Banksia and Dryandra Study Groups

These Study Groups are two of a number of such Groups whose aims are to further knowledge about the cultivation, propagation and conservation of specific Australian plants. Both Groups have been in operation since the early 1970s and have published a number of detailed reports as well as regular newsletters documenting reports from members into cultivation issues, propagation methods and natural occurrences of different species. These reports have assisted in assessing the suitability of various species for cultivation in a range of climatic zones.

Members of the Groups are mainly keen amateurs with no formal horticultural or botanical knowledge, although a number of professionals in those fields also participate. As in all study groups, the members' work is mainly carried out in their own homes and gardens and in their own spare time.

Despite the recent transfer of Dryandra to an expanded Banksia genus, the two Study Groups remain separate because the two groups of plants are distinctive horticulturally even if they have been merged scientifically. Furthermore, there remain knowledgeable people both within the Dryandra Study Group and outside of it who do not regard this transfer as being justifiable (for further discussion see Banksia: Background). At this stage the Dryandra Study Group retains Dryandra as a distinct genus.

Banksia praemorsa    Banksia spinulosa
Left: Banksia praemorsa. Right: Banksia spinulosa.
Photos: Brian Walters

Dryandra longifolia subsp. archeos    Dryandra purdieana
Left: Banksia prolata subsp. archeos (syn. Dryandra longifolia subsp. archeos).
Right: Banksia purdieana (syn. Dryandra purdieana).

Photos: Margaret Pieroni; Brian Walters

A major accomplishment of the Dryandra Study Group was the publication in 2006 of The Dryandras, a magnificent hardback book, 244 pages in length, with over 320 superb full colour photographs. Authored by Margaret Pieroni and Tony Cavanagh, the book is the culmination of the work by the Dryandra Study Group leaders and members, helped by other botanists and friends. The Dryandras provides full information on all 135 taxa (94 species and 41 subspecies and varieties) as well as several unnamed species. This publication results from a unique collaboration between the Australian Plants Society Victoria and the Western Australian Wildflower Society who are the publishers, and Bloomings Books who specialise in horticultural and natural history books. Further information on the book can be found in the following articles:

Banksia Study Group Website

A website for the Banksia Study Group has been established. This Group confines its activities to the approximately 80 'non-dryandra' species in the genus Banksia. It provides further information about joining the group and its history and is also an archive for past issues of the Study Group's newsletters, which can be downloaded. The website can be found at the link below.

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