Naturalist' and has called the plant Willdampia formosa in honour of the explorer William Dampier, a very appropriate name as the species was one of over 20 species originally collected by Dampier more than 70 years before Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander botanised at Botany Bay.

Whether you call it Willdampia formosa or Swainsona formosa, Sturt's desert pea remains one of Australia's most spectacular native plants.
Select the thumbnail image or highlighted name for a higher resolution image (59k).

In response to my request, Alex has kindly sent some information on Dampier's collections and I have reprinted Alex's email below. Alex has also published a book on Dampier, "William Dampier in New Holland: Australia's first natural historian', Bloomings Books, Hawthorn, Victoria. The recommended retail price is $39.95.

In case you're wondering about the blue-flowered species listed below, Alex explains that "Dampier was particularly impressed by them so it is interesting to know what species he probably saw."

The specimens collected by Dampier still exist and are housed at Oxford. Most are currently on display at the Western Australian Museum as part of events commemorating the 300th anniversary of Dampier's 1699 visit.

Plants collected and seen by William Dampier in north-western Australia, August/September 1999

1. Plants represented by specimens:

  • Acacia coriacea A.P. de Candolle
  • Acacia ligulata A.Cunningham ex G.Bentham
  • Adriana tomentosa C.Gaudichaud-Beaupré
  • Beaufortia sprengelioides (A.P. de Candolle) L.Craven
  • Brachycome aff. cheilocarpa F.Mueller
  • Calandrinia polyandra (W.J.Hooker) G.Bentham
  • Conostylis stylidioides F.Mueller
  • Dampiera incana R.Brown
  • Diplolaena grandiflora R.L.Desfontaines
  • Frankenia pauciflora A.P. de Candolle
  • Hannafordia quadrivalvis F.Mueller
  • Lotus cruentus A.B.Court
  • Melaleuca cardiophylla F.Mueller
  • Myoporum insulare R.Brown
  • Olearia "dampieri" (A.Cunningham ex A.P. de Candolle) combination to be made
  • Paractaenum novaehollandiae A.M.F.J.P de Beauvois
  • Pittosporum phylliraeoides A.P. de Candolle
  • Sida calyxhymenia J.Gay ex A.P. de Candolle
  • Solanum orbiculatum M.F.Dunal ex J.L.M.Poiret
  • Thryptomene baeckeacea F.Mueller
  • Trachymene elachocarpa (F.Mueller) B.L.Burtt
  • Triodia danthonioides (F.Mueller) M.Lazarides
  • Willdampia formosa (G.Don) A.S.George [or Swainsona formosa (G.Don) Thompson]
  • Cystoseira trinodis (P.Forsskål) C.Agardh - a seaweed

2. Other plants identified from Dampier's journal etc.:

  • Abrus precatorius C.Linnaeus
  • Acanthocarpus robustus A.S.George
  • Canavalia rosea (O.Swartz) A.P. de Candolle
  • Crotalaria cunninghamii R.Brown
  • Ipomoea pes-caprae (C.Linnaeus) R.Brown
  • Nitraria billardierei A.P. de Candolle
  • Ptilotus villosiflorus F.Mueller
  • Spinifex longifolius R.Brown

3. Other blue-flowered plants that Dampier probably saw:

  • Alyogyne pinoniana (C.Gaudichaud-Beaupré) P.A.Fryxell
  • Brachycome latisquamea F.Mueller
  • Halgania littoralis C.Gaudichaud-Beaupré
  • Scaevola crassifolia J.J.H. de Labillardière
  • Scaevola holosericea W.H. de Vriese
  • Solanum lasiophyllum M.F.Dunal ex J.L.M.Poiret
  • Trichodesma zeylanicum (N.L.Burman f.) R.Brown
  • Porana sericea (C.Gaudichaud-Beaupré) F.Mueller

Al the best

New Eucalypt Hybrids

A range of new, grafted eucalypt hybrids made their appearance in nurseries last summer and you can expect to see more of them this year. Called "Summer Red" and "Summer Beauty", they are hybrids (I understand) between Corymbia ficifolia from south Western Australia and C.ptychocarpa from tropical areas.

Both hybrids are protected under Plant Breeders Rights and certainly cost an arm and a leg! That's not to say they aren't worth it if the graft proves to be reliable in the long term - they are probably the most spectacular flowering gums that you will ever see!

Apparently other grafted eucalypts will become available from the same source.

Good growing

Brian Walters

[Front Page] [Features] [Departments] [SGAP Home Page] [Subscribe]

Australian Plants online - September 1999
The Society for Growing Australian Plants