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Australian Plants online
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First Cuttings:
News and Views from the World of ASGAP

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 a free 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.


Cycads of Australia - Half Price Offer

Cycads of Australia - coverSpacer

The publication in 2001 of "Cycads of Australia" was largely as the result of financial support of the Australian Plants Society. If you've been contemplating purchase of this magnificent publication, you may be interested in this half price offer from one of the authors.


Home to about 25% of the world's cycad species, Australia is one of the major centres of diversity for these fascinating and botanically-important plants. 'Cycads of Australia' by Ken Hill and Roy Osborne, published by Kangaroo Press, Sydney, in 2001, stands as the definitive work on the subject. This comprehensive 110-page text has more than 170 colour photographs, botanical illustrations and distribution maps. While it is botanically precise, it is written in an easy-to-read layman's style.

Supplier: Satooz, P O Box 244, Queensland 4505, Australia.
Price: Australian $29.00. Bulk orders by negotiation.
Postage in Australia: $7.00; elsewhere $A20 by economy airmail.
E-mail enquiries: angela@satooz.com
Website: www.satooz.com
Payment: Australian cheques or money orders; VISA, MASTER & AUSTRALIAN BANKCARD are accepted in our secure business site.

For a review of the book see the June 2002 issue of Australian Plants online.


Wildflower Exhibitions

Spring is the traditional time for ASGAP-affiliated groups to hold wildflower exhibitions in many parts of Australia. This is a great opportunity to view many magnificent Australian native plants in flower and most groups also offer the opportunity to purchase quality native plants at great prices.

To check out wildflower exhibitions in your area see our "What's On? page. If you can't find anything close to you there, take a look at the website for the ASGAP-affiliated Group in your state. You'll find links to these groups on the "What's On? page.

Images from Wildflower Exhibitions
Wildflower Exhibition
A display of easily grown natives
Wildflower Exhibition
A District Group display
Wildflower Exhibition
Selecting some quality native plants
Wildflower Exhibition
Demonstrating plant propagation


ASGAP Newsletter

The ASGAP newsletter is produced twice a year. Its main purpose is to keep member societies informed about national issues. However, it also contains material that might be of interest to individual members and others. For example, the April 2003 issue contained:

  • President's Report
  • Editor's Note
  • Roundup of ASGAP News
  • Region Happenings
  • Will Acacias be Lost to Australia?
  • Australian Flora Foundation Report
  • Study Group Coordinator's Report
  • Australian Plants at Parliament House, Canberra
  • ASGAP Financial Budget
  • ASGAP Study Group Listing


Tribute to Bill Payne

'Australian Plants' - Cover   
Cover of Australian Plants
Issue 1 - December 1959

The Australian Plants journal (December 2002) published a long tribute to Bill Payne who was its editor from September 1959 to May 2002 (over forty years).

Bill is a founding member of the Society and attended the first meetings of the Society in Melbourne and Sydney. He was awarded the Society's Australian Plants Award (amateur category) in 1993. Among the many stories in the tribute and a telling one is the following: Another prime-mover in the foundation of the Society and an early officer bearer, made an honorary member of the Society at the outset, was the botanist educator and writer, Dr Thistle Harris. Her biographer, Joan Webb, writes that from the day Bill Payne accepted the position of Editor, Thistle was outspoken in her opposition to him, claiming he did not have the experience or the ability. Some years later she was to concede that Bill had produced a 'first-rate publication.'

Bill played an active role in getting a number of Study Groups off the ground, promoting the establishment of the Australian Cultivar Registration Authority, and figured in a number of books. A keen photographer himself, he ensured that Australian Plants bad the best photographs, many inveigled out of the Society' best photographers.

The tribute ends: "In all, Bill Payne has been a tireless worker, donating many hours of his own and family's life to the cause and promotion of the Australian flora. He is an extraordinary member in every sense."

From the ASGAP Newsletter, April 2003.


No Name Change for Queensland Region

In a recent referendum by the Queensland Region of the Society for Growing Australian Plants (SGAP), members narrowly decided to retain the current name. This means that the Queensland is the only Region to retain SGAP as its name.

The New South Wales, Victorian, Tasmanian and South Australian Regions changed to Australian Plants Society some years ago and Canberra Region recently adopted Australian Native Plants Society as its name. In Western Australia, the name has always been Wildflower Society of Western Australia.


Study Group News

Wattle as an 'environmental weed'

Acacia Study Group Newsletter (November 2002) has an interesting discussion on wattles as environmental weeds. In Victoria nine wattles are considered environmental weeds (naturalised foreigners), whereas around Brisbane, only two fall into this category. The Newsletter rightly points out that many wattles are planted in gardens and show no sign of becoming naturalised. Also interesting. Acacia baileyana. which is considered an environmental weed in the south, does not appear to be naturalising in Queensland. The group is interested in any horror stories of Acacia invasion.

Hibiscus and Related Genera Study Group

The Hibiscus and related genera Study Group has just been formed. Its leader, Geoff Harvey, has been part of a small group of members interested in the Malvaceae family, who have been operating informally, but who now feel they are ready to form a Study Group. They have been concentrating particularly on the Hibiscus, Alyogyne and Gossypium genera. Geoff says very little has been done with Hibiscus and at least 50 species are known in Australia, some of them with tremendous potential for cultivation, hybridizing and selection of superior clones.

Geoff comes highly recommended by other members of SGAP, who are impressed by his knowledge, enthusiasm and meticulous record keeping, his willingness to travel any distance to follow up information on his chosen genera, and the collection he is building up.

Epacris Study Group

The Epacris Study Group is continuing its practice of producing very interesting newsletters with a series of detailed plant profiles of Epacris species in cultivation.

Featured in the March 2003 newsletter is Epacris impressa, the most naturally widespread and commonly cultivated species. It is the floral emblem of Victoria and was widely cultivated in Britain during the nineteenth century. If this is a plant you hanker after for your garden, here is all the information you need to make an educated choice between the many named selections, varieties and cultivars.

Ispogon and Petrophile Study Group

The discovery of three new species of Petrophile is reported in the January 2003 issue of the Study Group's Newsletter. The paper by Mike Hislop and Barbara Rye of the Western Australian Herbarium that described the new species, Petrophile antecedens, P.clavata and P.brevifolia is summarised, there are full colour photographs of the species in flower, and a revised key to the Genus is provided.

From the ASGAP newsletter (April 2003) and the newsletter of the Australian Native Plants Society (Canberra), September 2003.


"Australian Plants"....in print!

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":

'Australian Plants' - Cover Issue 172: September 2002


Growing Rainforest Plants
Eidothea hardeniana - Botany and Ecology of the 'Nightcap Oak'
Propagation of the Nightcap Oak
Book Review: Mangroves to Mountains
Brachychiton bidwillii: An Under-exploited species
Some Southern Rainforest Plants
Our Garden, Number 38
A Rare Honour for Gwen Harden
Book Review: The New Nature Cultivation of Stenocarpus species
Opisthiolepis heterophylla
Opisthiolepis heterophylla postscript
Tropical Waterlily - Nymphaea gigantea
'Australian Plants' - Cover Issue 173: December 2002


Banksia in Horticulture
'Robyn Gordon' Grevillea Complex
Some Rainforest Grevilleas
Our Garden, Number 39
Bill Payne - An Acknowledgement
Olearia viscosa
Xerochrysum the Correct Name for the Genus Bracteantha
Book Review: Starting Out With Natives: Easy-to-Grow Plants for Your Area
Kunzea baxteri
Banksia tricuspis
Update on Blandfordia
'Australian Plants' - Cover Issue 174: March 2003


The Correa Study Group
The Correa Lover and the Artist
Correas Make for Happy Memories
Katandra Gardens - A Home for Correas
Nangawooka - Land of Springs
Botanical List of Correa Species and Varieties
Descriptions of the Species, Varieties and Cultivars
Grafting Correa
Correas as Potted Colour
'Australian Plants' - Cover Issue 175: June 2003


Bringing it Back - The Shortland Wetlands story
Alec Blombery's Legacy
Rhododendron lochiae renamed
Book Review: A Hew Image for Western Australian Plants
The Sub-family Persoonioideae - a detailed review of the genus Persoonia and its relatives
Our Garden Number 40
Persoonia in Cultivation
Domestication of 'Golden Cascade' (Corynanthera flava)


Brian Walters

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