Our members love sharing their news and stories, insights and experiences with others. Below are stories and information about how to grow native plants, where to buy them and how to best use them.

You can read about places to visit to see native plants in their natural environment and discover the birds, insects and reptiles that live there. Click on each picture to find relevant stories, or use the table below. 

Please note that the views expressed in these articles are those of the author. 

For more information about the Australian Plants Society NSW, click here.

Australian Native Plants on Social Media

There is a wealth of information about Australian native plants and gardens on social media.

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Use the search and filtering features in the table below to find plants of interest and then click on a plant’s Image or Title to view plant details.


Scientists have waited years to collect seed from Aponogeton queenslandicus. Credit: James Faris
The holy grail from back o’ BourkeJuly 18, 2024

When botanists who’ve been trying to collect seed for several years from an endangered plant get word that the plant is flowering, the opportunity is not to be lost. They’re on a quest for the holy grail! When little is known about what conditions favour the growth of a rare plant, opportunities for collecting seed and specimens may arise unexpectedly, requiring people to work in challenging conditions. In the face of many adverse factors affecting plant survival, having the resources to respond quickly and in the end successfully collecting seed may save the plant from extinction – and here the Australian PlantBank takes a leading role.

Adaptations of Australian Plants in Extreme Conditions
Adaptations of Australian Plants in Extreme ConditionsJuly 16, 2024

Andy Leigh is a plant ecologist with a particular interest in extreme environments, which are not uncommon in Australia. She argues that temperature is the most important climate factor affecting how different plant (and animal) species are distributed on Earth. Different plant species have developed particular mechanisms to deal with the level of heat stress caused by the characteristic temperature and amount of water available in their environment.

Image by Tracee Lea
Bush Foods for your Home GardenJuly 15, 2024,

On one of our walks back in January, we visited the soon to be launched Bush Food Walk at the University of Wollongong. Some of you may know I am working on a similar project at the Illawarra Grevillea Park Botanic Garden, so I thought I might pass on a few suggestions for growing native food plants in the home garden.

gardening-with-native-plants visiting-gardens-and-reserves
Sturt Desert Pea flowers
Sturt Desert Peas don’t grow in Sydney, do they?July 7, 2024

Over the past 6 months, I’ve been having a go at growing a Sturt Desert Pea (Swainsona formsa) plant from seed, with some minor success. I thought I’d put together a little report on what I did and what the results were.

Clay pipes make for the perfect indoor and out door pots!
Recycling old clay pipes for garden useJune 17, 2024

Dan explains the utility of recycling clay pipes in modern gardening.

Morning tea with Costa and the Southern Tablelands Group, image by Heather West.
Gardening Australia comes to the WetlandsMay 15, 2024,

In March, FROGS Landcare volunteers played host to Costa Georgiadis as he visited the Goulburn Wetlands. Many of you will know that Costa has long been interested in the Wetlands—he planted trees with local school children in 2016 and live-streamed an impromptu visit in 2022. This time he came to film the Wetlands and its gardens for a segment on Gardening Australia.

aps-news conserving-native-plants
Swamp wallaby
Source: Australian Museum
Fake news can work – if you’re a wallaby!April 21, 2024

From vegetation restoration projects to agriculture, plants that are valuable to us may also be tasty food for herbivores. To reduce the substantial damage herbivores can do in these situations, people have used various methods to control herbivores, from plant guards and fencing to sometimes killing the animals. A newly developed approach based on feeding herbivores misinformation to alter their behaviour may offer an alternative control method which is cost-effective and in some ways simpler to implement.

Lophostemon confertus avenue at Jannali, image by Rhonda Daniels
Saving our street trees: What’s going on and what can we doApril 18, 2024

Street trees are increasingly important due to the loss of trees on private land due to development, the higher density of urban development with more hard surfaces and less green space, and also climate change with higher temperatures.

Banksia spinulosa
District Group 2023 Highlights part 2April 17, 2024

With 19 local groups around NSW, there is always a lot of regional activity – bushwalks, meetings, talks, garden visits, plant sales, bush care and propagation. Here are some highlights from 2023.

The main Wollemi Pine grove in the Blue Mountains, which was discovered 30 years ago.(Supplied: Jaime Plaza Van Roon/RBGDT via abc.net.au)
Ensuring the survival of the Wollemi PineApril 17, 2024

Discovering the Wollemi pine has been described as the botanical find of the 20th century. The Wollemi pine was once widespread across Gondwana before Australia broke off from Antarctica. It’s both a living fossil and a global treasure and, while it is truly a rare and threatened species that needs to be conserved for the future, this is a challenging project.

Designing your native garden
Designing your native gardenApril 16, 2024

At the quarterly gathering in March 2024, Heather Miles gave an interactive talk on designing your native garden.

Uralla garden beds under the eucalypts.
District Group 2023 Highlights Part 1April 15, 2024

With 19 local groups around NSW, there is always a lot of regional activity – bushwalks, meetings, talks, garden visits, plant sales, bush care and propagation. Here are some highlights from 2022.

Hakea lorea, image by Paul Kennedy.
Study group updates Dec 2023 – April 2024April 11, 2024

Keep up to date with what our study groups are doing, with updates from Eremophila, Acacia, Hakea, Grevillea, Australian Plants for Containers, Fern, Goodeniaceae, Australian Food Plants study groups.

Young brush-turkey chick, image Heather Miles
Australian brush-turkey: unwelcome guest or ecosystem engineer?April 10, 2024

If you asked a suburban resident of many parts of Sydney, Brisbane, Newcastle, the Gold Coast, Byron Bay or any other city on the Australian East Coast north of Wollongong, it would seem like the country is in the midst of an invasion. The interloping offender is the Australian brush-turkey (Alectura lathami). This is a large native bird from the Megapode family, which has been spotted with increasing frequency in urban and suburban areas over the past few decades.

Charismatic Banksia robur, image Heather Miles
Plant photos help conserve biodiversityJanuary 29, 2024

Nearly 20 % of Australian vascular plants have no verifiable photograph held in common online databases. This lack of photographics makes it difficult to identify certain plants and prevents us from monitoring populations of plants that may be at risk. Improving the photographic coverage of Australian plants will help remedy this and increase our ability to maintain biodiversity. Citizen scientists with a smartphone and some sympathy for plants that lack charisma can play an important role in filling gaps in the photographic record of Australian flora.

Telopea speciosissima, image Lynne Bruce
Celebrating a significant milestone of 1000 plant profiles (native species and cultivars)January 27, 2024

APS NSW Plant Database Surpasses 1000 Plant Profiles: A Remarkable Milestone in Native Flora Documentation.

Moorlands, image supplied by Adrian Polhill
Re-greening our Country January 26, 2024

A series of wonderful re-greening events were held during August, September and October this year (2023) at ‘Moorlands’, near Gunning in south western NSW.  This amazing, biodynamic farm is owned and managed by Vince Heffernan, a 6th generation sheep grazier and noted expert on new forms of regenerative land management.

Eremophila decussata, image by Andrew Brown
Study group updates June – November 2023January 26, 2024

Keep up to date with what our study groups are doing, with updates from Acacia, Australian Plans for Containers, Grevillea, Eremophila, Isopogon & Petrophile, Ferns and Hakea groups.

The iconic avenue of Lemon-scented Gums (Corymbia citriodora) lining the Avenue of Honour, May Drive, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, WA. These trees were planted in 1938, despite their tendency to drop branches, to replace the original avenue of Red-flowering Gums (Corymbia ficifolia), many of which succumbed to canker. Photograph courtesy of T Bell.
Planting Australian natives: are we bringing the bush to our backyards or our backyards to the bush?January 15, 2024

Gardens are an important part of our existence in urban environments. They provide relief from the concrete and bricks that create the artificial environment that most Australians now inhabit – the urban landscape. Our gardens provide shelter and shade, a potential kaleidoscope of colour and, in many backyards, a small localised food source in the form of vegetable gardens. In cities, gardens and street trees also provide additional cooling mechanisms to the heat sinks of concrete structures.

Butterfly on Leptorhynchos squamatus (Scaly 
Alison Hone Reserve, Goulburn, NSWNovember 30, 2023

It had been dry with the Southern Tablelands having endured several above 30 degree days
in October but we were here in November looking for pretty flowers. My expectations were
not great, nevertheless it was an opportunity to get out into the bush to experience nature as
it is, not as we may sometimes wish it to be.

Chamelaucium x verticorda.
A visit to Peter’s Garden – Goulburn Get-TogetherNovember 30, 2023

Our November 18 visit came at a very dry time in the Southern Tablelands. There hadn’t been real rain for months and the grass had already browned off. Peter described moving into his house in a bare paddock 7 years ago, during drought and when the frost in winter was down to -12 degrees. Challenging conditions! And then there’s the famous Goulburn wind.

Prohibited Matter weeds under the Biosecurity Act (poster)
What one council is doing about Invasive SpeciesNovember 30, 2023

Dan Clarke wrote this story on a talk that Invasive Species Officer Linda Brown gave at the Sutherland Group October meeting, on the Sutherland Shire Council Weed Species program

Harry in his garden, Image by Trish Holloway
Harry Loots garden visitNovember 30, 2023

APS members had a very enjoyable and informative visit to Harry Loots’ native garden in Cremorne on a very crisp winter Wednesday in June. About 14 people attended.

Garden Design in Theory and Practice
Garden Design in Theory and PracticeNovember 29, 2023

At the Harbour George River Group’s meeting October 2023, James Middleton, who is a
member of the Group and a professional landscape gardener, described his practice in
landscape design. His talk was illustrated with reference to a community garden project he is
working on with the Clemton Park Uniting Church. Members of the church group also talked
about their vision for the garden. This was followed by a discussion on how to implement the
garden vision with a limited budget and lots of muscle power.

Poa labillardierei  POACEAE, Mt Mitchell. W. of Armidale
Native grasses – a vital part of the biodiversity mosaicNovember 28, 2023

Native grasses and grass-like plants can be overlooked as garden plants but they are a wonderfully attractive addition to any garden, with the variety of shapes and colours of their leaves and flower heads. They’re also an important part of many revegetation projects. Only a tiny fraction of the grasslands present in pre-colonial Australia still exist, so we must all ensure that these remnants are preserved. Their high biodiversity value can be conserved through plantings in residential gardens all the way through to landscape-scale revegetation projects that repair environmental damage.

Part of the 77 members being welcomed by APS Southern Tablelands President, Jen Ashwell. Photo: Celia Galland
Weekend Get-together, Goulburn, 18-19 November 2023November 28, 2023

A highly successful weekend get-together was hosted by the Southern Tablelands Group at Goulburn from Saturday 17 to Sunday 18 November. The Southern Tablelands Group, albeit a small group, did a fabulous job in organising an excellent program for the 75 members who attended. Congratulations and thanks to all those members of the Southern Tablelands Group who made us so welcomed and ensured that our weekend was an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Clockwise from top left: Exocarpus cupressiformis flowers; ripe fruit with the bird-attracting fleshy stalk; E. cupressiformis with its eucalypt hosts; a developing seed.
Botanical Vampires! Parasitic and Carnivorous Plants in Hawkesbury Sandstone VegetationNovember 17, 2023,

In Hawkesbury Sandstone vegetation a range of parasitic and carnivorous plants can be found. Does it surprise you to know that you could find more than ten different species? Many of these plants can be hard to find: some are ephemeral (short-lived); some very small; a few grow high in the branches of trees; and others are rare.

gardening-with-native-plants identifying-native-plants
Ashley Hay - Gum (book cover)
How did Eucalypts get their name?November 4, 2023

“I knew the derivation of Eucalyptus was derived from the Ancient Greek words “eu” meaning “good,” “well,” “true,” “beautiful,” or “very,” and “kalyptus” meaning “cover,” “conceal,” or “hide,” referring to the operculum, which is a cap-like structure covering the flower buds.” Inspired by Ashley Hay’s book – ‘GUM’

This tiny forest has grown a lot in 12 months due to soil rich in micro-bacteria.(Supplied: Wollongong Botanic Garden)
Creative ecology – mini forests as one strategy for urban greeningOctober 28, 2023

Global warming, biodiversity loss and the deteriorating urban environment are reducing the quality of urban life. Akira Miyawaki, a Japanese botanist, began practising creative ecology in the 1970s and devised the “tiny forest” to counter these undesirable trends. Tiny forests have been taken up in Australia recently and may be useful as a strategy in improving some environmental and social aspects of our urban environments.

Harry Loots receives Order of the Shovel
Harry Loots receives Order of the ShovelOctober 28, 2023

Winner, North Sydney Council’s Most Beautiful Native Garden Habitat Award, 2023

Tributes to thee past life members
In Memory of three Life MembersOctober 28, 2023

We are always sad to hear of the passing of one of our members, especially when it is a Life Member we know who has done much to support the Society and/or to further the cause of knowledge about, growing or conserving our Australian flora.
This year we have lost three Life Members.

Photo credit- CCO Public Domain, courtesy of New Farm News
All about mulchOctober 28, 2023

A mulch is any covering put over the top of the soil, such as bark, woodchips, leaves, gravel and groundcovers – even a layer of leaf litter counts as a mulch.

Olive Pink: Artist, activist and gardener. A life in flowers by Gillian Ward. Hardie Grant Books, 2018.
Olive Pink: Artist, activist and gardenerOctober 25, 2023,

Perhaps you have visited the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens in Alice Springs. It is certainly one of the best places to see Central Australian flora and as a bonus there is an excellent café. So who was Olive Pink?

aps-news visiting-gardens-and-reserves
The Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, image by  Lawrie Smith
Australian native plants in other countriesOctober 25, 2023

Lawrie Smith is the leader of the Garden Design Study Group shares photos of some of the Australian collections he’s found in other countries. Stunning images, for our enjoyment. Thanks Lawrie.

‎Burrawang, image by Ralph Cartwright
An old burrawang in a new gardenOctober 22, 2023

About 40 years ago, in the early 1980s I took the family to stay in some cabins near Racecourse Beach just north of Batemans Bay for the summer holidays, shaded by iconic spotted gums with a burrawang understory.

Kevin Mills, 2023
193 pages, $45.00.
Full colour, map, index.
Envirobook, Sussex Inlet – envirobook.com.au
Book Review: South Coast Ferns. A complete guide to the ferns and fern allies of the NSW South CoastOctober 20, 2023,

Dr Kevin Mills has produced a comprehensive catalogue of the Polypodiophyta (Pteridophyte) flora of the New South Wales south coast, yet at the same time has also produced an exemplary field guide

conserving-native-plants identifying-native-plants
Leptospermum laevigatum, image Warren and Gloria Sheather
Name changes to Leptospermum spp.September 29, 2023

Some of you may have heard recently, that some of our beloved Leptospermum spp. have been moved to a new genus. Yes, that’s right, the constant changing nature of our botanical names continues.

Dendrophthoe vitellina, Long-flowered mistletoe. Image: Joan Collins
Embrace mistletoes, don’t cut them looseSeptember 27, 2023

Seeing isolated dead trees that show signs of past, heavy mistletoe growth in our semi-cleared landscapes might suggest that mistletoes are the culprit. On the contrary, they are keystone ecological species, attractive components of our flora and can be part of our own gardens.

Portland streetscapes, image by Leon Fuller
Local native street trees – an idea whose time has comeSeptember 26, 2023

There are many benefits of greening and planting more urban trees including biodiversity, but also The Heart Foundation estimates that for every dollar spent on street tree planting and management, $3.81 in benefits accrue.

APS NSW Annual Get-together, 18-19 November 2023, Goulburn
APS NSW Annual Get-together, 18-19 November 2023, GoulburnSeptember 26, 2023

Hi to you lovely people who are thinking about coming to the APS annual get-together in the Southern Tablelands (Goulburn).

Puckey’s salt mill site, and some very old Leptospermum laevigatum specimens. Image as supplied by Illawarra group
Illawarra group hosting the September GatheringSeptember 26, 2023

The Illawarra group members made a great team effort to organize, stage and then enjoy this event with the community and other APS groups.
To give some variety, we organised 3 walks in the morning, attendees could nominate (one) walk, respond, and select a walk via email.

Growing Illawarra Natives website launch - 2020
Growing Illawarra Natives website launch – 2020September 25, 2023

The Growing Illawarra Natives website showcases native plant species local to the Illawarra to encourage greater appreciation and cultivation of native plant species in the Illawarra.
 The area has a rich diversity of plant communities with over 850 indigenous plant species, many of great value in cultivation.

Flower of E duttonii, image L Thorburn
Why do Eremophila have resin?September 4, 2023

I had an inquiry from someone in APS NSW who wanted to know the purpose of the resin on Eremophila. I looked up Chinnock and, though he talks about the resin, he doesn’t speculate as to its purpose. However, he did refer to the work of several chemists who have analysed its composition.

Pultanaea rosmarinifolia, by Ralph Cartwright
Pea Forage weekend reportAugust 28, 2023, ,

I became a member of the Pea Study Group last year and last weekend, joined around 25 other APS members for a Pea forage weekend based in Gosford on the Central Coast.

animals-habitats using-native-plants visiting-gardens-and-reserves
Chris Cole examines the impact of the feral horses
National Biodiversity MonthAugust 28, 2023

September is National Biodiversity Month, which hopefully means biodiversity is in the spotlight a little more than it should be every other month. This year, an expedition involving the Botanic Gardens of Sydney surveyed the Australian Alps, primarily to discover new species. A further aim was to collect plant material for propagation to maintain biodiversity and reinforce ecosystem resilience in the face of inevitable environmental change.

Pittosporum undulatum, image Alan Fairley
APS (NSW) Plant Profile ProjectAugust 28, 2023

Way back, in early 2017, when we transitioned to the new APS NSW website, we decided to make the plant profiles, mostly authored by Jeff Howes and the late Warren Sheather, accessible to the public.

Pterostylis sp, image by Jim Greenstein
A Miraculous Discovery and they’re back againAugust 24, 2023

I have been a keen orchid grower for most of my life and the thought that these beautiful creatures had eluded my notice, possibly for decades, is simply beyond belief, but that’s exactly what happened.

Conostylis aurea flower head. Photo by Brian Roach
Amazing GreysAugust 21, 2023

I feel confident anyone reading this would agree that gardeners have a better insight than most into changing weather patterns. Whatever the reason, the hot days seem to be getting hotter and the cold days colder but it’s usually the former that presents the greater challenges in selecting the right plant for the hot spot. Enter stage right our wonderful grey-foliaged native plants.

Blandfordia grandiflora, image by Mark Abell
Dividing Some Christmas BellsAugust 18, 2023

I have had for some years now a large pot of Christmas Bells (Blandfordia grandiflora). It has been reliably flowering just on Christmas every year, and in the process getting more congested. Because the pot it is in has curved sides, I have been putting off dividing it for a few years.

Acacia vestita, image by Walter Stanish
Ample acaciasAugust 14, 2023,

Member Walter Stanish has shared with us images of his residential garden wattle season in Thornleigh, by the Great North Walk.

gardening-with-native-plants identifying-native-plants
The Old Country - by George Seddon
Plant Selection and DesignAugust 5, 2023

I have been rereading a book ‘the Old Country Australian Landscapes, Plants and People’ published in 2005 by George Seddon (1927-2007), who was an Emeritus Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Melbourne.

Image by Andrew Knop
Mounds springs, the gravity defying ecosystemsJuly 31, 2023

A dispersed cluster of approximately 30 mound springs are found on the western side of the Sappa Bulga range. With some springs located in grassy box woodlands they present an opportunity to view an endangered ecosystem within an endangered ecosystem.

Aerial view of Menindee Lakes, image Heather Miles
Exploring ephemeral arid plants of NSWJuly 24, 2023, ,

The arid and semi-arid plants of NSW demonstrate some extraordinary adaptations to climate, soils and microclimate!

conserving-native-plants gardening-with-native-plants visiting-gardens-and-reserves
Precision agricultural seeder used with native species in Western Australia. Simone Pedrini.
Drone seeding – does it have the edge over down-to-earth techniques?July 10, 2023

Aerial seeding is not new. It has been used in forestry and agriculture over the last 100 years but clearly the technology has changed! In the 21st century, drones have become indispensable in those two sectors because of their low cost and high versatility.

Grevillea gaudichaudii, photo credit Grevillea Study Group
Study group updates April – June 2023June 27, 2023

Keep up to date with what our study groups are doing, with updates from Acacia, Grevillea groups and more.

"Our saplings at Thiaki thrive on good treatment." Image by Penny van Oosterzee
Restoring trees in the landscape: pitfalls, potential and some good adviceJune 27, 2023

Whether you’ve planted trees to enhance your garden or address a salinity problem, your trees carry out many functions, such as looking beautiful, providing food and habitat for animals and insects, promoting soil health, mitigating salinity and supporting biodiversity.

Banksia ericifolia
Mount Bushwalker Track – a must see on the south coastJune 22, 2023

Mount Bushwalker track is a must see on the south coast. Stunning scenery, lush vegetation and an easy track all uplift the spirits!

Uvaria leichardtii , native banana, fruit and flower.

Image provided by: Native Plants Queensland.
A Bush-Tucker GardenJune 22, 2023

At the Sutherlands group May meeting, Samantha Newton, an enthusiastic garden designer who has had a life of botany, landscape design, and researching ecological-sustainability issues shared her knowledge about Bush-Tucker.

Image: Jerry Bailey oval Copyright ©  NSW Government
Achieving a New Civic Australian Style GardenJune 19, 2023

At the May 2023 APS NSW gathering in Kariong, hosted by the Central Coast APS group, Olga Blacha gave us a fascinating talk titled: ‘Achieving a new civic Australian style garden’

Image credit: B Melville
APS Central Coast gathering activity reportJune 19, 2023

APS NSW Bushwalk 20 May 2023 Kariong. Eighteen members of Hunter Valley, Newcastle, Sutherland, Harbour Georges River, North Shore and Central Coast groups came to together and identified around 30 species at the Brisbane Water National Park.

Pip Gibian
Weekend away up northJune 9, 2023

On Saturday 27th May, eight members of the Parramatta and Hills district group congregated at the country property, ‘Parragilga’, owned by Phil Baird, one of the members. It is in an area called The Branch, north of both the Hunter and Karuah Rivers, and east of Buckets Way, the road to Gloucester.

Finch Hatton Waterway, Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens
Design with NatureJune 9, 2023

Throughout hiscareer Lawie Smith has been fortunate to be able to convey his ‘Design with Nature’ philosophy through all of his projects, and specifically the public parks and botanic gardens for which he have been responsible.

Image by Wild Blue Mountains (Facebook page)
The world of WaratahsJune 9, 2023

Many Waratahs have regrown from their underground lignotubers, which allows the plant to produce lots of vegetative growth after bushfire.

Grafting using the cutting graft technique
by Phil Trickett and Catriona Bate
Grafting, using the cutting graft techniqueJune 7, 2023

In this article we discuss the advantages of an alturnitive method over more traditional methods of grafting onto rooted stock plants.

Image supplied by NSW DPI  www.dpi.nsw.gov.au
Myrtle RustMay 27, 2023

Myrtle rust is a fungal disease that arrived in Australia in 2010 and since then has brought four native Myrtaceae plant species to the point of near extinction.Despite the threat, there are some steps each of us can take to try to minimise the inevitable damage.

Conservation award to Jane Lemann, Southern Highlands Group
Conservation Award to Jane LemannMay 25, 2023

Congratulation to Jane Lemann of the Southern Highlands Group APS who has received the 2023 APS NSW Conservation Award.

Life memberships award Jenny Simons
Life Membership Award Jenny SimonsMay 25, 2023

Congratulations to Jenny Simons from Southern Highlands Group who was awarded Life Membership at the APS NSW AGM, held on 20th Of May 2023.

Tim Hayes - lifetime membership award
Life Membership Award Tim HayesMay 25, 2023

Congratulations to Tim Hayes from Southern Tablelands Group who was awarded Life Membership at the APS NSW AGM, held on the 20th of May 2023.

Huntsman Spider. © Australian Museum
Huntsman SpidersMay 20, 2023

At our meeting in April, we were treated to the most fascinating presentationonHuntsmanSpiders. OurspeakerwasHelenSmith,an arachnologist with the Australian Museum Research Institute, Sydney .

Ann Young on Mosaics of vegetation – the rocks and dirt story
Ann Young on Mosaics of vegetation – the rocks and dirt storyMay 19, 2023

Why do different plants and communities form mosaics or patterns across a landscape?

Image by Richard Laney
Dendrobium speciosum: My Experiences Growing Rock Orchids.May 19, 2023

I grew up in Sydney with a clump of neglected “Rock Lilies” in our suburban garden. Despite little attention they survived and flowered profusely each spring and were even used in my aunt’s wedding bouquet.

Thelymitra rubra. LFFR.
2024 ANPSA Biennial Conference, 30 Sept to 4 OctMay 6, 2023,

Gardens For Life – Second update from APS VIC This is the second newsletter from our colleagues in Victoria, sharing about the Biennial Confrence, coming up in September 2024

aps-news gardening-with-native-plants
R.Havell & Son. George Evens & John Oxley, The grave of a native of Australia, 1820 (National Library of Australia).
The voice is long overdueApril 24, 2023

Indigenous cultures, who have sustainably interacted with the world’s water, soils and biodiversity for millennia, possess knowledge and skills we must quickly recognise, learn and internalise. It is high time we listened to the voice of country.

Grey-headed flying fox in flight (image: Shane Ruming, NPWS)
Flying Foxes – A crash course in their Conservation and ManagementApril 24, 2023

Flying Foxes provide an excellent ecological service through pollination and seed dispersal and are a vital keystone species. However, they tend to set-up shop in highly urbanised areas which can cause problems for residents and school children, mainly due to noise and odour produced by colonies.

Scaevola ramosissima (purple fan flower) by M Swire
Plants Native to the Greater Sydney Region.April 24, 2023

While working at the University of Wollongong, I had been taught, you do not need to be an expert in a particular field to manage a group. You need to be good at managing people, trust, foster and let the experts do what they do best. So, as our community grew, I found experts in various related fields and asked them to come on board.

The history of garden design using Australian native plants (1788 – now)April 20, 2023

The earliest documented arrivals at what was then known as Terra Australis were the Dutch and the French. None of the early explorers settled here, but the French took many of the native plants and animals back to France. The Empress Josephine’s garden, Malmaison, was full of these Australian native plant species and also had a few of the animals.

This is a particularly special photo for me.
Our backyard was mostly lawn when we moved in, and little by little over the past few years I have been digging up lawn and planting endemic flowering plants to attract beneficial pollinators.

This Blue Flax Lily (Dianella caerulea) flowered for the first time in the spring.

I do citizen science on iNaturalist and attempting to match native flowers with their , so I was observing these flowers to see which species pollinated it (with bees I counted around 10 different types of native bee).

This particular bee came along (genus Lasioglossum), and I hadn't seen any with orange hairs like this one had. So I checked with an online bee group, and a native bee expert (Senior Entomologist Dr Ken Walker at Museums Victoria) very excitedly said that it was a bee that didn't appear to be on scientific record.

This truly blows my mind, finding a likely new (to science) species of bee in my backyard. And it all came about because I wanted to attract native pollinators!
Insects that thrive on our native plantsApril 19, 2023,

Insects and plants evolved together and are co-dependent. Michelle de Mol, one of our Blue Mountains members, is passionate about observing and documenting, in pictures, these relationships. Here are photos she shared with us to showcase this relationships.

animals-habitats conserving-native-plants
Gwen Versegi with her sister Jenny, and volunteers      Anne Webb and Joan Zande   (photo: R. Daniels)
Sutherland Group’s 60th AnniversaryApril 17, 2023

2023 is the 60th anniversary of Sutherland Group of APS, I was thinking back to when I first joined the Society in the late 1980’s. It was called the Society for Growing Australian Plants then. by Leonie Hogue

Hibbertia dentata, Narrabeen Lagoon, images by Heather miles
A different sort of reason for botanical name changesApril 14, 2023

This article is to inform members of a ‘process-in-motion’ that I have heard and read about sporadically lately. It regards proposed changes to botanical names, where the naming may be now thought socially inappropriate or even offensive in today’s social, cultural and political landscapes.

Mass planted Kangaroo Paws, Anigozanthos, image Heather Miles
How to grow a native gardenApril 13, 2023

I recently shared with a Garden Club how to create a native garden, why grow natives and how to go about it, as well as traps for the unwary. Here is what I shared.

APS NSW supports Australian Native Plants Society (Australia)
APS NSW supports Australian Native Plants Society (Australia)March 29, 2023

After APS NSW hosted the national conference in Kiama in September 2022, we now form the secretariat for the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) until the next conference hosted by APS Victoria in September 2024.

The ‘Treed Reserve’ or what I call ‘my grassland’
Nature strip plantingMarch 29, 2023,

A naturestrip is a legally interesting piece of land.  It is public land owned by the council with the ‘responsibility’ for its maintenance resting with the home-owner.

conserving-native-plants gardening-with-native-plants
Healthy soil, healthy garden
Healthy soil, healthy gardenMarch 26, 2023,

Soil may seem plain to the eye but it’s a complex ecosystem in itself – if it’s a healthy soil, anyway. Maintaining a diverse range of soil microbes is important for soil to remain healthy and support good plant growth. The most practical way for gardeners to keep soil and plants healthy is by adding both organic matter and inorganic fertiliser.

gardening-with-native-plants newsletters-journals
Grevillea Mulberry Midnight
Study group updates December 2022 – March 2023March 22, 2023, ,

Keep up to date with what our study groups are doing, with updates from Pea Flowers, Acacia, Grevillea, Wallum, Ferns and Hakea groups.

aps-news gardening-with-native-plants newsletters-journals
Mulch (J Howes)
Preparing your garden for the predicted dry weatherMarch 22, 2023,

The weather forecasts now have us coming out of the wet La Nina conditions over the last few years and heading into the warmer & drier El Nino weather pattern.

gardening-with-native-plants using-native-plants
Coastline along the Great Ocean Road
APS Vic ramping up its planning for the next ANPSA Biennial ConferenceMarch 10, 2023

A very big welcome to our first newsletter for the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) Conference, 30 September to 4 October 2024. This conference is being run by the Australian Plants Society Victoria (APS Vic) and this is the first of a bimonthly newsletter to keep you updated. The committee is working extremely hard to make this an experience of a lifetime for you. Please feel free to share this newsletter with your friends, group or whoever you think may be interested. Formal bookings for the Conference and Tours are expected to open in early 2024.

The Nowra tam
Wirreecoo Garden – a labour of love by Nowra GroupMarch 6, 2023

Located on the beautiful south coast at Huskisson, is the garden much loved by Nowra Group – called Wirreecoo Gardens. It’s nestled in with the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum, a fascinating venture along the boardwalk to view the mangroves and a pond, at 11 Dent St, Huskisson, and open every day.

Crack willow (Salix fragilis), a type of highly invasive brittle 
willow, on the Happy Valley Creek, Ovens. Photo courtesy 
Paul McInerny
Weeds come in all sizes – trees can be weeds tooFebruary 26, 2023, ,

The word “weed” usually brings to mind smallish plants like trad, onion weed, agapanthus and possibly cotoneaster, but trees can also be weeds!

aps-news conserving-native-plants newsletters-journals
Mirbelia rubiifolia
NSW Region Get Together – Southern Highlands, November 2022February 26, 2023, ,

This was the first Region Get Together since the COVID Lockdowns and everyone seemed very happy to be seeing each other again.

aps-news identifying-native-plants visiting-gardens-and-reserves
Garden now, image Heather Miles
Diversity or uniformity in garden designFebruary 24, 2023

As part of the Garden Design Study Group (free to all members), the topic was posed – is your garden design influenced by diversity or uniformity? I thought about it, and decided that my garden and my thinking had evolved through stages

Gossypium sturtianum, image Heather Miles
Visit to Melton Botanic Garden in JanuaryFebruary 24, 2023

Ever since Kevin Stokes showed me photographs taken at Melton BG, I’d been keen to go! And with a recent wedding near Lancefield in Victoria, just 45 mins away, it seemed the perfect chance.

APS Flower Display at ERBG Bioblitz
District Group 2022 Highlights part 2February 15, 2023

Our local groups undertake a range of activities during the year – here are highlights, part 2.

Rough Tree Fern, Cyathea australis, image Kevin Mills
Ferns of the Southern Sydney BasinFebruary 8, 2023,

Ferns are a distinct group of vascular plants and have been around for about 360 million years. Those early forests of fern ancestors produced the coal that we so rely upon today

conserving-native-plants identifying-native-plants
Left – Melaleuca linariifolia
Right – Callistemon citrinus
Learning About Native Plants – A ‘Hands On’ ApproachFebruary 7, 2023

For over 30 years, the North Shore Group of APS has been running a program to introduce people to the incredible range of native plants in its local Sydney region. Called the ‘Walks & Talks’ program…

Aceratium ferrugineum - an ornamental rainforest plant
Aceratium ferrugineum – an ornamental rainforest plantFebruary 6, 2023

Here are some images from Peter Olde, of Aceratium ferrugineum, a beautiful rainforest plant growing in his and Margaret’s Oakdale garden. 

Threats to Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub - Little Bay
Threats to Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub – Little BayFebruary 1, 2023

Recently, Harbour Georges River group wrote to Randwick Council about a proposed development in Little Bay which threatens local bushland – Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub. Here is their submission and images to illustrate. 

District Group 2022 Highlights part 1
District Group 2022 Highlights part 1January 27, 2023

Our local groups undertake a range of activities during the year – here are highlights.

The Tasmanian bushland garden
The Tasmanian bushland gardenJanuary 26, 2023,

Over 20 years ago a group of Australian Plants Society members purchased an old dolerite quarry and its surrounding 20 ha bushland to build a Tasmanian bushland garden with funding coming from donations and grants.

aps-news gardening-with-native-plants
Conservation horticulture: Saving rare and threatened plants
Conservation horticulture: Saving rare and threatened plantsJanuary 25, 2023, ,

Botanic gardens are sanctuaries to visit to admire the beauty of plants in landscaped settings and are also centres of research into many aspects of plants.

aps-news conserving-native-plants visiting-gardens-and-reserves
Mal’s Wild Side: Re-Wilding a Northern Beaches BackyardJanuary 24, 2023, , ,

When I first came to Australia from the UK, I had a fondness for the environment but knew virtually nothing about Australian nature. Years later, when I moved from inner city living into a suburban house with a backyard, something special happened. Fascinating visitors such as Blue Tongue Lizards, Leaf Tailed Geckos and Possums provided magical wildlife encounters and my conservation passion, long suppressed, became reignited.

animals-habitats conserving-native-plants gardening-with-native-plants using-native-plants
Impact of bush fires, image Heather Miles
How to write a conservation submission, letter or emailJanuary 22, 2023,

With so many ongoing issues of environmental concern, there are many opportunities to write a submission or letter expressing your views. Issues affecting our native vegetation include residential development, infrastructure proposals such as roads and dams, legislation on land clearing and development, and government policies and responses to climate change, bushfires and flooding.

aps-news conserving-native-plants
An interconnected world - threats to our native ecology and ultimately, us as well.
An interconnected world – threats to our native ecology and ultimately, us as well.January 17, 2023

Nature is truly robust, resilient and responsive – we’ve just got to stop throttling it!. A common theme which impacts every land managers plans and calendar is the monitoring and mitigating threats. This applies in all scenarios where landscapes are involved, from a farm or national park to a suburban block or even an apartment complex.
Many environmental threats are surprisingly universal. Invasive species impacts, connectivity, fragmentation, biodiversity and habitat loss apply to a home in the suburbs as well as a national park.

Keeping people safe
Keeping people safeJanuary 16, 2023

It’s vital we do everything we can to keep people safe in APS. Here are the common sense policies and procedures for us all to follow.

Eremophila nivea, image John Elton
Eremophila standardsJanuary 15, 2023

Growing Eremophila standards is all quite new to me but I’m having a ball experimenting with how different plants can look when grown on a stick. Grafting them has been relatively easy, as has been keeping an attractive habit while the plants are still young. However, pruning as the plants age, will I’m sure, be more of a challenge.

More presentations for Australian flora conference
More presentations for Australian flora conferenceNovember 26, 2022

In September 2022, APS NSW hosted the Australian (ANPSA) flora conference with the theme of Australian flora – past, present and future.
Here are some of the presentations.

Seeds of hope for Banksia restoration projects
Seeds of hope for Banksia restoration projectsNovember 26, 2022,

A plant seed typically contains an embryo, that develops into a new plant, and some food to support germination until the seedling can produce its own food. However, seeds may also contain microbes, like fungi and bacteria, that have no harmful effects but may actually be beneficial for plant growth! 

aps-news conserving-native-plants
H purpurea
Study group updates August – November 2022November 25, 2022

Verna Aslin shares with us summaries of what’s going on in the ANPSA study groups between August – November 2022. Included in her summaries are email address contacts for each study group, for any enquiries you may have. 

For the photographers amongst us...
For the photographers amongst us…November 25, 2022

Bruce Usher graciously offered to photograph part of the Australian flora conference in September and then had this article published in the magazine Camera, about photographing Costa. 

Wentworth Falls.  Image by Chris Lil
Flora tour of Blue MountainsNovember 21, 2022,

This was a tour of wonderful contrasts – majestic mountains and expansive valleys; towering Eucalypts and exquisitely tiny orchids; ancient aboriginal culture and the pathways of European explorers; windswept sandstone rock formations and hanging swamps and damp fern lined tracks with waterfall views. 

aps-news visiting-gardens-and-reserves
Stony Range Spring Festival - 30th October 2022
Stony Range Spring Festival – 30th October 2022November 20, 2022,

Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden of Australian Bushland, situated in Dee Why, recently held its Spring Festival after a lapse of two years due to Covid, when it was able to celebrate 61 years since its official opening in 1961.

aps-news visiting-gardens-and-reserves
Ficus rubiginosa, Port Jackson Fig, image Heather Miles
Centennial Parklands – an oasis of flora and fauna for the people of SydneyNovember 20, 2022,

Last week, I visited Centennial Parklands as part of a videography course. We made a video of various gardens in the park, as a sign of appreciation to the gardeners, botanists and designers of the Parklands.

gardening-with-native-plants visiting-gardens-and-reserves
Kunzea parvifolia, by the side of the road, image Heather Miles
Southern Highlands get together – rain and shine!November 20, 2022, ,

About 70 people enjoyed a wonderful weekend in the Southern Highlands, hosted by the local group. We had the opportunity to visit members’ gardens, listen to a great talk by Dan Clarke, and visit a range of bush areas.

aps-news conserving-native-plants gardening-with-native-plants
Fig 15 Mount Gibraltar in Autumn, image S Cains
Regenerating Mount Gibraltar, Southern HighlandsNovember 20, 2022, ,

Jane Lemann, a volunteer bush regenerator shared the journey of regeneration of Mount Gibraltar in the Wingecarribee area of the Southern Highlands. This is the story of 30 years of regeneration.

aps-news conserving-native-plants visiting-gardens-and-reserves
Styphelia triflora
Surprising Sydney Flora Tour – September 2022October 27, 2022, ,

Sydney has the distinction and the fortune of being a major metropolis which is virtually surrounded by major national parks which enable residents and visitors to enjoy the natural environment without long distances to travel. This is Part 1 of the tour story.

aps-news conserving-native-plants visiting-gardens-and-reserves
Australian flora conference chatrooms on YouTube
Australian flora conference chatrooms on YouTubeOctober 24, 2022, ,

At the recent Australian flora conference, we had a morning of chatrooms. Chat rooms are designed to give people a broad cross section of information and insights, in an informal and inclusive setting

aps-news conserving-native-plants gardening-with-native-plants
Syzygium luehmannii (H Miles)
Let’s show a bit of love for the lillipilliOctober 23, 2022,

The lillypilly is a familiar Australian plant we often grow in our gardens. It actually makes up the largest genus of trees in the world and has a history more interesting than we might imagine!

aps-news conserving-native-plants
Eremophila calorhabdos flowers (image credit: Ben Walcott)
Eremophila study group – the next 50 yearsOctober 22, 2022,

What you may not know is that Eremophila, which also called Emu Bush, Poverty Bush, Turkey Bush or Fuchsia Bush, is the 5th most diverse native genus with around 240 described species and many more sub-species and hybrids.
Eremophila are widely distributed in areas of Australia with less than 250mm rainfall.

aps-news conserving-native-plants
One of the rammed earth walls that form the six cold vaults.
Where they keep plants – the story of the new Herbarium at the Australian Botanic GardenOctober 22, 2022,

When Captain Cook sailed along the east coast of Australia in 1770 his merry band of collectors loaded the Endeavour with a very large plant collection. So, what happened to the 800 specimens that Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander collected? Over the past 250 years these specimens together with many others that the thousands of botanists collected have eventually ended up in large publicly funded herbariums.

aps-news conserving-native-plants
Native garden design: the Past INFORMS the Present and the Future
Native garden design: the Past INFORMS the Present and the FutureOctober 22, 2022

Australian native plants are known to have many values of advantage to humans.  I’ve delved through history to identify how native plants have been appreciated in the past, and if they may have informed the garden design of the present, and then ‘best guessed’ what might be expected of them in the future.       Come along it is an intriguing story . . . .

Planting for succession - Edith Faulks and Audrey Heather National Tree Planting day July 2017
Berry Public School Nursery – nurturing young mindsOctober 21, 2022

Berry Public School (BPS) has hosted volunteers at Plant Prop since 1990. The nursery was established by Dave Johnson, a retired primary school Principal, and Barry Virtue, then teaching at BPS.

Australian flora conference - presentations available on YouTube
Australian flora conference – presentations available on YouTubeOctober 17, 2022, , ,

In September 2022, APS NSW hosted the Australian flora conference for ANPSA, focused on the past, present and future of Australian plants. There were many outstanding speakers during the conference and a good number of these presentations were recorded and are  now available on our YouTube channel. 

aps-news conserving-native-plants gardening-with-native-plants using-native-plants
Inside the Kiama Pavilion
Australian flora conference – past present futureOctober 10, 2022,

Every two years The Australian Native Plants Society of Australia (ANSPA) holds a conference which is hosted by each state in turn. In 2019 it was held in Albany, Western Australia and approximately 330 delegates attended. It was the turn of APS NSW last year, but due to COVID-19 was postponed until September this year where it was held at the Kiama Pavilion on the beautiful NSW south coast attracting approximately 360 people from all parts of NSW, interstate and overseas.

aps-news conserving-native-plants
Happy 50th Anniversary to the Parramatta and Hills group
Happy 50th Anniversary to the Parramatta and Hills groupSeptember 28, 2022

The Society for Growing Australian Plants (SGAP) was established in Melbourne, Victoria in March 1957 and these founding people pledged to ‘promote the establishment and breeding of Australian native plants for garden, park and farm’. How times have changed that initial aim.  

Native bees and native flora go hand in hand..
Native bees and native flora go hand in hand..September 25, 2022, ,

While many of us realise conserving native plants helps conserve native fauna, the reverse is also true, particularly when it comes to native bees.

animals-habitats conserving-native-plants gardening-with-native-plants
Bush care, not for the faint hearted
Bush care, not for the faint heartedSeptember 25, 2022,

Diedree Noss gave a most informative and interesting talk on the group, Friends of the Colo (FOC) at the August meeting of the North Shore district group.

aps-news conserving-native-plants
Report on Pilliga and Warrumbungles pre-tour
Report on Pilliga and Warrumbungles pre-tourSeptember 24, 2022, ,

A report on the Conference pre-tour to Warrumbungles and Pilliga, full of flora sightings and images.

aps-news conserving-native-plants visiting-gardens-and-reserves
Dillwynia retorta (Eggs and Bacon) at Picnic Point, Georges River National Park
Pea flowers of the Georges River National ParkSeptember 24, 2022

Harbour Georges River Group member Karlo Taliana regularly walks around the Picnic Point area of Georges River National Park in southern Sydney which has great general flora diversity. Each year, our local pea flowers decorate the bush with a variety of colours while also providing a valuable food source for insects. 

Submission to Inland Rail Project - Narromine to Narrabri
Submission to Inland Rail Project – Narromine to NarrabriSeptember 24, 2022

Dan Clarke, on behalf of APS NSW recently submitted an objection to the proposed Inland Rail Project, which cuts through the Pilliga State Conservation Area and associated bushland areas. The project proposes removal of at least 1800 hectares – which is an area equivalent to 3 x 6 km of intact bushland.

ANPSA plant awards 2022
ANPSA plant awards 2022September 23, 2022

At the dinner on Tuesday September 14th, Margaret Matthews presented the Australian Plant Awards, to honour people who have made an outstanding contribution to the knowledge of Australian plants, whether members of the Society or not.

ANPSA Australian Flora Conference - Resources
ANPSA Australian Flora Conference – ResourcesSeptember 20, 2022

We had a wonderful range of speakers at our recent Australian flora conference, held in Kiama in September. Here are a range of resources and links to explore.

Banksia ‘Cherry Candles’ in my garden, planted 8 years ago, image Karlo Taliano
Glorious banksias, perfectly sized for your gardenSeptember 18, 2022

Love a beautiful banksia, but no room for the iconic Banksia integrifolia, or Coast Banksia, which can grow to 15 metres? Well, never fear. New cultivars of dwarf banksias…

Eucalyptus calophylla var. ficifolia, image Jeff Howes
Growing WA natives in coastal NSW – 8 tips for successAugust 26, 2022

A reader recently asked for advice on growing Western Australian eucalypts in Sydney. Jeff Howes put on his thinking cap and came up with the following eight tip

Hakea myrtoides (P Kennedy)
Study group updates May – July 2022August 23, 2022, ,

Summaries from study group newsletters including correas, ferns, hakea, eucalyptus, grevillea and wallum and coastal heathland May – July 2022.

aps-news gardening-with-native-plants newsletters-journals
Conservation of Australian Terrestrial Orchids
Conservation of Australian Terrestrial OrchidsAugust 21, 2022,

At the Sutherland district group meeting in July 2022, Richard Dimon presented an incredibly fascinating, as well as, very practical talk on conservation efforts and methodologies for conserving listed threatened Australian orchids.

aps-news conserving-native-plants
Illawarra Grevillea Park gets a new name
Illawarra Grevillea Park gets a new nameAugust 21, 2022,

On Friday 12 August, Sutherland committee member Ralph Cartwright representing APS NSW, along with around 50 invited guests, attended the official opening of the now re-named Grevillea Park at Bulli.

aps-news visiting-gardens-and-reserves
Creating a sustainable native garden
Creating a sustainable native gardenAugust 1, 2022,

Creating a sustainable native garden enhances the environment, reduces costs and waste and improves well being.

conserving-native-plants gardening-with-native-plants
Gardens of Stone (S Fredrickson)
Gardens of Stone management plan submissionsJuly 26, 2022,

Members of the Gardens of Stone Alliance which includes Wilderness Australia (formerly Colong Foundation for Wilderness), Blue Mountains Conservation Society and Lithgow Environment Group, have worked and lobbied for many years to have the Newnes Plateau Area protected as a SCA.

aps-news conserving-native-plants
How the use of our planet impacts our native trees
How the use of our planet impacts our native treesJuly 24, 2022,

With climate change, urban cooling is a growing need. Governments are spending more on tree planting in public places but need to consider what species will thrive as global temperatures rise and whether adequate water is available to sustain plantings, points often omitted at the planning stage.

aps-news conserving-native-plants
Plants can frame a view and draw the eye down a garden path
Looking from the inside – garden designJuly 22, 2022

I am fortunate to have a lot of large windows drawing my attention to what is going on outside, from the sky to the garden that surrounds the house

A selection of book examples, showing local area and species specific guides.
Identifying native plants – tips and resourcesJuly 22, 2022,

The following report is based on Rhonda’s talk to APS Sutherland Group in June 2022, and first appeared in the APS Sutherland Group July 2022 newsletter.

aps-news identifying-native-plants
Eucalyptus leucoxylon
Aberdeen garden packed with goodiesJuly 22, 2022

The Hunter Valley group visited the lovely garden of Margaret Mitchell in Aberdeen.

Pink Fingers, Caladenia (Petalochilus) carnea (Orchidaceae
Native plant distributionsJuly 7, 2022

APS members should know where native plants are! Tony Maxwell introduces a major project he is working on to assemble data on the occurrences of species from reputable and publicly available sources.

How do we balance the need for factories with the need to conserve our natural world? (H Miles)
Biodiversity loss – balancing land use and conservationJune 24, 2022,

Peter Geelan-Smith has given us summaries of recently published articles, highlighting recent research and thought on the topic: What is the right balance between land use and conservation, to stop biodiversity loss? 

animals-habitats conserving-native-plants
G thyrsoides in different forms
Grevilleas for pots and small gardens – talk by Peter OldeJune 20, 2022, , ,

On Sat 21st May, 2022 at the APS NSW quarterly gathering, Peter Olde gave a talk titled: Grevilleas for pots and small gardens. 

aps-news gardening-with-native-plants identifying-native-plants using-native-plants
Ooray, or Davidson Plums - packed with nutrition
Ooray, or Davidson Plums – packed with nutritionMay 29, 2022

An indigenous Australian fruit rich in Potassium, lutein, Vitamin C, E, folate, quercetin, zinc, magnesium, calcium, phenolics and antioxidants and anthocyanins (which are very strong antioxidants). These antioxidants improve collagen and have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the skin…

Cutting board on propagation box (J Douglas)
Get propagating! Tips and insights from Harbour Georges River membersMay 23, 2022,

During the Harbour Georges River March 2022 meeting, there was some discussion of mini greenhouses and other ways to look after cuttings and seedlings

aps-news gardening-with-native-plants
Genoplesium baueri, image Wendy Grimm
Conservation award to Wendy Grimm, North Shore GroupMay 22, 2022,

North Shore Group APS nominated Wendy Grimm for the APS NSW Conservation Award, which the AGM approved.

aps-news conserving-native-plants
John Aitken
Award of life membership to John AitkenMay 22, 2022

Sutherland Group is very pleased to nominate John Aitken for his outstanding service to Australian native plants in several areas.

Robert Failes
Dr Robert (Bob) Failes awarded Life membership of APS NSWMay 22, 2022

Dr Robert Failes has been a stalwart of the North Shore Group and a staunch supporter of their endeavours.

Terra Australis Garden (J Howes)
Book review and ANPSA Terra Australis garden updateMay 22, 2022

I was in Canberra in May this year and visited the Arboretum to check on the progress of the ANPSA Terra Australis Garden. It’s a great design and growing well. The depression or soak was designed to fill in heavy rain and I was delighted to see it full. 

Reminder of what the site looked like in 2020
Post fire regeneration in Morton National Park Spring 2021 – Part OneMay 22, 2022

The regeneration of the vegetation of Moreton National Park, following the Currawan mega blaze of January 2019, has followed the familiar course of ecological succession

Copper Beard, Calochilus campestris
Post fire regeneration in Morton National Park, Spring 2021 – Part TwoMay 21, 2022

Nissan This site near Sassafras is named after the Nissan sports car torched here. An extensive and impenetrable heathland previously covered the rock shelv…

Gossipium 'Flirtatous' (B Walcott)
Study Group Updates: Feb – May 2022May 20, 2022, ,

Study group updates from the following groups: Australian Plants for Containers, Ferns, Garden Design, Grevillea, Hakea, Isopogon and Petrophile and Wallum and Coastal Heathland.

gardening-with-native-plants identifying-native-plants using-native-plants
Central coast members preparing entries (K Street)
Royal Easter Show – showcasing Australian Native plant arrangementsMay 20, 2022,

At the 2022 Sydney Royal Easter Show, three of our district groups showcased a brilliant range of Australian Native Plant arrangements.

aps-news using-native-plants
The revegetated Cowel on Rob and Rosemary Webb's property ‘Clearview’, image Harry Loots
Preserving the land – Rob and Rosemary WebbMay 4, 2022

When Rob Webb spoke, it was obvious that he would never contemplate growing cotton. He wanted to preserve the land that his family had farmed for four generations since 1874. He did not wish to make the mistakes of the past.

Hazelnut farm, image Heather Miles
Innovative farmers – Jean and Basil Baldwin, Forest ReefsMay 4, 2022

Jean and Basil Baldwin have established a 500-tree hazelnut plantation that produces a good income when water is available. The plantation thrives on a rich basaltic soil and is irrigated with a plentiful supply of bore water.

Triple layer pasture, image Harry Loots
Innovative farming techniques – Bruce and Roz MaynardMay 4, 2022

Bruce Maynard’s ‘road to Damascus’ as a conservationist began when he was a young man. Bruce realised that farmers investing in fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides and irrigation while deep-ploughing their land to grow a high yielding crop was not sustainable.

Updated seed list from APS Vic
Updated seed list from APS VicApril 28, 2022

Dear members, As you may be aware, APS Vic has kindly offered that APS NSW members can have access to their seedbank.  If you wish to order, please list six species plus a list of six alternative

Menai Wildflower Group and Glossies in the Mist
Menai Wildflower Group and Glossies in the MistApril 22, 2022

Menai Wildflower Groups involvement with the Glossies in the Mist

Illawarra group update
Illawarra group updateApril 22, 2022

Great news! There has been plenty of interest from APS members in the Illawarra region to re-form an Illawarra district group. Currently the group is running as a sub-group of the Sutherland group, to enable them to get up and running quickly but the group may work towards running stand alone in the future. Michael Swire planned and ran an inaugural walk for the group.

Powerful owl chicks in tree hollow (Photo: Sandi Rigby)
Conserving our ‘woody elders’ – a talk by Dr Beth MottApril 19, 2022

On the 16th March 2022 Dr Beth Mott, Threatened Species Officer, NSW Department of Planning and Environment (Wollongong) gave a talk to Sutherland group. Beth presented us her research and passion for studying tree hollows and the fauna that use them.

Native plants for suburban gardens
Native plants for suburban gardensApril 16, 2022

I recently gave a talk to the Eastwood Garden Club on native plants for small or suburban gardens.

Bruce Maynard, image Jill McLelland
Farmers conserving native plantsApril 16, 2022

About 45 APS members joined this 4-day trip which included visiting 6 private properties around the Orange, Dubbo, and the Narromine area. A visit was also made to the Burrendong Botanic Garden and Arboretum

Under gum trees, image Heather Miles
Gardening tip: Planting under gum treesApril 16, 2022

To maximize your success establishing new plants to grow under gum trees, plant them as close to the trunk as possible. The reasons you do this are: there are very few tree feeder roots to rob your plant of nutrients and moisture.

Archirhodomyrtus beckleri flowers, image Jeff Howes
Gardening tip: Shady gardensApril 16, 2022

Using a variety of ‘semi’ rainforest plants as screen plants as they are hardy, have attractive colourful new leaves. Their flowers are also attractive as is their fruit. They can be pruned hard if needed.

APS South Australia Native plant sale - 9 April
APS South Australia Native plant sale – 9 AprilMarch 31, 2022

APS South Australia Autumn Plants Sale is going ahead with a reimagined format!

Great Southern Forest update
Great Southern Forest updateMarch 28, 2022

The Great Southern Forest proposal is a widely researched, solutions-based initiative for the carbon and biodiversity dense SE NSW native forests. It offers nature-based solutions to critical national and
global problems and with great benefit for climate stabilisation, environmental and economic success,…

Seeds, image Heather Miles
Seeds available from APS VicMarch 25, 2022

A reminder that APS Vic kindly offered us access to their seedbank. A very generous offer from our colleagues.

Development of sports fields at Westleigh Park
Development of sports fields at Westleigh ParkMarch 22, 2022

Here is a submission prepared by our North Shore Group on the development of the sports field at Westleigh Park. The site has high quality containing threatened communities (Sydney Turpentine Ironbark Forest and Duffys Forest) and rare plants (Melaleuca deanei, Tetratheca glandulosa, Epacris purpurascens and Darwinia biflora). There is also an area of critically endangered Bluegum High Forest (Dog Pound Creek) adjacent to the site. 

Eremophila calorhabdos flowers (image credit: Ben Walcott)
Study Group newsletter updates – Acacia, Eremophila, Garden design and Pea flowersMarch 21, 2022

Acacia Study Group Newsletter No. 151, January 2022, Eremophila Study Group Newsletter No. 133, December 2021, Garden Design Study Group Newsletter No. 118, February 2022, Australian Pea Flower Study Group Newsletter No. 3, December 2021

Chris Gambian
How can APS members be more effective in conservation efforts? A talk by Chris Gambian, CEO of the Nature Conservation Council of NSWMarch 14, 2022,

Conserving native plants has always been a core value of APS. In the recent APS NSW survey, members expressed that they want us to increase our focus on conservation. So on the 16th March 2022, at our quarterly APS NSW gathering, Chris Gambian was invited to come and talk to the group about how APS NSW can be more effective in conservation efforts. 

aps-news conserving-native-plants
APS members winning awards - Margaret Baker OAM
APS members winning awards – Margaret Baker OAMMarch 11, 2022

Blue Mountains APS member awarded OAM
“Oh my goodness, what have they done now?“ was Margaret Baker’s reaction when she opened the email bearing the very surprising message that she had received a 2022 OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia)

Professor M Leishman
What plant, where? A talk by Professor Michelle LeishmanMarch 11, 2022,

At the Parramatta and Hills February meeting, the speaker was Prof. Michelle Leishman from the School of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University.

conserving-native-plants gardening-with-native-plants
Dividing Pterostylis, an easy native orchid to grow
Dividing Pterostylis, an easy native orchid to growFebruary 25, 2022

The easiest terrestrial orchids to grow and propagate are those in the genus Pterostylis. These orchids produce abundant underground tubers (white and about the size of a pea) and after a couple of years in a pot they need division…

Proteaceae working bee
Grants for native plants projectsFebruary 23, 2022

Do you have a project that will benefit native plants? APS NSW has a fund and may be willing to contribute to your project.
The project has to meet the society’s aims – namely, assist in growing, propagating, conserving or promoting native plants.

Brachychiton bidwillii, image Heather Miles
District Group highlights – 2021 part 2February 23, 2022

Here are the highlights from APS NSW district groups from their activities in 2021. Last month, highlights from other groups were shared.

Conserving native plants - have your say
Conserving native plants – have your sayFebruary 18, 2022

In developing our 5 year strategy, many people expressed an interest in increasing our focus on conservation. Conserving native plants has always been a core objectives of APS NSW.

Hugh Stacy and Graham Walters, image from Daily Telegraph
Remembering Graham and Margaret WaltersJanuary 27, 2022

We are very sorry to report the deaths of long-term APS members Graham and Margaret Walters, long term and passionate members of APS NSW

Kyrill Taylor, Life member, at Sylvan Grove Native Garden, image Jan Douglas
Remembering Kyrill TaylorJanuary 27, 2022

Kyrill Taylor was a valued member of East Hills Group (now Harbour Georges River) for thirty years.

Australian Flora Foundation newsletter January 2022
Australian Flora Foundation newsletter January 2022January 26, 2022

The latest newsletter on funding for research on Australian flora

Brachychiton bidwillii, image Heather Miles
District Group highlights – 2021January 26, 2022

Here are the highlights from APS NSW district groups from their activities in 2021

pink flowers
Garden advice – mistletoe, grevillea allergies, hedges and daisy seedsJanuary 24, 2022

Garden advice from our experts on mistletoe, grevillea allergies, hedges and daisy seeds.

Plant fossils from McGraths Flat. (McCurry et al., Sci. Adv., 2022)
Australian plants from the Eocene era of the MioceneJanuary 22, 2022

It is a rare event when a whole suite of ancient Australian plants is discovered in one place. This recently occurred in ironstone slabs left lying in a field after agriculture at McGraths Flat in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales

Steps allow easy access from one level to the next
Growing native ferns in a shaded gardenJanuary 22, 2022

Our garden is located on the south side of a steep hill overlooking the Woronora River at Bonnet Bay, just south of Sydney. When we bought the land, it was a beautiful, relatively undisturbed bush block, with wonderful stands of macrozamia cycads and gum trees.

How to log in to the APS NSW website, as a member
How to log in to the APS NSW website, as a memberJanuary 17, 2022

The APS NSW website has sections that are open to the public as well as areas that are members only. Here are instructions to login…

Dot Gallagher
Vale Dot GallagherJanuary 16, 2022

Nowra Group are saddened that Dot Gallagher passed away on 22nd December 2021 but glad that this feisty woman only had about two months of lost independence.

Gordon Brooks
Remembering Gordon BrooksJanuary 14, 2022

Gordon became an expert propagator and grower of native plants. He didn’t waste much time either in becoming involved in the Parramatta and Hills Group’s activities.

Australian Plants, Spring 2021 issue
Australian Plants, Spring 2021 issueDecember 7, 2021

The Spring 2021 issue of Australian Plants is an un-themed issue with an eclectic range of topics.

Fighting Plagues and Predators report
Fighting Plagues and Predators reportNovember 25, 2021

The Fighting Plagues and Predators report was developed by CSIRO and the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions. It provides a consolidated look at the state of Australia’s invasive species problem and a path towards a pest and weed-free future.

Callistemon rugulosus
Keeping up with plant name changesNovember 25, 2021

Understanding the constant state of change in plant names – it does make sense

Sarcochilus falcatus by Cynthia Rouse
Native orchid Q&As – name changes and moreNovember 25, 2021,

Q&As on native orchids – propagating, buying and understanding name changes.

buying-seeds-and-plants conserving-native-plants
Shows seedpods
Garden advice Q&As – more from our expertsOctober 30, 2021

Our group of experts responds to recent queries about gardening with natives.

Remembering life member Pat Pike
Remembering life member Pat PikeOctober 29, 2021

APS NSW Life member Pat Pike was a passionate educator and conservationist.

Waratah Mills site Dulwich Hill ca. 2014 (photo: Chris King)
My Bushcare experience – Chris KingOctober 29, 2021

Convenor of the Inner West Environment Group and East Hills Group member Chris King shares her Bushcare experience.

Let’s boost our confidence with Zoom!
Let’s boost our confidence with Zoom!October 26, 2021

Here are some simple instructions on how to set up and manage a Zoom meeting.  Tips for Zoom

Poulton Park bushland by Graham Fry
My bush regeneration experience-Graham FryOctober 25, 2021

Graham Fry from East Hills Group shares his Bushcare experience at Poulton Park, Hurstville.

Propagation igloo
Harvest Seeds and Native Plants – 10% discount to membersOctober 23, 2021

Harvest Seeds and Native Plants at Terrey Hills is a native plant nursery serving the northern areas of Sydney and beyond.

A new native nursery in Ingleside – Cicada Glen Native Nursery
A new native nursery in Ingleside – Cicada Glen Native NurseryOctober 20, 2021

Those members mourning the loss of Wirreanda Nursery can take heart, as a new native nursery is opening in Ingleside. The nursery is offering a 10% discount to APS members.

Is this where we are headed?
Is this where we are headed?October 5, 2021

The Joseph Banks Society in the UK is a small, volunteer-led charity which publishes an occasional newsletter.

Lomandra multiflora flowers - Georges River NP, image Karlo Taliano
Can you identify this?October 1, 2021

Can you recognise this local native plant ? This is a stunning picture from Karlo Taliana of East Hills Group and features in our latest plant ID video on our YouTube channel. Go check it out.

Spring garden at Westleigh
Spring garden at WestleighSeptember 30, 2021

Enjoy photos from Brian Roach’s garden at Westleigh

Australian Flora Foundation 1981–2021: 40 years of funding research
Australian Flora Foundation 1981–2021: 40 years of funding researchSeptember 21, 2021

Since 1981, the Australian Flora Foundation has funded almost $1 million in scientific research into Australian native flora.

Acacia longifolia ssp sophorae, image Alan Fairley
Garden advice Q&As – answers from our expertsSeptember 21, 2021

Our group of experts responds to recent queries about gardening with natives.

Australian Plants, Winter 2021 – Isopogons and petrophiles
Australian Plants, Winter 2021 – Isopogons and petrophilesSeptember 21, 2021

The Winter 2021 issue of Australian Plants features isopogons and petrophiles, with all the latest information.

Australian Flora Foundation newsletter July 2021
Australian Flora Foundation newsletter July 2021August 29, 2021

The Australian Flora Foundation newsletter Research Matters, No. 34, July 2021 is now available. In 2021, the foundation celebrates its 40th year of operations since 1981, funding scientific research into the biology and cultivation of the Australian flora.

Member benefit - discounted Neutrog products, Bush Tucker
Member benefit – discounted Neutrog products, Bush TuckerAugust 26, 2021

APS NSW is pleased to announce a new member benefit. We have entered into an arrangement with Neutrog, producers of Bush Tucker, for members to buy Neutrog products at a discounted price online. 

Boronia ledifolia, one of Jan's favourite plants, image Heather Miles
Thanks to Jan Williamson, assisting with board minutesAugust 24, 2021

Jan joined APS when she was keen to develop a native garden to encourage native animals and birds to their home.

Senna artemisoides, Silver cassia, image Heather Miles
Thank you Jeff Howes, contributing to plant profilesAugust 24, 2021

Over the years, Jeff Howes has contributed hundreds of stories and plant profiles to our website for members and visitors to learn more about native plants. 

Meet Dan Clarke - Conservation Officer, Botanist and Plant Enthusiast
Meet Dan Clarke – Conservation Officer, Botanist and Plant EnthusiastAugust 24, 2021

Dan is a fully qualified botanist who works as a botanical consultant. Dan undertakes flora surveys, providing information for vegetation mapping and type-determinations…

Welcome to the APS Board - Dorothy Luther
Welcome to the APS Board – Dorothy LutherAugust 21, 2021

Dorothy Luther from East Hills Group has joined the APS NSW Board. Dorothy was born on a farm near Oberon so grew up in The Bush.

Casuarina, image Heather Miles
Lloyd Hedges thanked by NSW govtAugust 17, 2021

Congratulations to Lloyd Hedges and Menai Group for their wonderful contribution to the Feed the Birds and Glossies in the Mist Project.

Photo by Jane Pye
Queries about trees – answers from expertsJuly 30, 2021

Glenda Browne summarises recent queries about trees: natural or human modified shapes, trees in trees and the long stem planting method for natives.

Rainforest recovery in northern NSW
Rainforest recovery in northern NSWJuly 29, 2021

In June APS Far North Coast met up with the Goonellabah Tucki Landcare Group who showed them the extensive work they have undertaken…

APS NSW direction for the next five years
APS NSW direction for the next five yearsJuly 26, 2021

Over the last 6 months, the board with district groups and members have been developing our direction for the coming 5 years. Here is a summary of where we are headed.

Top down from Turner Lookout, Image Heather Miles
Hidden gem of Ku-ring-gai: Seven Little Australians ParkJuly 19, 2021

“Before you fairly start this story, I should like to give you just a word of warning. If you imagine you are going to read of model children…you had better lay down the book immediately…

Ceratopetalum Johannas Christmas
Australian native plants for pots, courtyards and small gardensJuly 19, 2021

Over the past 20 years, I’ve been richly rewarded speaking with over 100 gardening groups and clubs about our wonderful and unique Australian flora.

Large pond, Walcott garden, Canberra, photo Ros and Ben Walcott
Water in the gardenJuly 19, 2021

Water in the garden has a long history, as long as gardens themselves. Any history of gardens and gardening will show that the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Chinese…

Actinotus helianthi
Central Coast District Online Plant Sale – safe and successfulJuly 14, 2021

In 2020, when contact was restricted due to Covid, a small working party of Central Coast got together and planned how to do our plant sale online instead…

Donations of pink flannel flowers, by Menai's Lloyd Hedges
Donations of pink flannel flowers, by Menai’s Lloyd HedgesJuly 12, 2021

Over the last few years, Lloyd Hedges with Menai Group has donated large numbers of pink flannel flowers, Actinotus forsythii, to our botanic gardens. These are tricky plants to propagate and keep alive and Menai seems to have nailed it!

Planting underway and remnant paddock tree
Planting trees for regenerative farmingJuly 12, 2021

NSW is 80% agricultural land and so understanding how that land is being managed for health and supporting regenerative farming are important. A few members, including Graham Fry, East Hills and member of Oatley Flora and Fauna (OFF) and Ralph Cartwright, Sutherland, contributed their weekend to plant trees for regenerative farmer, Vince Hefferman

Expanses of the weed, Serrated Tussock, image Ash Mahoney
Caring for her local reserveJuly 12, 2021

Besides being an active member with APS Southern Tablelands group, Ash is also a Crown Land Manager of Alison Hone Reserve along with four other APS members. We are also members of Goulburn Field Naturalists Society and when this group was approached to take over, we agreed rather than let the area fall into disrepair.

Complex mosaic of multi-level ground cover, shrub and canopy as would have been seen 200 years ago, image Andrew Knop
Revegetation of degraded properties out westJuly 12, 2021

Andrew Knop and his wife Jennifer have regenerated their two properties at Dubbo and Narromine. When purchased, their properties were degraded due to livestock grazing and feral animals

Leucochrysum albicans ssp tricolor, Image Tim Hayes
Growing endemic plants for Goulburn WetlandsJuly 12, 2021

For many years, Jen Ashwell and Tim Hayes have supported the planting of endemic species in the Goulburn area. Over the last 10 years, Jen has been growing endemic plants for the Goulburn Wetlands.

Genoplesium baueri, image Wendy Grimm
Spotlight on tiny, endangered, rarely seen orchid, thanks to Wendy GrimmJuly 12, 2021

Genoplesium baueri R.Br., an endangered terrestrial orchid species endemic to the Sydney Basin …Each summer from late December to May-June, Wendy Grimm, a member of the North Shore group…

<Acacia parramattensis>, one of the principal shrubs in the Endangered Cumberland Plains Woodlands, image Warren Sheather
Nature Conservation Council (NCC) – Margery Street, representativeJuly 11, 2021

APS NSW is a member of the Nature Conservation Council and Margery is our representative. Here is her update from the 2020 Annual Conference.

Before and 12 months after bushfire at Kurri Kurri, Hunter Valley, image H Miles
Conservation Officer’s report – Dan ClarkeJuly 11, 2021,

I volunteered to be the primary editor to expand the plant profile database on the APS NSW website. These profiles are the most visited pages on our website! This year, various authors, primarily Jeff Howes, Heather Miles and Rhonda Daniels drafted approximately 200 native plant profiles, with a focus on how to grow the plants in the garden…

aps-news conserving-native-plants
House and lagoon at Pacific Palms, April 2014
Gordon Rowland – promoter of native plants in garden designJune 30, 2021

Gordon Rowland was a very active advocate for Australian plants in garden design for many years, writing numerous articles and giving many talks promoting indigenous plants.

Epacris pulchella-Mark Abell
A wander through my local Newcastle bushlandJune 28, 2021

Mark Abell has enjoyed lunchtime walks in the patch of bushland near his Newcastle home. With weekly walks through the area he has observed changes to the plants through the year and has found many gems tucked away.

Callistemon 'Hannah Ray'
Community contacts – answers from our experts groupJune 28, 2021

Members of the community contact the APS NSW office email with a wide variety of questions. Glenda Browne summarises recent queries.

Eucalyptus haemastoma Scribbly Gum
APS NSW Quarterly at KurnellJune 11, 2021

Anne from Northern Beaches Group reports on the APS NSW Quarterly Gathering at Kurnell in May including the Banks/Solander walk in Kamay Botany Bay National Park.

A community botanic gardens at Shoalhaven Heads
A community botanic gardens at Shoalhaven HeadsMay 30, 2021

What better way to celebrate Botanic Gardens Day on 30 May than a visit to Shoalhaven Heads Native Botanic Garden which is a community project on one hectare.

Autumn 2021 issue of Australian Plants – Essays from WA
Autumn 2021 issue of Australian Plants – Essays from WAMay 27, 2021

The Autumn 2021 issue of Australian Plants features essays on WA plants by Jim Barrow, with Eucalyptus macrocarpa on the cover.

APS NSW strategy draft
APS NSW strategy draftMay 24, 2021

Over the last 6 months, the board has been developing a new five year strategy for APS NSW. Our last strategy went from 2017 – 2020, so it is timely to rethink where we are headed, as the world keeps changing!

Leonie Hogue with President John Aitken, May 2021
Congratulations to life member Leonie HogueMay 18, 2021

Congratulations to life member Leonie Hogue from Sutherland Group.

Kris Gow with President John Aitken, May 2021
Congratulations to life member Kris GowMay 18, 2021

Congratulations to new life member Kris Gow from Southern Highlands Group.

Congratulations to John Arney for APS Conservation Award
Congratulations to John Arney for APS Conservation AwardMay 18, 2021

Congratulations to John Arney from Sutherland Group, who received the APS NSW Conservation Award at our AGM in May 2021.

A walk around Corymbia
A walk around CorymbiaMay 17, 2021

John Elton shares some of the plants flowering in his garden in autumn. I always think that autumn is the best time in the garden. One of the great things about having a native garden is that we have colour 12 months of the year.

A walk at Narrow Neck, Blue Mountains
A walk at Narrow Neck, Blue MountainsApril 29, 2021

Enjoy photos from a walk at Narrow Neck, just south-west of Katoomba, with pink flannel flowers, ferns, moss, lichen, bark and more.

Display at Easter Show 2021 (photo: Leonie Hogue)
Spectacular flowers at the Easter Show 2021April 28, 2021,

Enjoy another spectacular display by APS groups in the Australian plants competition at the Royal Easter Show 2021.

gardening-with-native-plants using-native-plants
Workshop at 5 Senses Garden, with Jennifer Farrer
Sharing native plant knowledge in the inner westApril 28, 2021

Thanks to Jennifer Farrer, of Parramatta and Hills group, who gave up her morning to host a walk around the 5 Senses Garden in Concord.

Propagation of native plants
Propagation of native plantsApril 27, 2021

There are a range of different ways to propagate native plants. Here’s a run down on each system.

Banksia 'Giant Candles', image Heather Miles
Plants for clay soils or clay loamsApril 27, 2021

The following plants generally tolerate (or in some cases prefer) clay soils that are poorly drained but not boggy in winter, and that tend to dry out in summer. Of course, other factors can play a part in a plant’s success, so this list is a guideline only.

Soil enriched with worms, image Heather Miels
Growing plants in clay soilsApril 27, 2021

Much of western and north western Sydney is based on clay soils. Quite often these soils are wet in winter and much dryer in summer. While clay has the advantages of holding water well especially at deeper levels and can be rich in nutrients, there are some problems

Grevillea 'Zig Zag', image Heather Miles
How to grow Acacia (wattles) and other native plants which require treatment of the seed before sowingApril 27, 2021

Seed of acacias which occurs in pods, has a tough outer shell that does not allow water to enter the seed easily. Other plants with a similar type of seed include the many pea flowers such as Chorizema, Clianthus, Daviesia, Hardenbergia, Hovea, Indigofera, Kennedia, Oxylobium, Pultenaea and Sphaerolobium to name just some of them

Copious flowering of Callistemon and Leptospermum, image Fiona Johnson
Creating a cottage garden style with Australian native plantsApril 27, 2021

The idea of a cosy cottage garden, with herbaceous borders of annuals and perennials against a backdrop of shrubs and (maybe) a small tree or two, is becoming popular again. This is especially so with the reduction in size of modern gardens.

Hakea bakeriana, image Alan Fairley
Flowering and plant selection: answers from our experts groupApril 25, 2021

APS NSW receives many email inquiries about native plants. Glenda Browne summarises recent questions and answers on flowering and plant selection from our experts group.

Rhodanthe manglesii, image Jim Barrow
Reliable native daisies for the Sydney regionApril 25, 2021

Some people think that native plants are straggly and boring. You only need to look at the beautiful variety of Australia daisies to see that this is just not so . They grow quickly and flower over a long period of time and there is a place for them in every garden.

Remembering life member Betty Rymer
Remembering life member Betty RymerApril 23, 2021

One of Betty’s garden design messages was – don’t interfere with nature. Betty will be remembered as a passionate scientist, researcher, gardener, teacher, writer, and supporter of native plants. She was ever so wise, ever so polite. She was an inspiration, and will be fondly remembered and greatly missed!

Planting underway and remnant paddock tree
ANPSA Conservation report, April 2021, Dr Eddy WajonApril 22, 2021

The ANPSA national Conservation Officer, Dr Eddy Wajon, reports on myrtle rust, bushfires and other conservation matters at April 2021.

A mass attraction - Actinotus forsythii (pink flannel flower)
A mass attraction – Actinotus forsythii (pink flannel flower)March 29, 2021

A year after devastating fires that razed the bush, Pink flannel flowers, Actinotus forsythii, have been found growing en masse, in a flora bonanza attracting much interest. They are not rare, but the mass flowering is triggered by a smoke-derived chemical.

Actinotus forsythii, image Lisa Gooden
Actinotus forsythii – up close with the pink flannel flowerMarch 29, 2021

Lisa captured these upclose images of the pink flannel flowers in the Blue Mountains in January 2021.

Source: Chris Charles via Unsplash
Citizen science for rainbow lorikeets in northern NSWMarch 29, 2021

A citizen science project to identify the cause of Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome in southern Queensland and northern NSW is seeking members to identify plant species the birds feed on.

Friends of Grasslands 2021 Grassy Ecosystem Grants
Friends of Grasslands 2021 Grassy Ecosystem GrantsMarch 29, 2021

Friends of Grasslands (FoG) is offering a small number of grants of up to $1500 each in 2021 to support projects that promote understanding, conservation and management of native grassy ecosystems. Any individual or organisation can apply by 30 April 2021.

Show and tell with Phil Trickett
APS NSW Strategy updateMarch 28, 2021

Here is an update on the opportunities and challenges ahead for us, as a society, and what our next three-year strategy needs to deliver for us. Your feedback as always is very welcome. 

Veleia lyrata
In flower in February at Manly DamMarch 9, 2021

Who would have thought that so many of our wonderful native plants would be flowering in February at Manly Dam? What a little bit of rain can do!

Jennifer's native garden
Meet a member – Jennifer McLean, Northern BeachesMarch 9, 2021

Northern Beaches member Jennifer McLean shares how she became interested in Australian native plants, her life on a bush block and volunteering at Stony Range Botanic Garden.

Baeckea imbricata propagated at Sutherland Council Nursery
Propagation: answers from our experts groupFebruary 28, 2021

We regularly receive emails with queries about Australian native plants. Glenda Browne summarises recent responses on propagation from our experts group.

Poster for 1986 at Castle Hill
Event posters from the 1980sFebruary 28, 2021

Enjoy several posters promoting our large public events in the late 1980s. The spectacular flower displays attracted much public interest.

Age old landscape, image H Miles
Time, time, timeFebruary 10, 2021

Time is an interesting concept and is all relative to one’s perspective. If you are one of the average Australian that change houses every 5 years then your perspective of creating a garden with that time frame will be very different to an old bloke like me that has been gardening on the same 800sq m block for 40 plus years.

Australian Flora Foundation newsletter January 2021
Australian Flora Foundation newsletter January 2021January 30, 2021

The Australian Flora Foundation newsletter Research Matters, No. 33, January 2021 is now available. In 2021, the foundation celebrates its 40th year of operations since 1981, funding scientific research into the biology and cultivation of the Australian flora.

Summer 2020/21 issue of Australian Plants
Summer 2020/21 issue of Australian PlantsJanuary 30, 2021

The Summer 2020/21 issue of Australian Plants is the second issue commemorating the 250th anniversary of the Endeavour voyage: 1770–2020. Titled ‘Along the east coast of Australia’, it was produced by Lawrie Smith AM of Native Plants Queensland.

Have your say - APS direction for the next 3 years
Have your say – APS direction for the next 3 yearsJanuary 28, 2021

There’s an old saying that if you don’t know where you’re going, you won’t know when you get there! And so it goes with setting a strategy for APS NSW.

Image 2: Corollas on the Curlewis graft-chimera
Graft-chimeras on eremophilasJanuary 19, 2021

Grafting is often the only option to grow plants in soils and climates outside the normal habit, including for eremophilas. Russell Wait reports on graft-chimeras, which can arise in grafted plants. A growth, known as ‘graft-chimera’, can form within callus tissue at the graft union.

Sourcing plants and seed: answers from our experts group
Sourcing plants and seed: answers from our experts groupDecember 20, 2020

We get a lot of emails about sourcing plants and seeds. Our first advice is to look at the list of plant and seed suppliers on our website. Glenda Browne then shares the message with our experts group in case they have special knowledge (which they usually do). Here are some of the questions and responses in 2020.

River-flat eucalypt forest on coastal floodplains - threatened ecological community
River-flat eucalypt forest on coastal floodplains – threatened ecological communityDecember 20, 2020

‘River-flat eucalypt forest on coastal floodplains of southern New South Wales and eastern Victoria’ has been listed as a threatened ecological communities under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. This forest is habitat for many threatened and fire-affected species, including Platypus, Swift Parrot, Greater Glider, Koala and the Camden White Gum.

A mass display of kangaroo paws at the entry, November 2020 (R. Daniels)
Celebrating 50 years of Joseph Banks Native Plants ReserveNovember 29, 2020

In 2020, Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve at Kareela in southern Sydney is celebrating 50 years. It was established as a bicentenary project to commemorate Cook’s landing at Kurnell in 1770 and Joseph Banks’ botanical legacy. Members of the Australian Plants Society have been involved for over 50 years.

Eucalyptus grandis (Flooded Gum)
Trees of Cumberland State ForestNovember 17, 2020

Harry Loots from APS Northern Beaches reports on his first visit to Sydney’s Cumberland State Forest. Hidden off Castle Hill Road, it is Australia’s only metropolitan State Forest. It has Sydney Basin species, and the Forestry Commission experimented with many northern NSW and south east Queensland rainforest species to see how well they would grow.

ANPSA reports from Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, November 2020
ANPSA reports from Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, November 2020November 11, 2020

Recently, ANPSA held its annual meeting, at which the different state bodies reported. Some provided written reports on activities during the year – Queensland, Victoria and SA. These reports are included here.

Group planting, photo from http://www.oatleyflorafauna.org.au/index.php/2020/09/30/off-re-greening-goes-bush/
City and country planting trees togetherNovember 10, 2020

Graham Fry, the President of East Hills Group is also a member of the Oatley Flora and Fauna (OFF) group. At their February 2020 monthly meeting the guest speaker was Vince Hefferman. Vince owns a sheep property in the Gunning area in the southern tablelands. Some years ago he realised that the way the property was managed was not sustainable and that there had to be a better way.

The roof top garden in full bloom, image Heather Miles
Magic on the roofNovember 6, 2020

Imagine a roof top covered with stunning native plants from around Australia, blowing in the breeze! A few of us visited the first indigenous rooftop farm and other cultural gardens at the newly developed South Eveleigh precinct. (https://southeveleigh.mirvac.com/)

Banksia book
Banksia book now available from APS NSWOctober 28, 2020

Banksias are Australia’s most iconic plants after the Eucalypts, known for thousands of years to indigenous Australians and, through writing and art, to many more who have never visited this land.

Andrew Knop
Using Early Explorers and Landscape Descriptions to Guide Restoration GoalsOctober 28, 2020

Andrew and his wife Jennifer have regenerated their two properties at Dubbo and Narromine. When Andrew and Jennifer purchased their properties, they were degraded due to livestock grazing and feral animals.

Bunches of Christmas bush
Become a native flower grower – opportunity near KempseyOctober 25, 2020

An established wildflower farm on the mid north coast of NSW producing cut flowers for the domestic and Japanese markets is seeking an enthusiastic, native flower fanatic to take over the farm.

New growth of Davidson’s Plum (Davidsonia pruriens), image Heather Miles
Growing indigenous plants: answers from our experts groupOctober 25, 2020

Many people who grow Australian plants also want to select those that are indigenous – that is, those that naturally grow in their local area. Here are answers to two recent questions on indigenous plants.

Cover of Australian Plants 2020
Spring 2020 issue of Australian Plants on EremophilasOctober 25, 2020

The Spring 2020 issue of Australian Plants on eremophilas is now available.

Acacia pubescens in flower in August
A walk in Wategora Reserve at South Granville with Acacia pubescens and moreOctober 8, 2020

In August 2020, APS Parra Hills members and visitors walked the Duck River track through Wategora Reserve at South Granville. There were several stands of very healthy plants of Acacia pubescens (Downy Wattle), a plant which is listed as vulnerable but which flourishes in the reserve, all flowering beautifully.

Planting underway and remnant paddock tree
A weekend of tree planting for regenerative farmingSeptember 29, 2020

Ralph Cartwright reports on a weekend of 30 volunteers planting 1,800 native trees and shrubs to support regenerative farming on a sheep property north of Canberra.

Heliozelidae moths on Boronia serrulata by Wendy Grimm
Photograph moths on Rutaceae for citizen scienceSeptember 28, 2020

Join a citizen science project where photographers can use their skills to help record and identify Sun-loving Moths and their association with Australian plants in the Rutaceae family.

Sylvan Grove entry in the street called Sylvan Grove
Spring at Sylvan Grove, Picnic PointSeptember 28, 2020

Enjoy spring at Sylvan Grove Native Garden at Picnic Point. It is maintained by Canterbury–Bankstown Council to showcase Australian native plants to the community. It is open Monday to Friday all year, but in spring is also open on the weekends. Free.

Acacia cultriformis by Rhonda Danieks
Acacias at Joseph Banks Reserve, KareelaAugust 30, 2020

Spring is a great time to see acacias in flower at Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve at Kareela. With over 1,000 species of Acacia, there is great diversity. Here are some in flower in August grouped by size into groundcovers, low shrubs, shrubs and trees.

Australian Plants: Autumn 2020 and Winter 2020 issues
Australian Plants: Autumn 2020 and Winter 2020 issuesAugust 28, 2020

Two issues of the Australian Plants journal were posted to members in August. The Autumn 2020 issue is on bushfires and the Winter 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the Endeavour voyage and the botanical legacy of the visit to Botany Bay.

Central Coast Group volunteer Steph with plants for sale
Online plant sales – a COVID response by Central Coast GroupAugust 28, 2020

Central Coast Group has launched an online shop on the APS NSW website offering 26 species in large forestry tubes. Pick up is from Kariong on 4 and 18 October. This pilot project is time-limited, ending on 16 October 2020.

Brachychiton bidwillii, image Heather Miles
Propagating kurrajong trees – answers from our experts groupAugust 28, 2020

We received a request for detailed instructions on propagating kurrajong trees from someone who had just harvested almost 50,000 seeds. Glenda Browne summarises responses from our experts group.

Plants inside Caley's Pavilion by Jan Williamson
A successful COVID-safe plant sale by North Shore GroupAugust 28, 2020

North Shore Group reports on their COVID-safe plant sale at Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden on 22–23 August, with prebookings for 15 minute-slots, a marshall, entry desk and contactless payment. Edible plants were popular.

Acacia gordonii detail
In search of Acacia gordoniiAugust 17, 2020

Our walk was to inspect the endangered species, Acacia gordonii. This little acacia, usually about 1 metre high, has single, very bright gold flower heads on long stalks. We were hoping that other species would be starting to flower this early in native plant spring. We were certainly not disappointed.

Image Michael Batley
A tale of two sitesAugust 10, 2020

A lightning strike on 26 October 2019 ignited a large fire at Gospers Mountain in the Wollemi National Park northwest of Sydney. As of 27 December 2019, it had burnt over 500,000 hectares making it the biggest forest fire in Australian history.

Many daisy species growing together, taken near Merredin, WA
Daisy, daisy: how to grow native daisies for maximum impact – Story #3July 31, 2020

In our first two articles, we shared with you the different kinds of daisies in Western Australia. Now we explore how to get maximum impact in your garden using stunning WA daisies!

Rhodanthe chlorcephala subsp. rosea
Daisy, daisy: growing everlasting daisies and a ray floret daisy – Story #2July 31, 2020

Daisies provide a delicate, multi-coloured and spectacular impression on the seemingly harsh and dry looking bush areas of Western Australia (WA). Growing everlastings and other colourful daisies for your own spring show is guaranteed to bring great pleasure and satisfaction.

Rhodanthe manglesii showing disc florets
Daisy, daisy – growing colourful WA flowers – – Story #1July 31, 2020

Daisies provide a delicate, multi-coloured and spectacular impression on the seemingly harsh and dry looking bush areas of Western Australia (WA). Growing everlastings and other colourful daisies for your own spring show is guaranteed to bring great pleasure and satisfaction.

YouTube - Plant table, Sutherland July and August 2020
YouTube – Plant table, Sutherland July and August 2020July 31, 2020

A great way to learn about plants in the garden

YouTube - Dieter Hocchuli - Insects in urban bushland
YouTube – Dieter Hocchuli – Insects in urban bushlandJuly 31, 2020

Dieter Hocchuli speaks about insects in urban bushland

YouTube - Judy Harrington on Glossy Black Cockatoos
YouTube – Judy Harrington on Glossy Black CockatoosJuly 31, 2020

Overview of cockatoos and Australian parrots with a focus on the glossy blacks and the impact on this iconic and vulnerable species from the devastating 2019/2020 fire season on the island.

YouTube - Brian Roach 'Pick of the crop'
YouTube – Brian Roach ‘Pick of the crop’July 31, 2020

Brian shares the best plants to grow in your garden. 

YouTube: Dr Peter Weston on the origins and evolution of Gondwanan flora
YouTube: Dr Peter Weston on the origins and evolution of Gondwanan floraJuly 31, 2020

Dr Weston has done a lot of research on the origins and evolution of Gondwanan flora. The term Gondwanaland refers to the larger supercontinent which includes Antarctica, Australia, Africa, Arabia, South America, NZ and the Indian sub-continent.

Xylocopa aeratus (provided by Michael Batley)
Bees and fire: a tale of two sitesJuly 30, 2020

Michael Batley from the Australian Museum shares a tale of two important sites for bees which were affected by the Gospers Mountain fires. Reproduced from the Australian Native Bee Association’s The Cross-Pollinator newsletter, July 2020.

Pink Fingers, Caladenia (Petalochilus) carnea (Orchidaceae
Understanding native plant distributions – a major data projectJuly 30, 2020

APS members should know where native plants are! Tony Maxwell introduces a major project he is working on to assemble data on the occurrences of species from reputable and publicly available sources.

How to see the enewsletter images in your emails
How to see the enewsletter images in your emailsJuly 29, 2020

Want to see all the wonderful pictures of gardens and flowers when you open emails like the APS NSW monthly enewsletter? Follow these simple steps to make sure your email system knows to Load remote content or Display external images.

Australian Flora Foundation newsletter July 2020
Australian Flora Foundation newsletter July 2020July 29, 2020,

The Australian Flora Foundation newsletter Research Matters, No. 32, July 2020 is now available.

conserving-native-plants newsletters-journals
Upside down beetle and Thysanotus by Ralph Cartwright
Insects in JulyJuly 28, 2020

Ralph Cartwright from Sutherland Group is a keen photographer and close observer of plants in his garden at Engadine. He shares some insects seen in July.

Ferns galore by Lesley Waite
Ferns galore by Lesley WaiteJuly 18, 2020

These photos were taken by Lesley on a recent Fern Study Group walk from Evans Lookout to Neate’s Glen via the Grand Canyon (Grose Valley).

Planting in China, image Glenda Browne
Who am I?July 12, 2020

• Enjoys holidays on sleeper trains
• Volunteers with the Pyjama Foundation, where she reads and plays with children in foster care
• Born in South Africa
• Trained as a librarian
• Gets paid to read books
• Won a prize for determining how to alphabetise index entries starting with the word ‘The’

Floydia praealta
Helping members and the public with their queries – the Experts GroupJuly 8, 2020

Australian Plant Society members and non-members from around Australia come to APS NSW as a source of expert knowledge about Australian plants. Questions arrive mainly via email, and occasionally through our Facebook and Instagram pages. I receive the questions and redirect them to our Experts Group. The group has eleven members who were recommended to me as being knowledgeable about Australian plants, and happy to share their knowledge.

Demystifying plant names
Demystifying Plant Names with Dr Rhonda Daniels May 2020July 6, 2020

Demystifying Plant Names with Dr Rhonda Daniels May 2020

Flora of the Kimberly with Dr Russell Barrett
Menai Wildflower Group presents Dr Russell Barrett with Flora of the Kimberley Part 2July 6, 2020

Flora of the Kimberly with Dr Russell Barrett, presenting at Menai Wildflower Group meeting. See also Part 1

Flora of the Kimberly, Dr Russell Barrett
Menai Wildflower Group Presents Dr Russell Barrett with Flora of the Kimberly Part 1July 6, 2020

Flora of the Kimberly with Dr Russell Barrett, presenting at Menai Wildflower Group meeting. See also Part 2

Plant table at Sutherland meeting, June 2020
Sutherland APS Meeting Plant Table June 2020July 6, 2020

Plant discussions by Zoom at Sutherland meeting, June 2020

WA Plant Table Sept 2019 Presenter Dr Greg Keighery
WA Plant Table Sept 2019 Presenter Dr Greg KeigheryJuly 6, 2020

Zoom presentation with Dr Greg Keighery, identification WA plants

Biodiversity of plants in SW WA
Southwest WA – Blooming Biodiversity, with Dr Greg KeigheryJuly 6, 2020

Here is a presentation by Dr Greg Keighery on the biodiversity of plants in South west Western Australia

Robin and Ron Davies receiving life membership from Graeme Ingall in 2015
Remembering Robin DaviesJune 28, 2020

Life member Robin Davies provided friendship and support to all those she met. Her commitment to the environment and willingness to work hard to preserve it was an inspiration, as was her tenacity through a long illness. She was the mainstay of Macarthur Group, a small but dedicated group, and her perseverance has been a major factor in its survival.

Frank Howarth AM
Congratulations to Frank Howarth AMJune 28, 2020

Frank Howarth PSM was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020 for significant services to the visual arts through the museums and galleries sector. Frank, a long time member of APS NSW, was the Chief Executive and Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Trust, then director of the Australian Museum 2004–2014.

Eremophila racemosa flowers, image Ben Walcott
Taking a chance of EremophilasJune 18, 2020

Eremophilas can be marvellous plants in the garden, but their reliability in a variety of soils and climates is still being established by their many devoted growers.

Peter Olde (photo Margaret Olde)
Congratulations to Peter Olde OAMJune 11, 2020

APS NSW Life member Peter Olde was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to Australian native flora in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Casuarina seedlings at the Menai Group nursery
Growing for Glossies in the MistJune 11, 2020,

Volunteers from Menai Group have grown over 7,000 casuarina seedlings to support the Glossies in the Mist project, and more are on the way.

animals-habitats conserving-native-plants
Seeds, image Heather Miles
APS VIC Seedbank available to NSW membersJune 4, 2020,

Updated seed list now available. The enterprising David Drage of Northern Beaches recently wrote to APS VIC to see if NSW members could purchase seed from them. Chris Long, the APS Vic President has let us know that they are happy to provide to APS NSW members on the same conditions as apply to APS VIC members.

buying-seeds-and-plants gardening-with-native-plants
Garden at Cloudy Hill, image Fiona Johnson
A high country native garden at Cloudy HillJune 4, 2020

Swapping jobs in the nation’s capital for a tree change to the high country and a shed with a view on a rural property, Fiona and Alex moved to Fitzgerald’s Mount near Bathurst in 2008. There they built a house and created a garden that flourishes despite the harsh conditions of the high country of the central tablelands of NSW.

Corybas fimbriatus, image Margaret Bradhurst
Trickery, mimicry and deceit of orchids in the wildJune 4, 2020

Most gardeners will be familiar with the exotic Cymbidium and Phalanopsis orchids or maybe the native Dendrobium. However, the orchids which fascinate me are the tiny terrestrial orchids which can be found growing in the wild in the eastern and southern states of Australia.

Banksia cone burn, image Ralph Cartwright
YouTube – Dr Brett Summerell on Banks and Solander and bushfire recoveryJune 4, 2020

After our recent AGM, Dr Brett Summerell, Director Research and Chief Botanist at the Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands, gave a talk by Zoom and discussed the botanical work of Banks and Solander in 1770, the herbarium collection they created and its scientific importance, and the impact of the bushfires on Australia’s unique plant life.

Stunning macro shots by Kevin Stokes
Stunning macro shots by Kevin StokesJune 1, 2020

One of our Newcastle members, Kevin Stokes, is a stunning macro photographer. Check out these beauties!

Orchid being fertilised by wasp!
Orchid being fertilised by wasp!June 1, 2020

These photos, taken by the late Noel Rosten, shows the process by which the orchid, Cryptostylis erecta, is fertilised by the wasp, Lissopimpla excelsa.

Eucalyptus macrocarpa, image Kevin Stokes
My favourite Australian native plantsJune 1, 2020

When it comes to thinking about a favourite plant, I think those interested in Australian plants are very spoiled for choice. Have you ever thought about a favourite? Where would you start?

Grevillea rosmarinifolia
Prickly natives for barrier hedgesJune 1, 2020

Here are the suggestions for prickly shrubs and hedging plants from our panel of experts: Grevillea rosmarinifolia cultivars such as’Scarlet Sprite’…

Native plants to keep cats outJune 1, 2020

reader recently asked for plants to discourage cats from entering the garden. The reader’s plants needed to thrive in tough conditions being southerly facing and sandy soil. Here are the plants suggested

Flying Duck Orchid
The Quest for the Flying DuckJune 1, 2020

Bob Ross’ mention of the Flying Duck Orchid in the October 2018 issue of Native Plants for New South Wales reminded me of a piece I wrote some years ago for the Chefs Cap: newsletter of the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden at Batemans Bay. This is an edited version.

Banksia serrata showing the serrated leaves
Demystifying native plant names – an introductionMay 30, 2020

Botanical names can seem initially confronting but it all makes sense when you understand the origins of the names. Many species names relate to a feature or characteristics of the plant such as the flower, leaf, fruit, seed, bark, size, shape, colour, texture, habit or habitat. Other plants are named after people or places.

Melaleuca pink, image Heather Miles
Jeff Tips – What I learnt trying to grow our native plantsMay 28, 2020

For many years, I have been growing native plants and have picked up tips and tricks along the way. Here is a summary of some of my learning.
1. Planting under gum trees
To maximise your success in getting your plants to grow, plant them as close to the trunk as possible. The reasons you do this are:

Mulch, image by Jeff Howes
All about mulchMay 28, 2020

What is a mulch? A mulch is any covering put over the top of the soil, such as bark, woodchips, leaves, gravel and groundcovers – even a layer of leaf litter counts as a mulch.
There are a number of different types of materials that are widely used as mulches.

Congratulations to Life Member Ian Cox
Congratulations to Life Member Ian CoxMay 21, 2020

Congratulations to Ian Cox from Parramatta Hills Group who was awarded Life Membership at the APS NSW AGM, held by Zoom on 16 May 2020. This summary is based on the nomination from Parramatta Hills Group, with added detail.

Congratulations to Life Members Chris and Leigh Cousins
Congratulations to Life Members Chris and Leigh CousinsMay 21, 2020

Congratulations to Chris and Leigh Cousins from Hunter Valley Group who were awarded Life Membership at the APS NSW AGM, held by Zoom on 16 May 2020.

Ralph Cartwright by Peter Rae SMH
Member in the media – bushwalking during coronavirusApril 29, 2020,

Ralph Cartwright explains how it happened:
“I was contacted by the SMH Urban Affairs reporter, Angus Thompson, who got my contact details from the Friends of Royal page who wanted to talk to someone still bushwalking in the Royal in the time of coronavirus. We had a brief chat for quotes and he sent a veteran photographer, Peter Rae, to meet me.

aps-news visiting-gardens-and-reserves
Maireana oppositifolia, image Brian Roach
Amazing GreysApril 23, 2020

I feel confident anyone reading this would agree that gardeners have a better insight than most into changing weather patterns. Whatever the reason, the hot days seem to be getting hotter and the cold days colder but it’s usually the former that presents the greater challenges in selecting the right plant for the hot spot. Enter stage right our wonderful grey-foliaged native plants.

Hakea purpurea, image Lloyd Hedges
Watch Menai Group on Gardening AustraliaApril 2, 2020

Life member and Menai driving force Lloyd Hedges gave host Clarence Slockee a tour of the Illawong Fire Station garden maintained by the group and demonstrated how to create smoke water to germinate flannel flowers while nursery volunteer Pam Forbes highlighted the group’s project to propagate casuarinas to provide food and habitat for glossy black cockatoos in the Southern Highlands.

Photo display at the launch
Growing Illawarra Natives websiteMarch 30, 2020,

The Growing Illawarra Natives website showcases native plant species local to the Illawarra to encourage greater appreciation and cultivation of native plant species in the Illawarra.
 The area has a rich diversity of plant communities with over 850 indigenous plant species, many of great value in cultivation.

gardening-with-native-plants identifying-native-plants
Cover of Australian Plants 60 years issue
Celebrating 60 years of Australian Plants journalMarch 29, 2020

The Summer 2019/20 issue of Australian Plants posted to members and subscribers in mid March 2020 is a very special issue celebrating 60 years of the journal. In the Editorial and tributes, co-editor Merle Thompson OAM explains the significance: “For an organisation or its publications to survive for 60 years must be regarded as a major achievement. This issue of Australian Plants marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Volume 1, Number 1 in December 1959”.

Cyathia cooperi on the side of the road
Activities for more time at home – inside and outsideMarch 29, 2020

Less time being out and about and more time at home to protect community health from COVID-19 is a chance to do some activities you might not usually have time for. Here are some ideas, both for individual members and for APS Groups to consider if you don’t want to clean the cupboards or the garage.

Flannel flowers, image Heather Miles
Wisdom from the pastMarch 23, 2020

One of the valuable benefits I found when I joined the Parramatta/Hills Group was that I could mingle with experienced members. From them I could often pick up gems of wisdom.
Here are some examples. Be ruthless. Probably the most valuable piece of advice I learnt was from Ross Doig. It was just two words: “be ruthless”. This was in relation to native gardens of course!

Banksia cone burn, image Ralph Cartwright
Tips for fire-smart gardeningFebruary 29, 2020

After the damage from our bushfire season to many properties throughout NSW, homeowners are thinking about replanting their gardens, often while waiting for longer-term building works. The APS NSW office received an inquiry about advice on fire-resistant plants for people buying plants to restore gardens which had burnt.

Blue Mountains, image Heather Miles
Margaret Baker – Environmental Citizen of the Year, Blue Mountains CouncilFebruary 29, 2020

Congratulations to Margaret Baker who was awarded Environmental Citizen of the Year at Blue Mountains Council’s Australia Day Awards in January 2020.

Path to summit, image Ian Cox, Lesley Waite
Climbing Mount Banks – inspiring our sense of wonderFebruary 2, 2020

In November 2019 Lesley Waite and I went on a magical walk to the summit of Mount Banks. The objectives of our visit were twofold – to indulge in the beautiful upper Blue Mountains flora, and to experience the magnificent surroundings and views.

Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens, image Heather Miles
APS members in the media in January 2020January 27, 2020

Three APS NSW members were featured in the media in January 2020 – Conny Harris, Greg Bourke and Rhonda Daniels. See their stories

Dried out paddocks, image Heather Miles
Gardening tips for hotter and drier conditionsJanuary 27, 2020

With our increasingly hotter and drier conditions and water restrictions in many locations, new approaches are needed even for gardeners used to native plants. Here are some tips to consider for hotter and drier conditions in general and for more very hot days.

Latest Australian Flora Foundation  newsletter out now
Latest Australian Flora Foundation newsletter out nowJanuary 26, 2020

The latest newsletter from the Australian Flora Foundation is now available here. The foundation is a charity fostering scientific research into the biology and cultivation of the Australian flora. 
Research Matters, No. 31, January 2020 announces projects being funded by the foundation and prizes awarded:

Wallaby getting cool, image Heather Miles
Bushfire recovery – what we can doJanuary 26, 2020

The 2019/20 summer of bushfires has had devastating impacts, with lives and homes lost, communities disrupted and millions of hectares of native vegetation burnt. Fire is a natural part of the Australian environment, and plants can recover from fire, but fire behaviour and impacts are changing.

Red flowered grevillea
An award winning coastal garden with a Wollemi pineDecember 3, 2019

The Rudder garden at Maroubra recently won the Native Garden Section of the Randwick Council Garden Competition for the 16th year in a row. Kim wrote to share his own Wollemi pine, after missing our November 2019 quarterly gathering on the Wollemi pine.

Hoya, image Ian Cox
Growing Hoyas in potsNovember 25, 2019

I’ve been growing a Hoya carnosa in a concrete trough for several years, and each year in the warmer months it puts on a nice display of pink flowers over a long period.

Grevillea ‘Lawson Queen’. Photo Rob Horton
Blue Mountains AdventureNovember 25, 2019

The number one priority of our trip to the Blue Mountains on 7th September was to hear Liz Benson’s talk about the Wollemi Pine at the Wentworth Falls History Centre. While we were there, as well as absorbing the views around the falls, we wanted to do some plant exploring on Kings Tableland, and also take a look at the location of Grevillea ‘Lawson Queen’, discovered by Pip Gibian in 1988.

Spring 2019 issue of Australian Plants journal
Spring 2019 issue of Australian Plants journalNovember 21, 2019

The Spring 2019 issue of Australian Plants was mailed to members and subscribers in late November. Members of the Australian Plants Society NSW receive Australian Plants four times a year as part of their membership.

Olive Pink: Artist, activist and gardener
Olive Pink: Artist, activist and gardenerNovember 12, 2019

Olive Pink was born in Hobart in 1884 and learned to love the Australian bush and its unique flora on rambles with her father on Mt Wellington. Her life was influenced by the Quaker philosophy of social justice she encountered at the private Girls High School in Hobart, run by a Quaker family. This influence can be seen in her later activism on behalf of Aboriginal people, which made her an unpopular figure in government circles.

New book – Native Fauna of Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area
New book – Native Fauna of Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage AreaNovember 12, 2019

Judy Smith explains the content of the book and the significance of its timing.

Callistemon, image Heather Miles
Volunteer at IndigiGrow Nursery at La PerouseNovember 7, 2019

IndigiGrow welcomes volunteers at our nursery which is a not-for-profit nursery and social enterprise of First Hand Solutions Aboriginal Corporation. Please check our website for more information: www.indigigrow.com.au

Brian Roach with wife Carol and Costa Georgiadis
Brian Roach appears on Gardening Australia – twiceNovember 4, 2019

Brian Roach, a member of APS North Shore Group, runs Westleigh nursery from his home and has an open garden and plant sales twice a year. Brian wrote this article after the Gardening Australia team visited and filmed in 2018. The segment aired on 1 November 2019.

Dan Clarke's garden starting to grow
Creating a roadside verge gardenOctober 29, 2019

Dan Clarke presented on his new roadside verge garden at the APS Sutherland Group September 2019 meeting and wrote this article which appeared in the APS Sutherland October 2019 newsletter. Look out for updates as the plants grow.

Prostanthera scutellariodes, image Ian Cox
Prostanthera scutellarioides – stunning in springOctober 29, 2019

I was introduced to this attractive plant, Prostanthera scutellarioides, accidentally. In fact, it introduced itself. I was at the John Benyon Park at Kenthurst and here it was, in this unlikely place one spring, covered in flowers and looking brilliant! Of course, I took home some cuttings.

Medicinal uses of native plants - Part 2 Commercial uses
Medicinal uses of native plants – Part 2 Commercial usesOctober 25, 2019

This article by Jennifer Farrer first appeared in APS Parramatta Hills Group newsletter Calgaroo. Part 1 is on early colonial uses of medicinal native plants.

Harry Loots' prize winning native garden in North Sydney
Harry Loots’ prize winning native garden in North SydneyOctober 25, 2019

This story is based on an article by Lindy Monson, Bushcare volunteer, in the newsletter North Sydney Bushcare, Summer 2015, issue 28, and updated for 2019. Harry Loots has won awards for his native garden in 2015, 2016 and 2019.

Medicinal uses of native plants - Part 1 Early colonial uses
Medicinal uses of native plants – Part 1 Early colonial usesOctober 25, 2019

This article by Jennifer Farrer first appeared in APS Parramatta Hills Group newsletter Calgaroo. Part 2 is on commercial uses of medicinal native plants.

Book review: Mistletoes of Southern Australia by David Watson
Book review: Mistletoes of Southern Australia by David WatsonOctober 23, 2019

From the start the author David Watson outlines that mistletoes are part of the natural environment, are not toxic, are not a weed, and are part of the Australian flora. Many books have the title of a genus or a group of plants, but only mention part of that group. This book contains comprehensive information on all 47 species of mistletoe that occur in Southern Australia…

Bees enjoying tiny Gonocarpus flowers
Bees enjoying tiny Gonocarpus flowersOctober 20, 2019

On a recent APS Sutherland Group walk of the Curra Moors Track in the Royal National Park, we found several large, colourful flowers, such as waratahs and Gymea Lilies.

Roberston Nature Reserve, image Harry Loots
Southern Highlands bush excursionSeptember 27, 2019

In the frigid beginning of August, APS Blue Mountains Group ventured to the high country to discover the extant native vegetation. We were not disappointed. Although this area has been farmed for nearly 170 years, this has occurred on the most fertile land leaving the agriculturally barren sandstone country and hills to the bush.

Warren Sheather at the APS Christmas party, 2017
Remembering Warren SheatherSeptember 22, 2019

Warren promoted Australian plants continually throughout his life. He had a fortnightly column in the local newspaper, the Armidale Express, for over 30 years. He also wrote articles for other papers.

Supporting research projects at the Australian Flora Foundation
Supporting research projects at the Australian Flora FoundationSeptember 19, 2019

This year the Australian Flora Foundation approved grants for the following projects – all involving restoration of the much-degraded Australian environment.

The OHS site supervisor doing her job, dressed in blue coat and red collar!
Creating a native garden at Phillip House, KariongSeptember 5, 2019

Virginia McIntosh from APS Central Coast Group reports on creating a garden at Phillip House, Kariong. Virginia was the coordinator of the working bee.

Birds and bugs in my backyard
Birds and bugs in my backyardSeptember 5, 2019

Ralph Cartwright from APS Sutherland Group reports sightings in his Engadine backyard in early spring.

Book review – Flora of the Hunter Region, Stephen Bell, Christine Rockley and Anne Llewellyn
Book review – Flora of the Hunter Region, Stephen Bell, Christine Rockley and Anne LlewellynAugust 30, 2019

This is a remarkable publication, given that it provides detailed and authoritative botanical monographs of 54 trees and shrubs that are endemic to the Hunter region, each one of which is accompanied by a full-page scientific illustration.

Looking north
Highlights from Newcastle get together August 2019August 27, 2019

Many members enjoyed the APS NSW get together hosted by Newcastle Group on 17–18 August 2019 with a program of highlights of the area. Thanks to Newcastle Group including President Mark Abell and Secretary Maree McCarthy and all the volunteers who made the weekend so successful. Photos by Kevin Stokes, Newcastle Group (unless noted).

Winter 2019 issue of Australian Plants
Winter 2019 issue of Australian PlantsAugust 26, 2019

The Winter 2019 issue of Australian Plants was mailed to members and subscribers in late August. Members of the Australian Plants Society NSW receive Australian Plants four times a year as part of their membership.

Professor Kingsley Dixon
Congratulations to Australian Plants Award winners: Professor Kingsley Dixon and Glenn LeiperAugust 25, 2019

very two years two medals are given in association with the ANPSA Biennial Conference, one in the professional and one in the amateur category. “Amateur” is not intended to signify less valued or amateurish. On the contrary, the recipients invariably are people who have unstintingly given their time and made significant contribution in the area of their interest and expertise.

Eremophila nivea (photo Brian Walters)
Eremophilas – tough, fast and colourfulAugust 22, 2019

I’ve been growing eremophilas for close on 25 years and have been delighted with the results. In well-drained sunny positions eremophilas usually reward me for my efforts.

Barren Grounds near Kiama, image Heather Miles
Spring wildflower walks – Suggestions from FacebookAugust 20, 2019

Barbara Melville from Central Coast Group recently asked our Facebook for suggestions for walks to see spring wildflowers. Here are some of the responses. APS Groups also have walks in their local area, so check the Group activities and newsletters.

Isopogon cuneatus flower
Ablaze with colour: the Illawong Fire Station gardenAugust 12, 2019

Here’s a selection of spring photos from Lloyd Hedges of the garden maintained by Menai Group at the Illawong Fire Station garden in southern Sydney.

Acacia buxifolia, image ©Alan Fairley
Wattle Day – why is it 1 September?August 11, 2019

Alan Fairley explains why Wattle Day is 1 September. This article first appeared in Doryanthes, the newsletter of the Oatley Flora and Fauna Society, and is reproduced with Alan’s permission.

Tetratheca granulosa in a pot, image Brian Roach
New Study Group – Australian Plants for ContainersAugust 2, 2019

Many people live in smaller units and apartments with balconies or have a small area for a garden and growing Australian plants in containers is a great way to have a small garden of native plants. Growing in containers also allows gardeners to have plants that otherwise won’t tolerate local conditions.

Celebrate Wattle Day on 1 September
Celebrate Wattle Day on 1 SeptemberJuly 25, 2019

The following notes are based on Maria Hitchcock’s book A Celebration of Wattle: Australia’s National Emblem (2012). The book is a revised and updated edition of Maria’s earlier book Wattle (AGPS 1991), which grew from a small booklet sent out to schools in 1988.

Australian Flora Foundation newsletter - Research Matters, July 2019
Australian Flora Foundation newsletter – Research Matters, July 2019July 23, 2019

The latest newsletter from the Australian Flora Foundation is now available here. The foundation is a charity fostering scientific research into the biology and cultivation of the Australian flora.

Grevillea sp Big Island, image Ralph Cartwright
Hawaii – a mix of endemic and introduced speciesJune 25, 2019

This chain of islands developed as the Pacific Plate moved slowly northwestward over a hotspot in the Earth’s mantle at a rate of 50 km per million years. The southeast island is still volcanically active, whereas the islands on the northwest end of the archipelago are older and typically smaller, due to longer exposure to erosion.

Book: Dictionary of Botanical Names by Don Perrin (2018)
Book: Dictionary of Botanical Names by Don Perrin (2018)June 25, 2019

Dictionary of Botanical Names by the late Don Perrin is an updated edition of Don’s earlier book on the derivations of Australian plant names, now with 4,500 entries.

Correa 'Catie Bec', image Heather Miles
Winter delights by nameJune 21, 2019

What do Acacia ‘Winter Gold’, Acacia ‘Winter Flame’, the Correa ‘Winter Bells’ collection, Eremophila ‘Winter Gold’, Grevillea ‘Winter Delight’, Philotheca ‘Winter Rouge’ and Syzygium ‘Winter Lights’ have in common? Yes, they are all named for a winter feature – either their flowers or foliage.

Cover of Autumn 2019 issue of Australian Plants with alpine herbfields
Autumn 2019 issue of Australian PlantsJune 6, 2019

The Autumn 2019 issue of Australian Plants was mailed to members and subscribers in late May. Members of the Australian Plants Society NSW receive Australian Plants four times a year as part of their membership.

Lemon Myrtle Syrup with Lemon Myrtle leaves
Recipes for Bush foods by Colleen and Geoff KeenaJune 6, 2019

Here are some wonderful recipes for bush foods, developed by Colleen and Geoff. Just a word of warning first: Be sure plants are accurately identified. Exercise caution with unfamiliar foods. Although the following are usually considered safe, adverse reactions in particular individuals cannot be ruled out.

Australian native plants in other countries
Australian native plants in other countriesMay 30, 2019

Lawrie Smith is the leader of the Garden Design Study Group. In the latest newsletter, he shares photos of some of the Australian collections he’s found in other countries. Stunning images, for our enjoyment. Thanks Lawrie. More information on the ANPSA Study Group can be found here.

Melia in autumn, image Colleen and Geoff Keena
Sunshine and shadow to modify the temperature of a houseMay 30, 2019

The use of appliances to modify temperature, such as an air-conditioner or heater, impacts on expenses and on the environment. However, their use can be minimised or even made unnecessary, by planting deciduous native trees, Melia azedarach along the north of the house.

ANPSA meeting - May 2019
ANPSA meeting – May 2019May 30, 2019

Nineteen people joined the ANPSA Council teleconference on 14 May. Each time the time differences bring home the vastness of Australia as a country. As the member societies are autonomous bodies allowing for differences, these meetings of delegates and elected office bearers are an opportunity to share information and find common ground.

ANPSA NewsMay 30, 2019

Nineteen people joined the ANPSA Council teleconference on 14 May. Each time the time differences bring home the vastness of Australia as a country.

Finger lime cut, image Ralph Cartwright
Native citrus successMay 25, 2019

For those who also have this plant, the fruit are ripe when they just come off the plant easily when you pull lightly and I read that they do not ripen off the tree. You can freeze them if you have a huge crop.

Congratulations to Barry Lees, Life Member
Congratulations to Barry Lees, Life MemberMay 22, 2019

Congratulations to Barry Lees of North Shore Group who was awarded Life membership at the APS NSW Annual General Meeting on 18 May 2019. Barry’s love and respect for our native plants is contagious and he has inspired many others to share his passion. Here’s North Shore Group’s nomination of Barry.

Lloyd Hedges with Pam Pitkeathly Lloyd Hedges with Pam Pitkeathly, Vice President of Menai Group
Congratulations to Lloyd Hedges, Life MemberMay 22, 2019

Congratulations to Lloyd Hedges of Menai Group who was awarded Life membership at the APS NSW Annual General Meeting on 18 May 2019. Menai Group’s nomination of Lloyd is reproduced here.

Joan Zande's Garden
Joan Zande’s Garden – a design with natureMay 22, 2019

While attending the APS NSW gathering in November 2018 hosted by Sutherland Group I had the pleasure of visiting Joan Zande’s garden and was very impressed at the application of so many design principles in this relatively small residential garden reconstructed after 40 years as a collaborative effort between Joan and an obviously very talented landscape contractor, Greg Hopcroft.

Celebrating Australian natives at the Easter Show 2019
Celebrating Australian natives at the Easter Show 2019April 26, 2019

Enjoy some of the entries in the many classes of the Australian plants competition at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, April 2019. Thanks to all the entrants, particularly Central Coast, East Hills and Sutherland Groups, who together created a colourful display on the diversity and beauty of Australian native plants, despite the time of year. All the competition results are here, searchable by exhibitor.

Hugh Stacy at the Menai Group propagation facility, May 2017
Remembering Hugh Stacy, Life MemberApril 25, 2019

One of the stalwarts of East Hills Group, Hugh Stacy, died on 5 March 2019, his 83rd birthday. Hugh was a very active and valued member of the Australian Plants Society and its forerunner, the Society for Growing Australian Plants, for many years.

Bioluminescent fungi at the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens
Bioluminescent fungi at the Hunter Region Botanic GardensApril 8, 2019

Interested in bioluminescent fungi? It is about this time of the year these fascinating fungi appear in the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens especially after the rain of recent times. The fruiting bodies should be appearing soon and there are several people keeping a lookout. If any appear, walks will be organised.

Native Terrestrial Orchids of the Hunter by Lynda McPherson
Native Terrestrial Orchids of the Hunter by Lynda McPhersonApril 2, 2019

One of our members, Kevin Stokes from Newcastle, has brought to our attention a new book called Native Terrestrial Orchids of the Hunter Region Botanic Gardens, by Lynda McPherson.

Polblue, a fragile wilderness
Polblue, a fragile wildernessFebruary 21, 2019

This article was contributed by Andrew Pengelly of the Hunter Valley Group and appeared in their newsletter, Gumleaves. 

Above: The iconic avenue of Lemon-scented Gums (Corymbia citriodora) lining the Avenue of Honour, May Drive, Kings Park and Botanic Garden, WA. These trees were planted in 1938, despite their tendency to drop branches, to replace the original avenue of Red-flowering Gums (Corymbia ficifolia), many of which succumbed to canker. Photograph courtesy of T Bell.
Planting Australian natives: are we bringing the bush to our backyards or our backyards to the bush?January 31, 2019

This article by Dr Matt Pye* recently appeared in the Australian Flora Foundation’s January 2019 Research Matters and is reproduced with permission. 

Merle Thompson, our Membership Officer, receives Order of Australia Medal
Merle Thompson, our Membership Officer, receives Order of Australia MedalJanuary 29, 2019

MEDAL (OAM) OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA IN THE GENERAL DIVISION Miss Merle Kay THOMPSON, South Bowenfels NSW 2790For service to the community through a range of organisations.

Wombat Care, Bundanoon
Wombat Care, BundanoonJanuary 25, 2019

In November last year, the Southern Highlands APS group enjoyed an informative and passionately delivered presentation by John Creighton, AKA Wombat Man, who talked to them about the important work carried out by volunteer carers at Wombat Care Bundanoon.

Propagating again
Propagating againJanuary 20, 2019

This time we purchased a Greenlife Mini Drop Over Greenhouse from a well known supermarket. It is designed to either fit over a raised garden bed or stand alone. We have tied ours down to a metal bench. The pots and punnets sit in plastic basins that are half full of sand. The sand is kept moist and the pots and punnets sprayed once a day.

Melaleuca scarlet, image Heather Miles
I love a sunburnt country…but wish it would rain some more – a sequelDecember 11, 2018

In February 2018, I was bemoaning the loss of some long-established plants in my predominantly native garden in the Hunter Valley. We’d had far less than average rainfall and there was no end in sight to the drought. Along with vicious 45-degree days, the resilience of the garden, and me, was being tested!

Lorikeets lapping up the delicious nectar from this dwarf eucalyptus flower
Lorikeets lapping up the delicious nectar from this dwarf eucalyptus flowerDecember 10, 2018

Here are some stunning images from Colin Lawrence of the Newcastle group, who captured the lorikeet enjoying its fill of the dwarf eucalyptus. This tree lived in a pot for a a couple of years and then was planted out 5 and a half years ago. It certainly looks happy!

What bug is that? Answer: Saunders Case Moth
What bug is that? Answer: Saunders Case MothNovember 12, 2018

One of our plant experts, Dick Turner, has responded: You have a case moth larva sheltering inside the protection that it has made for itself. The larva or caterpillar uses the cover for protection while it moves about foraging on leaves.

Wattles are blooming
Wattles are bloomingAugust 11, 2018

Here is a selection of wattles blooming at Hunter Regional Botanic Gardens. Images by Barbara Melville.

Rare plants in abundance after fire
Rare plants in abundance after fireJune 30, 2018

John Arney from Sutherland group led a recent walk in Kamay NP at Kurnell and pointed out these plants. Apparently the juvenile leaves on Commersonia hermanniifolia, (previously Rulingia hermanniifolia), had some people wondering if this was a new weed.

Tuggerah Lakes Estuary, photo Nick Carson
Keeping Tuggerah Lakes pristine, by Nick CarsonMay 29, 2018

Central Coast Group’s speaker in May was Nick Carson, an Environmental Education Officer at Central Coast Council where he educates the community about the Tuggerah Lakes Estuary. Nick spoke passionately about the importance of the Tuggerah Lakes Estuary and catchment area. This article was first published in the May issue of the Central Coast Australian Plants Society NSW newsletter. 

Grevillea angulata, image Kevin Stokes
Beautiful photos of Ian Cox’ garden in Kenhurst, by Kevin StokesMay 28, 2018

We are very lucky to have such talented gardeners as well as such talented photographers. Here are some beautiful images taken by Kevin Stokes, of Newcastle Group, of the garden of Ian Cox that a number of us visited on the weekend.

Angela Speering
Meet Angela Speering, our newest life memberMay 27, 2018

At the Australian Plants Society NSW AGM on 26 May, Angela Speering was awarded life membership of the Society.

Warren and Gloria Sheather
New life members, Warren and Gloria SheatherMay 27, 2018

Warren and Gloria have been long term members of the Society, first joining the Blue Mountains group and then moving to Armidale in 1977. Warren held multiple positions over the coming 30 years where Warren took a position in the Dept of Botany at the University of New England.

Farewell to Noel Rosten
Farewell to Noel RostenApril 16, 2018

As many members may know, Noel Rosten of North Shore Group was tragically killed on 26 February when hit by an out of control 4WD while checking the letter box.

Callala Creek Reserve Boardwalk
Callala Creek Reserve BoardwalkApril 10, 2018

On a beautiful autumn afternoon last weekend, we headed off to Callala Bay to seek out the Callala Creek Reserve boardwalk. The boardwalk has been recently reopened after being damaged by fires at the end of 2016 and sits between Callala Bay and Callala Beach taking in the Callala Creek salt marsh.

Image Jan WIlliamson
March gathering and visit to Joseph Banks ReserveApril 9, 2018

Three members of APS NSG went “on holidays” and ventured to Loftus on the balmy Saturday morning. We arrived just in time to join Rhonda leading the group on the guided tour of the beautiful Joseph Banks Native Plants Reserve.

Fungi, image Ralph Cartwright
Bush recovering after fireApril 9, 2018

Last week, I joined some other volunteers on the Curra Moors track in the Royal National Park for some track trimming activities. This track goes through a lot of the burnt areas from the January fires which ‘destroyed’ over 2,000 hectares in late January.

March Gathering
March GatheringApril 8, 2018

Three members of APS NSG went “on holidays” and ventured to Loftus on the balmy Saturday morning.

Eucalyptus youngiana, image Kevin Stokes
A zoo of trees – visit Eucalyptus Arboretum, Currency Creek, South AustApril 2, 2018

Ever seen a ‘zoo of trees?’ Kevin Stokes from Newcastle Group is fascinated by eucs and suggests a visit to the Currency Creek Eucalyptus Arboretum in South Australia can be a rewarding experience.

Grev x Golden Lyre, image Kevin Stokes
Visit to Boongala NurseryApril 1, 2018

Asmall group of Newcastle members had a very pleasant visit to Boongala Nursery run by Mal and Jenny Johnston in Kenthurst, Sydney.
This garden and nursery has been an institution for many years for those interested in Australian plants and is well worth a visit.

Flannels in full flower, image Elsie Bartlett
Success with growing flannel flowersMarch 2, 2018

Several people have asked me recently to write down the methods I use to grow flannel flowers.
 I have had some success with them so here is my story.

Update on ANPSA, by President, Riitta Boevink, President
Update on ANPSA, by President, Riitta Boevink, PresidentFebruary 9, 2018

At the recent ANPSA conference in Tasmania, it was decided to provide regular updates on ANPSA, so people better understand its role in growing and conserving native plants. Here is the first such update, an introduction to what ANPSA does, from President, Riita Boevink.

Vibrant Christmas colour with Ceratopetalum gummiferum, NSW Christmas bush, Image Heather Miles
I love a sunburnt country…but wish it would rain!February 1, 2018

My predominantly native Hunter Valley garden is feeling the pressure of no rain. While it looks quite beautiful in the misty morning, the mist hasn’t translated into rain.

Powerful Owl, image Noel Rosten
Birds in our garden by Noel RostenJanuary 11, 2018

Here are the visitors to our garden this month – the King Parrot, Powerful Owl, and Eastern Spinebill.

Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow, champion of Top End native plants
Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow, champion of Top End native plantsDecember 6, 2017

Mark Henley (Newcastle Group) has shared the great work being done by Top End birdwatcher and natural history and cultural guide, Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow.

Large grass tree, image penelope Sinclair
Grass Trees, Xanthorrhoea spp.November 13, 2017

I have always been fascinated with Grass Trees and they are such an iconic emblem of our bush. Those of you who have travelled to and from Inverell and Guyra via the Ensmore and Tingha Roads will have seen some great specimens (see left) along the northern section of this route which winds among the hills and crosses Paradise Creek and the Macintre River in its upper reaches.

Gathering at Coffs Harbour
Gathering at Coffs HarbourNovember 2, 2017

Over 130 people attended our quarterly gathering at Coffs Harbour in September 2017. Here are some of the beautiful plants and vistas on show.

Cymbidium suave Snake Orchid, image Ralph Cartwright
Orchids in the bushNovember 1, 2017

This is Cymbidium suave, or Snake Orchid, usually found in stumps and in forks of gum trees

Ricinocarpus pinifolius
Wedding Bush a winner in WAOctober 26, 2017

We recently received this picture from Bruce Duncan, who runs an olive farm in Mokine, Western Australia (Clackline Valley Olives).

Wrens, image Ralph Cartwright
Kakadu AdventureAugust 14, 2017

I took a trip about this time last year to Kakadu National Park which had many items of interest, both flora and fauna. (All photos included here were taken by myself.) This is a summary of the talk that I gave to the Sutherland group of APS recently. Check out our District Group page.

Lisa Harvey
The Powerful OwlJuly 28, 2017

The Powerful Owl is Australia’s largest apex nocturnal predator owl, it is present along the Eastern Coast and is listed as vulnerable in NSW. The owl is a territorial obligate hollow nester

Rhododendron viriosum flowers, image Jeff Howes
Growing Australian RhododendronsJuly 24, 2017

While rhododendrons are very popular plants in Australian gardens, there are only two species that we can truly call our own. They are both Vireya Rhododendrons – rainforest species found in mountainous tropical areas of SE Asia, New Guinea and North Queensland. These

Insect hotel, image Jeff Howes
Insect or bee hotel – I have made one and so can youJuly 24, 2017

During a recent trip to Europe, I noticed a lot of quite large, home-made bee ‘hotels’. On my return, I undertook a bit of research and I found some excellent information on different home-made ‘hotels’ in the EU and UK.

Density and diversity, image Warren Sheather
Density and diversityJuly 24, 2017

The Northern Tablelands of NSW is a challenging area to establish gardens. Winters are usually characterised by a series heavy frosts throughout the season. This presents problems particularly if you wish to cultivate native plants as many come from milder, coastal and more temperate areas.

One ‘Must Know’ Principle of Gardening
One ‘Must Know’ Principle of GardeningJuly 19, 2017

For many years, I have been growing native plants, reading gardening books, listening to garden gurus, advising people on what native plants to grow in their gardens and listening to other people’s gardening problems. During this time, I have concluded that there is only one important garden principle that one must try to follow

How to grow Australian orchids for a stunning display
How to grow Australian orchids for a stunning displayJuly 11, 2017

This article by Jeff first appeared in GardenDrum in 2015, for the Australian Plants Society NSW. I have been growing Australian orchids in my Sydney native garden for nearly 30 years. Every year, I get a stunning display that wows everyone who sees it.

Pond surrounded by plants, image Jeff Howes
Creating a small pondMay 28, 2017

As I always wanted a small pond/water feature, I created a dry creek bed leading from the rock to a small stainless steel 47 litre laundry tub. To make it all appear ‘natural’ I did the following:

Native snail front and back view, image Jeff Howes
The Australian snail – a true friend indeedMay 28, 2017

A few years ago I had quite a few native snails in one part of my northern Sydney garden and now they are gone. A pity as the species I had was carnivorous and fed on the introduced garden snails (Cantareus asperses, which are from Europe). I have no idea where they came from or where they have gone. Maybe it is because I now have no introduced snails in my garden and as a result no food for the native snails anymore.

Dendrobium on rock overall, image Jeff Howes
Establishing Australian Thelychiton* (Dendrobium) orchidsMay 28, 2017

One of most frequent question I receive is how I manage to grow Thelychiton kingianum and Thelychiton speciosum orchids on my rocks and ‘apparently’ in the ground. These orchids are really very hardy and many are killed by too much kindness and water.

We can learn from nature which colours look good together, image Heather Miles
A few words on colours for a cottage gardenMay 28, 2017

The idea of a cosy cottage garden, with herbaceous borders of annuals and perennials against a backdrop of shrubs and (maybe) a small tree or two, is becoming popular again especially as gardens become smaller. Remember, plants that self-seed in a garden can easily become weeds in nearby bushland. By introducing native plants, especially local (i.e. indigenous) species, you will reduce your garden’s weed potential and make it more attractive to flora and fauna.

Leo Hodge
Leo Hodge – shearer, dingo trapper, grazier, artist, musician, poet and gardenerMay 28, 2017

We find that the internet is a treasure trove of botanical and horticultural information. A recent search brought to light a biography of Leo Hodge, christened Leomin, the originator of many Grevillea hybrids, all prefixed ‘Poorinda’ after his property in the Gippsland area of Victoria. The name is taken from an aboriginal word meaning ‘light’.

Henry Deane
Henry Deane – botanist and railway manMay 28, 2017

We have a passionate interest in the environment in general and native plants in particular.