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.
You can download a membership form by clicking here or, if you would like further information on the Group and its activities, please send a request using the following form (please note that all fields are mandatory* – you may edit the ‘Message’ field if necessary).
Eremophila Study Group FormSignup form for the Eremophila Study Group that sends a notification to the Study Group leader.
The Study Group produces several informative newsletters each year documenting reports from members into cultivation issues in various climatic zones, propagation methods, natural occurrences of different species and information on Group meetings and excursions. The following newsletters are available for download (Note: These are in pdf format and will require a PDF Reader to view them. Free readers include Foxit Reader and Adobe Acrobat Reader).
Most of the past Study Group Newsletters are provided here as an archive. Please note that these early Newsletters have been scanned in from a Compendium of Study Group Newsletters and the vagaries of the scanning system mean that some “Page 2’s” are blank – however all the newsletter text is there (page numbering also comes from that Compendium).
The most recent Newsletters will be uploaded about a year in arrears, so that current Study Group members have privileged access to current content.
Indexes are available for issues 1-100 of the Study Group newsletter but there are some gaps. You can also search the contents of the newsletters using the Search box above.
Eremophila Image Database
This image database aims to illustrate all Eremophila species and cultivars with a photo gallery and basic information on plant characteristics.
The database is a work-in-progress and it will be some time before all species are included.
Eremophila Regeneration Following Fire
Ken Warnes, founder of our study group, lives in Owen, South Australia and has a farm about 6km from town. Up until November 2016 he had a large Eremophila plantation with over 300 specimens, and hybrids, which had flourished for many years. On 24 November 2015 a fast-moving grass fire started at Pinery, travelled south-east and then north-east towards Owen and Kapunda, affecting dozens of landholders. The fire burnt 84,000 hectares including parts of Ken’s property (but not the house).
Ken has been recording the impact of the fires on his Eremophila plantation, including what has happened since. Ken’s report, which included numerous photos, can be found in the June 2016 issue of the Study Group’s newsletter. The additional photos (below) further illustrate the effect of the fire on Ken’s collection and its subsequent regeneration.
Aerial View of Property Following the Fire
Field Trip Gallery
A gallery of images from the Study Group’s Field Trip to the Port Augusta region, South Australia, in September 2017.
A small compilation of books, journals and internet resources on Eremophila.
JUST OUT – September 2021! – Two new monographs on Eremophila – a field guide and horticultural guide.
These are a few internet and other resources on eremophilas that might prove useful:
- Wait, R et al (2021): Growing Eremophila, published by Russell Wait. Hardback, 504pp. For inquiries email: Eremophilabook(at)gmail.com
- Brown, A and Buirchell B (2021 – 2nd edition), A Field Guide to the Eremophilas of Western Australia, published by Andrew Brown. Paperback, 360pp. ORDER HERE
- Boschen, N, Goods M and Wait R (2008), Australia’s Eremophilas, changing gardens for a changing climate, Bloomings Books, Melbourne.
- Chinnock, R.J (2007), Eremophila and Allied Genera: A Monograph of the Myoporaceae, Rosenberg Publications, Kenthurst, New South Wales.
- Society for Growing Australian Plants – South Australian Region (1997), Eremophilas for the Garden, SGAP (SA Region).
Scholarly Articles and Journals:
Several issues of the Society’s journal “Australian Plants” are particularly useful for those interested in Eremophila. There has also been some recent academic work that has extended our understanding of the genus’ taxonomy.
- Preprint, November 2020: Gericke, O, Fowler R et al, Navigating through chemical space and evolutionary time with Eremophila.
- Plant Systematics and Evolution (2020) 306-52: Fowler R et al, Plastic Phylogenomic Analysis of Tribe Myoporeae (Scrophulariaceae).
- Taxon 70(3):570-588, 2021: Fowler R et al, Molecular Phylogeny of tribe Myoporeae (Scrophulariacae) using nuclear ribosomal DNA: Genetic relationships and evidence for major clades.
- Australian Plants Vol 30, No. 244 Spring 2020; Special edition featuring Eremophila – 48 pages, 65 colour photos on Eremophila in the wild and in your garden. ORDER HERE
- Australian Plants Vol 28, No. 226 Autumn 2016; Unlocking germination secrets: a method for Eremophila glabra ssp glabra.
- Australian Plants Vol 28, No. 222 Autumn 2015; ‘Jahnsville’ 1983-2015, Gawler S.A. (numerous photos of Eremophila sp.).
- Australian Plants Vol 25, No.199 June 2009; Growing Eremophilas in Western Sydney, From the desert to the garden – Eremophilas.
- Australian Plants Vol 20, No.163 June 2000; Eremophila as cut flowers, Eremophila in floraculture, Eremophila seed germination.
- Economic Botany 48(1): 35-59, 1994: Richmond G and Ghisalbertii E (1994), The Australian Desert Shrub Eremophila (Myoporaceae): Medicinal, Cultural , Horticultural and Phytochemical Uses.
- Australian Native Plant Noticeboard and Marketplace
- Australian Native Plants Enthusiasts Forum on Facebook
- Old Man Emu Bush Facebook Group
- Gardening With Angus – useful site about all sorts of native plants. Search for Eremophila on the home page for species information or read Eremophila – the Genus as a Garden Subject for an overview
- Eremophilas in San Diego
- Eremophila: The Emu Bush – A review of emu bush cultivation
- Eremophila and Pollinators
- Eremophila debilis – article by the National Botanic Gardens
- Eremophilas for the Sydney Region
- Eremophilas in Containers
- Eremophila Growers on Facebook.
- Eremophilas; the desert lovers by Ian Fraser – overview of the genus with many photos.
- Eremophila subfloccosa – article by the National Botanic Gardens
- Germination Trials with Eremophila species
- Grafting Grey-leafed Eremophilas in Melbourne
- Growing Eremophilas in the Dandenongs
- Smoke Stimulates the Germination of Many Western Australian Plants, by K.Dixon and S.Roche – contains useful information on research into many plant genera.
- Taking a Chance on Eremophilas
- The Weeping Emu Bush – Eremophila longifolia
- Tolerance of Eremophilas to Heavy Frost
Study Group Leaders
Since its inception in 1975, several people have led the group. Here is some brief background information on each.
Lyndal Thorburn, Queanbeyan NSW (2015-)
Lyndal, a biologist by training, took over as leader of the study group after Colin Jenning’s death in 2015. She has been a member of the Australian Native Plants Society – Canberra Region since 1979 and has been involved with its propagation group ever since, as well as spending over a decade on the Regional Council, and two years as an Executive member of the federal body.
Lyndal began growing eremophilas in the mid-1980s in the frosty outskirts of Canberra and has been happy to prove that many can grow in both cold and shade (but is a bit puzzled as to why her plants never look like the ones in the photos). She and her husband Tom Jordan have introduced many Eremophila species to Canberra growers and, through the propagation group, over 100 varieties are now sold by ANPS Canberra at their bi-annual sales. She is skilled at propagating from cuttings but is a total failure at grafting!
Colin Jennings, Adelaide SA (1990-2015)
Colin was an active member of SGAP (SA Region) for a number of years, with a particular involvement in propagating plants for the twice a year plants sales. His interest in plants of the semi-arid areas, and in particular eremophilas, stemmed from a general interest in Australian native plants from the early 1960s.
A chemist and teacher by training, Colin had a wide range of horticultural interests in native plants as well as orchids, begonias, hoyas and the family Asclepidaceae generally. Colin was an enthusiastic leader of the study group, initiating a number of surveys of species in cultivation. Colin and his wife Myrnie were granted service awards at the 2014 Australian Plant Society of South Australia’s Annual General Meeting, and he was a life member of Orchid Society. Colin died in 2015.
Geoff Needham, Adelaide South Australia (1980-1989)
In his working life Geoff was highly regarded in the foundry industry and joined the Society for Growing Australian Plants in 1964. He served a two year term as State President in 1969-70 and assisted Ken in his management of the Study group once it was founded and in collecting. He was known to be a very effective propagator with his unique mixture based on coke breeze from the foundry.
Geoff took over the study group in 1980 and it was during this that Bob Chinnock began his study of the genus and the two worked closely together.
Despite flirtations with bromeliads, succulents and carnivorous plants (he was a highly respected speaker on the latter) Geoff saw the Study Group grow to 130 members growing over 120 species and eremophilas become relatively common garden subjects over a wide area. Geoff died in office in 1989.
Ken Warnes, Owen, South Australia (1975-1980)
Ken, a farmer, started studying the genus in 1963. He was a founding member of Project Eremophila, which was sponsored by the (then) Society for Growing Australian Plants – South Australia. He founded the study group in 1975 and ran it until 1980. Ken has been instrumental in bringing many Eremophila species to horticulture through his collecting and propagation efforts, including through his massive Eremophila “patch” at his farm outside of Owen. He received the National Amateur Award in 2011 (ANPSA) and is a Life Member of the Australian Plants Society (APS) – South Australia (and of the Study Group!)
Ken has also submitted a number of applications to the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority (ACRA) for named Eremophila cultivars (e.g. Eremophila ‘Picaninny Dawn’ and Eremophila ‘Nullarbor Nymph’, both of which arose in his garden) and has had E. warnesii named after him (see header photo). Ken is still active in the study group, is generous with his time and is excited about hybrids. The 2015 fires in Pinery, South Australia, which devastated part of his farm, have provided him with a new opportunity to explore hybridisation, recovery of eremophilas from fire and re-emergence of eremophilas in the local landscape (see Eremophila Regeneration Following Fire).
Where to Buy Eremophilas
A list of retail and wholesale nurseries that stock Eremophila species and cultivars as well as ANPSA groups that hold plant sales from time to time.
As at March 2020 (* means added or amended since March 2017)
Retail and wholesale nurseries
Wholesalers will usually give details of retailers they supply. Check the websites for more
information on what is available – many have stock-lists online.
Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens, Stuart Highway, Port Augusta SA, phone (08) 8641 9116,
email email@example.com or website www.aalbg.sa.gov.au. Plants sold from the nursery shop
and by mail order, check availability monthly. Large list of Eremophilas.
Australian Native Nursery, 141 King Road, Oakford, WA.
Australian Plants Growers Markets, Cool Country Natives, PialligoACT. ACT and regional growers
sell plants on the first Saturday of every month from spring through to autumn, includes at least
three that regularly stock Eremophilas. https://www.coolcountrynatives.com.au/
Bilby Blooms, near Coonabarabran NSW. Annual spring open day on 2nd Sunday in September, and
sells through regional markets (Armidale, Canberra, Coonabarabran, Dubbo, Gunnedah, Narrabri
and Tamworth). Visit the nursery by appointment, (02) 6844 1044.
Cool Country Natives, Pialligo ACT (near the airport in Canberra). Large range of natives including
Eremophilas in forestry tubes and pots. Selection of grafted plants. Phone 02 6257 6666, open 7
*Cool Natives Nursery, 16 Hitchcock Lane, Armidale NSW. Specialising in frost and drought hardy
natives including many Eremophila varieties. Phone 0421961007; email firstname.lastname@example.org
Domus Nursery, Kalamunda, WA. Wholesale
Drylands Permaculture Nursery, 333 David Rd, Waggrakine, Geraldton, WA.
Eremophila Nursery, Kalamunda, WA. Phil James 9293 2569 At Kalamunda Farmers Market Sundays
Geoff Miers Garden Solutions, 13 Lindsay Avenue, Alice Springs. Email: email@example.com. Has a good range of Eremophilas from cuttings. Phone (08)8953 7477.
Geographe Community Landcare Nursery, 366 Queen Elizabeth Avenue, Busselton, WA.
Goldfields Revegetation Nursery, 230 Tannery Lene, Mandurang Vic. Specialises in regional species
but the plant list includes 160 Eremophila varieties. phone (03) 5439 5384 or email
Kuranga Native Nursery, 111 York Road, Mount Evelyn, Victoria. http://www.kuranga.com.au/
Lullfitz Nursery, Corner of Caporn Street & Honey Road, Wanneroo & 1071 Thomas Road, Oakford,
*Medika Gallery (Ian Roberts), 16 Moore St, Blyth SA . Ph 08 88445175 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Melton Botanic Garden Nursery, 21 Williams St, Melton, Victoria. Sell on Tuesday & Thursday
mornings and 2nd & 4th Sunday mornings. http://www.fmbg.org.au
Mildura Native Nursery, Cureton Avenue, Mildura, Victoria. (03) 5021 4117
http://nativegrowth.com.au/mildura-native-nursery Will do mail order.
Mole Station Native Plant Nursery, Tenterfield, NSW. Will do mail order.
Mostly Aussie Nursery, Dunkeld, Victoria. Bernie Shanahan, sells grafted stock, phone: 0478227639
Native Plant Wholesalers, Mt Gambier, SA. Wholesale http://www.nativeplantwholesalers.com.au
Naturalplantscape, Wandin, Vic. Wholesale.
Newcastle Wildflower Nursery, 260 Lake Road Glendale, NSW. Limited range of Eremophilas but sells grafted plants. Phone (02) 4954 5584 or www.newcastlewildflower.com.au
Olive Pink Botanic Gardens, Alice Springs. Has a range of Eremophilas that only occur in Central
Australia. Plants are grown by Australian Plant Society volunteers and sold to help fund Olive Pink
Botanic Gardens. Sold in tubestock and 140mm pots. Email opbg.com.au
Pete’s Hobby Nursery, 10 Patrick St Lowood Qld (appointment only), specialises in Queensland species. Also sells at Fernvale markets most Sundays. Contact through Facebook, phone (07) 54261690, email email@example.com.
Plantinspirations Nursery, 2c Holts Lane, Bacchus Marsh. Will do mail order.
South Australian State Flora Nursery at Queen’s Jubilee Drive, Upper Sturt Road, Belair and Bremer
Road Murray Bridge, SA. Website www.stateflorasa.gov.au or phone (08) 8278 7777 (Belair) or (08)
8539 2105 (Murray Bridge). Will do mail order.
Sunvalley Plant Nursery, 1175 Dandenong Hastings Road, Langwarrin, Vic, phone (03) 9782 2825 –
mainly sells grafted Grevillea, but does mention Eremophila in their journal advertisements, email
firstname.lastname@example.org Open by appointment
Sydney Wildflower Nursery, 9 Veno St, Heathcote, NSW. Will do mail order.
Tarrawood Native Nursery, Bega, NSW. Wholesale only.
Vaughan’s Australian Plants at 919 Bannockburn Shelford Road, Teesdale and at 3322 Ararat Halls
Gap Road Pomonal, Victoria. Attends a range of APS market days. Contact through Facebook or phone 0412 632 767. Does mail order and grafted plants.
Wariapendi Nursery, 33 Church Avenue, Colo Vale, NSW. Does mail order
Wildtech Nursery, 60 Chesterfield Road, Glenmaggie. Mail order available through Collectors Online,
minimum order of ten plants, and discounts for orders of >100. Contact viawww.wildtechnursery.com.au or email@example.com. Larger range from
Summer through Autumn.
WSWA Northern Suburbs Branch Nursery, Landsdale Farm School, cnr Evandale and Landsdale Rds,
Darch, WA. Thurs/Sat only http://www.wildflowersocietywa.org.au/branches/northern-suburbsbranch/
Wimmera Native Nursery, Dimboola, Victoria. phone (03) 5389 1458 or www.nativeshop.com.au.
Does mail order.
Zanthorrea Nursery 155 Watsonia Road, Maida Vale WA, Phone (08) 9454 6260 or
www.zanthorrea.com. Small range of Eremophilas.
Australian Native Plant Society Sales
In addition to formal nurseries, many ANPS groups have plant sales which include Eremophilas,
details of some of which are below. Many of these sales occur on only on a few days a year. For up
to date information about groups and their sales go to the State regional websites.
APS Armidale & District Group, NSW. Stall in the Armidale Markets 4th Sunday of the month
September to May. Plants sourced from Mole Station Native Plant Nursery http://www.apsarmidale.org.au/
APS Bendigo Native Plants Group, Victoria. Flower Show in spring usually September.
ANPS Canberra ACT. Plant sales on one day in March and October, ANBG
APS Geelong, Victoria. Plant Sale in April http://www.apsgeelong.org/index.html
APS Grampians Group Pomonal, Victoria. Native Flower Show in October
APS Melton/Bacchus Marsh Group, Victoria. Autumn plant Sale in May
APS Mitchell, Kilmore, Victoria. Annual Spring Plant Expo & Sale in October
APS SA Plant sales (Adelaide Showgrounds) in April and October
APS SA Fleurieu group has sales at Nangawooka Flora Reserve near Victor Harbor in Autumn and
*APS SA Northern Yorke Peninsula, Lot 1866 South Tce, Kadina. SA. 5554.
Our premises are open each Thursday for plant sales 10am to 12 noon.
We also have a plant sale each year, 2nd Saturday in May.
APS Wilson Park, Berwick, Victoria. Plant Sale September www.apswilsonparkberwick.org.au
APS Yarra Yarra Group, Eltham, Victoria. Plant Sales in Autumn (May) and the main one in Spring
Friends of Kings Park, Perth, WA. Plant sales March, May, and September.
Friends of RBGV Cranbourne Gardens, Victoria. Plant Sales March, July & October.
Native Plants Queensland Plant Sale at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, September
Profiles of a number of Eremophila species have been incorporated into the Eremophila and Relatives section of the main ANPSA website. Each profile includes a photograph and information on natural distribution, taxonomy, cultivation and propagation.
The profiles can be viewed via the link below.
Grant for Seed Collection in Queensland
The Eremophila Study Group has been granted funds from Queensland’s Geoff Simmons Bequest for research into seed fill in wild Eremophila, starting April 2022.
Our research partner, the University of Queensland, is designing a collection protocol for sampling Eremophila fruit, pollen and soil from wild sites so they can study what affects the amount of seed set per fruit.
We are seeking volunteers from those who live in Queensland’s drier regions, or who are happy to visit these regions, to collect fruit and record GPS locations so UQ staff can then visit to collect pollen and soil samples.
If you can help during winter 2022, please contact Dr Robyn Cave from the University of Queensland by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers will be required to agree to collection limits in accordance with Queensland regulations and will need to be able to keep good written records. For more information go to XXXX. Please respond by 31 March 2022
FAQs on the Eremophila Study Group’s Geoff Simmons Bequest Project
What is the Eremophila Study Group?
The Eremophila Study Group (ESG) is one of 17 study groups operating under the auspices of the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) Inc. Native Plants Queensland is a member society of ANPSA. The ESG was founded in 1972 and currently has 160 members from around Australia.
The Study Group aims to further knowledge about the cultivation, propagation and conservation of members of the genus Eremophila, which are commonly known as Emu Bushes.
More information about the ESG can be found at http://www.anpsa.org.au/eremophilaSG/index.html
What are Eremophila?
Eremophila is a genus of ~240 described species which are found across the regions of Australia which usually receive less than 250mm rain annually. Of these about 10% are found in Queensland.
Eremophilas are the fifth most diverse native plant genus in Australia and are key components of the arid environment and of traditional Aboriginal medicinal practices. It is only recently that a limited number have come to home horticulture, but they are now offered by both specialist nurseries and retail outlets and are attractive to the general public because of their showy flowers, extended flowering times, and drought hardiness.
To see photos of Eremophila go to http://www.anpsa.org.au/eremophilaSG/gallery/index.html
Why are we Interested in Fruit and Seed?
Eremophila produce fruit capsules which can hold up to four seeds when fully developed. These fruits start off green, but become hard and woody so they can withstand many years dormant in a dry environment, allowing germination only when the conditions are right.
In the wild, fruits may be held on the plant or may fall and remain dormant in the soil. There are anecdotal examples of fruit remaining viable in local environments for 50 or 60 years, emerging after a combination of fire and following rains, or heavy rain alone.
In its initial work with the University of Queensland, the ESG asked its members to send fruit from their garden plants for examination. Members sent almost 5,000 fruit from 69 species to the university. Examination of these by X-ray revealed that most fruit had no or few seeds. We wondered if this was because of conditions in members’ gardens (e.g. lack of required soil nutrients or specific pollinators) or whether it was due to a wider effect including climate change.
What is the project?
The project funded by the Geoff Simmons Bequest aims to collect seed (in fruit) from wild populations of Eremophila species in order to determine fruit production and seed fill/quality for species growing in the wild and compare it with fruit from the same species growing in members’ gardens; correlate seed fill and weather during flowering and seed formation; and assess pollen viability and pollen formation and cross reference this with weather and climate data.
We have funds to do the following:
- Collect fruit from wild populations of Eremophila in Queensland, recording GPS location. At the same time, collect soil samples and pollen samples. All samples will be stored at the University.
- Gather weather data (online) for the collection locations;
- X-ray the fruit and record seed fill and quality; and
- Cross reference the weather data and seed fill information to draw conclusions about the influence of weather and climate on seed fill and viability
- examine pollen formation and cross reference with weather and climate data to draw conclusions on the influence of weather and climate on pollen formation and germination
- Collect soil microbiome samples for later analysis and cross referencing with weather and climate data (this analysis is not funded by the current project – samples will be stored until funds are available)
What Outcome are Expected?
We expect the following outcomes:
- Collections of seed of several species not in cultivation, which can be shared with NPQ if desired
- Data on seed fill and quality of selected species by location, cross correlated against climate and weather data, from wild and domestic populations (the latter using fruit already sent by members – this is being stored at 15°C in the University cool rooms)
This will allow us to draw conclusions about the seed fill and quality of wild populations of the selected species and reasons for any observed geographic variations
- Data on pollen viability to cross correlate against seed fill data. This will provide further insights into reasons for poor seed fill in domestic specimens and will enable conclusions to be drawn about viability of seed in the wild
- Findings which can be published in academic literature and presented to NPQ or ESG events
When will we see the results?
We expect seed collection to start in or after April 2022 and this will continue throughout winter. The project will deliver its results in April 2023. These will be publicly announced through the ESG newsletter and other avenues including academic publications.
What do I have to do if I volunteer?
Fruit collection volunteers will need to agree to follow the collection rules set by the Code of Practice for the Take and Use of Protected Plants Under an Exemption Nature Conservation Act 1992. Under this Code, collectors must agree to:
- record the GPS coordinates of all collections;
- limit fruit collection to no more than 20% of the fruit on any one plant;
- Collect any Eremophila species occurring naturally in Queensland EXCEPT Eremophila stenophylla or tetraptera
Do I need to also collect Pollen and Soil?
No, the university will use the GPS coordinates submitted by volunteers to travel to the site and collect pollen and soil
What Do I do With my samples?
Volunteers need to be able to
- Store collected fruit in accordance with directions from the university
- Post samples to the university by specified dates
- Provide whatever other information the university requires in order to ensure the samples can be used in the research, including GPS coordinates
- Photograph the bush and flowers for reference
How Will Volunteers be Acknowledged?
Volunteers will be put on a mail list to receive news of the project as it progresses. Individuals will be acknowledged through the ESG newsletter and via the ESG webpage on the project.
Will I Be Paid?
No, volunteers will not be paid for their time or the costs of collecting. There are limited funds available for covering petrol costs for any travel over 200km round trip – for which petrol receipts must be provided. These are available on a first-come-first-served basis to ESG members only.
What about Insurance?
Members of the member societies of ANPSA (including ESG members) will be covered by ANPSA’s public liability insurance for any damage they accidentally cause to third parties on official business under the project. This insurance does not provide any coverage for their own injuries or damage to their own property.
Any other members of the public are not covered by ANSPA insurance and participate at their own risk.
We advise all participants to consider taking out a private travel insurance policy if they want insurance coverage for damage to their own equipment or belongings, injury or illness to themselves, or to cover potential expenses due to changes in travel plans, missed flights, bogged vehicles etc etc.