Early on in the Society's history it was realised that knowledge about the cultivation of Australian native plants was very limited and there was little published information available. One way to help overcome this deficiency was to set up specialist Study Groups whose aim was to record the successes (and failures) of growing Australian species in various localities. Over the years these Groups have contributed valuable data which is assisting today's growers. But there is still a great deal to learn...
Study Groups undertake the study of some particular aspect of Australian plants (usually a genus or a related group of genera) and there are currently 19 Study Groups Australia wide. The number of Study Groups may increase or decrease depending on the level of interest in a particular genus or group. Some groups are active for just a few years while others exist more or less permanently.
Each Study Group consists of a leader, active members who participate in any studies and (sometimes) a number of passive members who receive Group newsletters but take no active part in the Group's activities. Study Group leaders usually charge a small fee to cover expenses such as newsletter production and postage.
Membership of a Study Group can vary from a few members to over 200. All members of Study Groups must be members of an ANPSA-affiliated Regional Society. Study Group leaders report to the ANPSA Study group Coordinator.
Active members collect information on the plants being studied and forward their observations to the leader who collates and publishes the information, usually in a newsletter or in other Society publications. The type of observations recorded can be any aspect of cultivation, propagation and ecology of the plants under study. All Study Groups are expected to publish at least two newsletters per year.
Not all Study Groups have meetings. The Study Group leader may reside in one Region and members may be spread over a number of Regions. Where there are a number of members in close proximity to each other they may conduct up to four meetings a year amongst themselves. Some large Groups have meetings in more than one Region. These meetings are usually in members homes where there maybe a guest speaker with a digital presentation, a exchange of cutting material, a demonstration on propagation, a garden inspection, discuss items from or for Study Group newsletters or discuss growing conditions and arrange further field or home garden inspections.
Some Study groups have excursions in the form of visits to members gardens, public gardens or field trips to investigate particular plant species in the wild. Occasionally a Study group will be invited to put on a display at a flower show or plant sale.
|Left: Brachychiton discolor. Right: Banksia heliantha (syn. Dryandra quercifolia)
Photos: Brian Walters
Study Groups allow members with specific interests to develop that interest to the fullest extent and to contribute in a practical way to the body of knowledge on the Australian flora.
Photo: Brian Walters
Photo: Brian Walters
The currently operating Study Groups are: