Wallum and Coastal Heathland Study Group

Ricinocarpos pinifolius


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Welcome to the Wallum and Coastal Heathland Study Group Website.

The Wallum and Coastal Heathland Study Group is one of a number of Study Groups within the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia). The Wallum Group is a little different to most other Study Groups in that its interest is a specific vegetation type (coastal 'Wallum' heath) rather that a genus or family of plants. The main aim of the Group is to further knowledge about the cultivation, propagation, regeneration and conservation of Wallum/heathland species and habitats. A further aim is to create more awareness of, and interest in, the Wallum and other wildflowers. Members of the Group are mainly keen amateurs with no formal horticultural or botanical knowledge, although a number of professionals in those fields also participate.

The Study Group has been in operation since 1992 and since its inception over 40 newsletters have been issued. Past issues can be downloaded from this site (see the link below).

If you are interested in the cultivation, propagation, conservation and appreciation of Australia's Wallum flora, why not consider joining and helping to promote these beautiful plants more widely.

What is 'Wallum?

The following definition appeared in issue No.1 of the Study Group's newsletter and was sourced from 'The Language of Botany' by C. Debenham:

"Wallum - an area of marshland (coastal lowland) in south-eastern Queensland in which an overlying depth of white sand up to a depth of two feet covers a water-impermeable sandstone up to three feet deep and below which is a water-holding brown sand. In virgin state supports, a wet heath of which Banksia aemula (also called wallum) is dominant, the vegetative cover rarely exceeding a few feet in height."
   Banksia aemula
Banksia aemula, the Wallum Banksia
Photo: Cas Liber

The newsletter goes on to state:

"Wallum is flat or gently undulating, with acid sandy soil, usually with a low Ph of 3.5 to 4.5 and a high water table, in the wet season in particular. Soil lacks trace elements and is deficient in nutrients, particularly nitrogen. The unique and spectacular flora is of exceptional interest, being one of the richest plant communities in the world, probably exceeding rainforests in floristic diversity, Many species produce striking flowers and interesting foliage, a fact which has excited the interest of SGAP* members over the years.

The fragile Wallum habitat supports birds, mammals, reptiles and insects, and is very easily damaged or destroyed by the activities of man and beast. SGAP* has an important role to play in fostering community awareness of the enormous value of this fast-disappearing resource."

(* SGAP = Society for Growing Australian Plants, now ANPSA)

Although 'Wallum' is generally thought of as a south-east Queensland plant community, coastal heathland in other parts of Australia is similar and both share the same, or related, plant and animal species.


Membership is available to members of an ANPSA-affiliated Regional Society. If you are not a member of a Regional Society, please refer to the ANPSA Membership Page for further information on joining.

To join the Wallum and Coastal Heathland Study Group, please send a request using the following form (please note that all fields are mandatory* - you may edit the 'Message' field if necessary) :

I am a member of the following Regional Society*:



The Study Group's newsletters document reports from members into cultivation issues, propagation methods and natural occurrences of different species. The group also organises field trips to natural areas to observe and record heathland species growing in the wild.

Most of the newsletters published by the Group are available for download.



A small compilation of books, journals and internet resources on Wallum habitat and plant species.


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