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Australian Plants online

First Cuttings

Australian Plants Societies

Australian Plants online is brought to you by the 7 Societies that make up the Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants (ASGAP).

Have you ever thought of joining one of the Societies? There is a Regional Society in every Australian state and also in the Australian Capital Territory. In addition, there are over 100 district groups established in centres throughout Australia.

Membership brings many benefits - regular district group and Regional newsletters, the colour journal "Australian Plants", access to free seed banks, regular meetings with expert speakers, bush walks, garden visits, advice from experienced growers, access to difficult to obtain plants and access to Study Groups.

Why not take a look at the Membership Page and see what we have to offer?


The "Gumnuts" Newsletter

Gumnuts is an email newsletter on Australian native plants which is published 4-6 weekly. It covers a wide range of topics - limited only by the imagination of its subscribers.

To subscribe - please see the "Subscribe" section of the current issue.

You may unsubscribe at any time.


Camden White Gum - can we save it?

The future of one of Australia's most endangered species of eucalypt, the tall, white and elegant Camden White Gum is looking more secure.

In a study funded by the NSW EPA Environmental Trust's Environmental Research Program, CSIRO scientists will explore the genetic diversity remaining within the species and assess if it has been affected by human activities.

"Land clearing over many years and flooding caused by the construction of Warragamba dam for Sydney's water supply, has reduced the number of natural stands to just a few," says CSIRO scientist Mr Craig Gardiner. "More importantly, these surviving stands are fragmented into several tiny pockets which are only just able to sustain the population."

Eucalyptus benthamii  
Eucalyptus benthamii
Photo: © CSIRO

The native range of Camden White Gum (Eucalyptus benthamii) is an area about 100km long by 40 km wide along the Nepean River just outside Sydney.

CSIRO Forestry and Forest Products has been interested in this endangered species for many years, collecting seed from the biggest remaining stands, a group of about 2000 mature trees in the Kedumba Valley.

"Through this research we hope to provide information and germplasm (seeds or seedlings) to land managers to help them implement recovery measures, says Mr Gardiner."

"We also aim to provide information on genetic processes and technologies that can guide conservation strategies for other economically and environmentally important eucalypts that may be threatened as a result of fragmentation, rural dieback and poor regeneration."

"Loosing any species to extinction through our activities and mismanagement is a bit like burning the last copy of the works of Shakespeare - it is just unthinkable!"

CSIRO Media Release


Bushfire Hot Spots Online

Bushfire Map  

Australian scientists have joined forces with Defence, CSIRO and Geoscience Australia to develop an online bushfire map called the Sentinel Hotspots System that will help firefighters better detect and monitor blazes that threaten lives and property.

The maps have been created using satellite images of Australia's surface temperature to detect and monitor bushfire hotspots as they develop and shift location. Firefighters and other emergency personnel can then overlay road networks, airports, water courses and other logistical information, giving them a comprehensive online bushfire picture.

The web-based system has already proven its worth in recent bushfire emergencies in New South Wales, with firefighters able to accurately pinpoint the location of fires and direct personnel and equipment to them quickly and accurately. The maps can be developed to provide other valuable environmental information, including fuel loads in bushfire prone areas, flood information, land cover assessments, coastal water management, weather forecasting and oceanographic research.

CSIRO Media Release


World-first Australian Truffle Find

An Australian scientist has made a discovery which is electrifying world fungal biology - a new truffle genus related to the famous Amanita family, or fairy toadstools.

Australian Truffle  
Australian Truffle
Photo: © CSIRO

The Amanita family is famed worldwide for the red and white-spotted toadstools beloved of children's fairy tales, the lethal Death Cap beloved of tabloid media, and a range of delicious edible fungi beloved of gourmets.

The new fungus was discovered by mycologist Dr Neale Bougher, in the rejuvenating forest landscape of a former bauxite mine near Perth, WA. Prior to this, no one had ever found a truffle - or underground mushroom - related to Amanita.

Since the original find, no fewer than five new species of what has now been scientifically named Amarrendia - a marriage of the names Amanita and Torrendia, the two families of fungi most closely related to the discovery.

The truffles in question are white and about the size of marbles, though Dr Bougher has since found specimens as large as a decent kiwifruit.

Whether the Amarrendia truffles are safe to eat or not is unknown, as Dr Bougher says specimens are so precious every one has been taken into scientific collections. However, as no other truffle has proved poisonous and because they rely on mammals to transport their spores, he thinks it unlikely, in spite of their toxic Amanita relatives. He advises against anyone trying them until this has been checked out, however.

From CSIRO Media Release


South Coast Weeds

This is a particularly useful site for anyone interested in environmental weeds. The site is mainly concerned about weeds on the South Coast of New South Wales but, weeds being weeds, would be a useful resource for people in other areas.

The site is new and evolving but it aims to present information on:

  • Identification, including plenty of photographs
  • Weed control methods
  • Native plants as weeds
  • Garden escapees


Maiden's A Critical Revision of the Genus Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus miniata  
Detail from litograph of Eucalyptus (Corymbia) miniata  

Joseph Henry Maiden's was Government Botanist of New South Wales and Director of the Botanic Gardens, Sydney during the first part of the 20th century.

Maiden's eight volume publication A Critical Revision of the Genus Eucalyptus was published between 1903 and 1933. Although now overtaken by more recent work, the publication remains an important work and is one that anyone interseted in eucalypts or the Australian flora generally should take a look at.

All eight volumes, including the wonderful diagrams are available as part of the "Joseph Henry Maiden - Botanical Works" compiled as part of the University of Sydney Library's Scholarly Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS).

The text and diagrams are published separately; the text in pdf format and the diagrams in jpg format. Thgere are 295 black and white diagrerams and 12 coloured plates.


"Australian Plants"....in print!

'Australian Plants' - CoverSpacer

The Society's 48 page, colour (printed) journal, "Australian Plants" has been published quarterly since 1959. It carries articles of interest to both amateur growers and professionals in botany and horticulture. Its authors include the leading professional and amateur researchers working in with the Australian flora and many beautiful and high quality photographs of Australian plants are published in its pages. Topics covered by the journal cover a wide range and include landscaping, growing, botany, propagation and conservation.

A subscription to the print version of "Australian Plants" is $20 annually for 4 issues (overseas $AUS32) including postage. To subscribe, print out the Subscription Form and post or fax the appropriate fee to the address indicated on the form.

Note that the contents of "Australian Plants" and "Australian Plants online"
are totally different

These are some of the topics covered in recent issues of "Australian Plants":

Growing Rainforest Plants
Nightcap Oak - Eidothea hardeniana
Some Southern Rainforest Plants
Tropical Waterlily - Nymphaea gigantea
Alyogyne - An Update
Cuttings - A Commercial Choice
Cypress Pine Forests
Popular Hybrids: Grevillea
Propagating Grevillea by Seed and Grafting
Developing Grevillea as Cut Flowers
Correa cultivars
Boronia and its relatives
Wildflowers from Cuttings
Australian Bottlebrushes in the UK
Astrotricha - Two recent Queensland species
Tasmanian Epacriadaceae
Australian Citrus
Growing Hakea in a Dry Climate
Olearia - Plants of the daisy family
The Olympic and Paralympic Bouquets
Eucalyptus cabinet timbers
Eremophila as Cut Flowers
Eremophila Seed Germination
Cassia and Senna in Australia
Australian Ferns - Growing them successfully
Smoke induced germination
Tea trees
The "Honeypot" Dryandras
Bernawarra Gardens - Tasmania
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
Banksia in Horticulture
Bill Payne - A Tribute
Update on Blandfordia
Xerochrysum - Correct Name for Bracteantha
Calostemma purpureum
Melaleuca for the Garden
Asterolasia buxifolia rediscovered
Coir: Saving Peat Ecosystems
Cinderella Grevilleas
Container plants for balconies
The genus Flindersia
Myrtaceae - Bottlebrush-type plants
Growing Callistemon in Large Pots
Banksia Cultivation and Propagation
A Plantation Timber Industry
Hakea for Cultivation
Grafted Hakea
Ornamental Eucalypts for cut flower production
Leptospermum - colourful cultivars
Australian Rushes
Native Bees and Seed Dispersal
Sun Orchids - Thelymitra
Eucalyptus Foliage - Cut stems and postharvest
Vegetation of Macquarie Island
Grevillea - care and maintenance
Proteaceae of the rainforest
Richmond Birdwing butterfly
Terrestrial orchids of Royal National Park
Bladderworts - carnivorous plants
New Banksia releases
Edible wattle seeds - southern Australia
An introduction to legumes of Australia
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


Brian Walters

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Australian Plants online - March 2003
Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants