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Net Watch...choice selections on the 'net
"Net Watch" aims to report those sites that you, as a grower, propagator or appreciator of Australian plants, might find interesting. Most of them relate to Australian issues of a horticultural, botanical or conservation nature but a few are of more general interest. A couple of other sites are "thrown in" for no other reason than that they redefine the term "bizarre". If you know of a site that fits into these general categories, please let us know.
The Living World
All About Gum Trees
Angophora, Corymbia and Eucalyptus, collectively known as gum trees, are probably the best known of all Australian plants in other parts of the world. They are also favourites at home.
The "Red ironbark", Eucalyptus sideroxylon usually has white flowers but pink forms are not uncommon. Select the thumbnail image or plant name for a higher resolution image (33k).
This site is a jumping off point to a wealth of information on eucalypts and should please both the amateur taxonomist as well as the average grower who just wants to know a bit more about these magnificent trees. Compiled by Andrew Lyne of the National Botanic Gardens, Canberra, the following topics are covered:
- An Introduction to the Genera Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophora. This outlines, in general terms, the features of the three eucalypt genera including growth habits, lignotubers, bark types, leaves and flowers. A list of useful references is also provided.
- The Major Groups of Eucalypts. This is a more detailed look at the three genera and covers the taxonomy including the subgenera.
- What is a Corymbia? This new genus (1995) has caused some confusion due to the transfer of some well known plants from the genus Eucalyptus. This page explains the reasons behind the creation of the new genus.
- Images of Eucalypts. Illustrative photographs explain some of the distinctive characteristics of the eucalypts.
The Arboretum of the University of California, Santa Cruz has been developed over the past 20 years and now includes extensive collections of plants from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, New Caledonia and western America. The Arboretum features the most extensive collection of Australian plants outside of Australia with over 2000 species, forms and cultivars.
Locals will appreciate the information on coming events and the facilities available. Others will find the Image Gallery of most interest. About 50 plants are currently featured including many Australian species. A "clickable" map of the Arboretum allows the virtual visitor to discover the main features of the different geographical collections.
A feature of the Australian section is the Elevenia J Slosson Research Gardens which were established in 1978 to determine the suitability of Australian plants for the California climate.
Global Garden Magazine
Online magazines are becoming more and more common and there are now several catering for garden enthusiasts. The difference with Global Garden is that it is produced in Australia. The magazine is published monthly and has only been in existence for a short period of time. It should become very popular as people become aware of its existence.
The editor is Kay Gee, a qualified horticulturist, and each issue of the magazine includes several feature articles, information about new plant releases, a planting guide, general news in the horticultural field and book reviews. The aim is to "intrigue, inform and inspire you".
Although Global Garden is a general gardening publication, Australian plants are regularly covered.
This one is well worth a look and deserves support from the Australian gardening public.
Logo - © Copyright of Global Garden
The Western Australian Department for Conservation and Land Management (CALM) is responsible for the management of forests, marine parks and national parks in that state. This extensive site offers much more than a few dry facts and figures.
Perhaps the most interesting offering for those interested in native flora and fauna is the "Park of the Month" where the features of a specific national park are described in detail. In January the Cape le Grand National Park on Western Australia's south coast near Esperence. A brief description of the Park's physical features is accompanied by a map and a number of spectacular photographs. Walks within the Park are listed along with their degree of difficulty. Information on camping and other facilities (toilets, picnic areas etc.) is also given.
An archive of previous "Parks of the Month" is building into a useful reference to natural areas in Western Australia. One of the more interesting parts of the archive is the October 1996 entry for the Shark bay Marine Park. Here it's possible to view a Quicktime video of the famous dolphins of Monkey Mia.
Plants of Australia
"Plants of Australia" is a CD-ROM which provides a comprehensive guide to the Australian flora presented by well known author Denise Greig. This site provides information about the CD as well as featuring a "Plant of the Month", including photographs, taken from the CD.
This red form of Anigozanthos flavidus (Kangaroo paw), is one of many spectacular species featured as "Plant of the Month". Select the thumbnail image or plant name for a higher resolution image (31k). Photo; Denise Greig
The site also has recently installed an archive so that previous monthly selections can be viewed in addition to the current one.
Each monthly selection includes several photographs (usually 4 to 8 small photos and one larger one) of very high quality and a text description which explains the unique features of the plants in easily understood language. The CD ROM itself covers over 700 species and includes movies and music. It is an excellent reference tool for horticulturists, students and enthusiasts.
No Plants...But Worth Checking!
There are a number of web sites devoted to Aboriginal (Koori) culture and they cover everything from history and land rights through to art and rock music. These sites are a sampling of what is available:
Earth and Sky
Earth and Sky is a daily science programme broadcast on over 800 radio stations, mainly in North America. The programme covers a wide range of science subjects including astronomy, earth sciences, plant sciences, oceanography and is aimed at the general public. As the programme only lasts for only 5-10 minutes, it doesn't try for an in-depth coverage of its subject matter but aims to stimulate the listener's interest. More detailed information is often available on the Earth and Sky web site.
Weekly transcripts of the programme are available by email. These invariably make interesting reading and will not overload your mailbox. To subscribe to the mailing list send e-mail to :
The subject line will be ignored. In the BODY of the message write:
The web site is also worth visiting as it often covers topical subjects in a great deal of depth. For example, when scientists found evidence suggesting life may have existed on Mars, a whole host of information on Mars was made available including a "clickable" atlas, details of NASA's Viking mission and the SETI project (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence).
Off the Planet!
Flogging a Dead Parrot!
Owner: The Norwegian Blue prefers keepin' on it's back! Remarkable bird, id'nit, squire? Lovely plumage!
If the above sounds a familiar chord, you are obviously a fan of Monty Python's "The Petshop" sketch (better known as the "dead parrot" sketch). And if the accompanying diagram looks a little un-parrot-like well, it's artistic licence mate!
Customer: Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.
Owner: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that bird down, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent 'em apart with its beak, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
Customer: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this bird wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! 'E's bleedin' demised!
If, on the other hand, the extract is unfamiliar, we won't hold that against you!
In either case merriment aplenty can be found at the Random Monty Python Skit Server where transcripts of many Python favourites await; The Petshop, The Cheese Shop, Nudge-Nudge, Two Sheds Jackson, the Lumberjack Song as well as scenes from The Life of Brian, The Holy Grail and many more.
It's a cavalcade of silliness.
.....'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!!
THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!
Nessie on the Net
Just how seriously you take this site will depend on the credence you give to the Loch Ness Monster legend. Sceptics will not find anything here to change their views but that's no reason not to take a look. TNT television voted this, "Weird Site of the Week" and surely there can be no higher recommendation.......
Some of the Features of "Nessie on the Net" are:
All in all, the site takes its purpose fairly liberally and encompasses other highland activities. Make sure you see and hear Megan and Katie...Two great Highland Cows!
- The Highland Blether Bar - here you can post questions, comments and responses to an interactive web page for other looni....er, enthusiasts to read.
- Does Nessie Exist? - You are invited to vote. If you believe Nessie exists, vote early and vote often. If the majority agree, that must surely settle the matter.
- What is Nessie? - A chance to post outrageous theories.
- An Up-to-date Database of Sightings - she's still out there!
- Pictures of Nessie...not, it must be said, the most conclusive evidence of the existence of Nessie!
- Live Video Feed - Why?
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Australian Plants online - March 1997
The Society for Growing Australian Plants