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. 

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

Latest stories

Stories by topic

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.


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, botanist and plant guru
Meet Dan Clarke – Conservation, botanist and plant guruAugust 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…

Banksia ‘Cherry Candles’ in my garden, planted 8 years ago, image Karlo Taliano
Glorious banksias, perfectly sized for your gardenJuly 19, 2021

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…

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. The 5 Senses Garden is a joint initiative between the City of Canada Bay and Inner West Neighbour Aid. The garden is a place for the entire community offering workshops, volunteering opportunities and a space for local growing and social connections. The garden provides tailored activities for residential care facilities, schools, hospital programs and other non-for-profit organisations. APS NSW was approached by the organiser to see if we could share information about native plants, which she felt were not well known to most attendees of workshops.   Jennifer did the talk as a walk around, so people could see the plants up close and interact in a more informal way. Jennifer reports that it is lovely garden with a mixture of exotic plants, mostly in the raised vegetable garden beds, along with natives. It was easy to find plants to talk about. She also gave the garden a few pots of Warrigal Greens and shared about its use. Seventeen people registered for the event although some elected not to walk around!    Thanks Jennifer and to all our volunteers who share their knowledge and insights about native

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. We last developed a formal strategy in 2017, so it is now time to rethink our direction and focus. We’ve achieved strong outcomes over the last three years (website, social media presence, online payments, outsourced financial management), and our membership has grown this year, potentially a function of the bushfires and threat of climate change. Our district groups and passionate members are a strength, as are our deep plant expertise, local relationships, nurseries and plant sales. But the needs of members are changing and so time for us to adapt. Many people join and don’t stay members for more than a couple of years, so it’s an opportunity to rethink what we do. Would you like to have your say on what those opportunities might be?  I will be hosting several Zoom strategy discussion sessions in early February for members to contribute their thoughts and ideas. If you’d like to participate, please email to receive the Zoom link. The dates are: Tuesday 9 Feb, 10am Thursday, 11 Feb, 7pm Saturday, 13 Feb 2pm Any questions, please let me, Heather Miles, know on the above email. Looking forward to hearing your

animals-habitats aps-news
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. Chimeras occur in other plant families, either naturally or contrived to produce features such as variegated foliage.

Dillwynia retorta (Eggs and Bacon) at Picnic Point, Georges River National Park
Pea flowers of the Georges River National ParkDecember 20, 2020

East Hills 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. 

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
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. (

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.
This extensively revised edition of the first edition, The Banksia Book by Alex George, includes the most recently discovered Banksia, vincentia, with descriptions and illustrations of all 79 known species with many new photographs and updated species descriptions

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. After two decades of very fulfilling work they have transformed both properties, with original woodland plants regenerating and wildlife returning. To recreate the original vegetation that existed before farming they relied on the records of the early explorers on the types of vegetation they saw in their travels in the area.

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. The fire burnt places where I have looked for bees over the last 20 years and it caused me to reflect on what had been found there. Of the many sites that have suffered, two stand out, for different reasons.

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. The enormous land mass was thought to have existed from about 800 million to about 20 million years ago. Botanists have discovered, that numerous plant groups have representative species, closely related, in the resulting land masses.

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.

Understanding native plant distributions - a major data project
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. Spreadsheets and maps are now available to download for regions around Sydney, with more regions to come.

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. As so many eremophilas have been only recently collected from the wild and introduced into our gardens they are still a work in progress as garden plants. They have so many good points for garden design; many are small, compact plants which bloom over long periods and attract both birds and insects. They come with a variety of flower and foliage colour and form. Most of them react enthusiastically to pruning, even harsh pruning. They can be clipped into hedges or larger plants used as screens and windbreaks. Many eremophilas make successful groundcovers. Eremophila ‘Roseworthy’ flowers, image Ben Walcott Eremophila ‘Roseworthy’, image Ben Walcott My garden history with eremophilas has been passionate but uncertain. When I first met a wide variety of eremohilas at Lang’s Nursery in Mildura in October 2010, I enthusiastically purchased ten plants new to me. Despite planting them in full sun in a mixture of native potting mix and sand, they all died in the Canberra rainy season of 2010-11. This was discouraging, but they were not the only group of plants which died during that rainy period. On searching through my garden records, up to May 2020, I find that I have purchased 600 eremophilas of 220 different species, hybrids and cultivars in the last 17 years of which 35% have died or been removed for failure to thrive. I also notice (thankfully) that my success rate is improving over the years – either I am choosing more wisely, Canberra’s weather is milder, or I am growing eremophilas better, probably a mixture of all three. Eremophila alternifolia, image Ben Walcott Eremophila calorhabdos X viscida, image Ben Walcott I had fixed in my head that I could not grow the silver or grey leaved eremophilas as well as the green leaved ones, but my statistics show that there is little difference between the two groups, 28% failures in green leaved varieties and 33% of deaths in silver or grey leaved varieties. According to my notes the majority of deaths, 53%, occurred during winter (my comment is usually ‘frosted off’). Equal low percentages of plants died in the rain and the heat, only 8% for each, and 20% were removed for failure to thrive or have outgrown their space. The others suffered various accidents and tribulations, such as ‘dug up by possum’, ‘stepped on’, ‘did not recover from being cut back’, ‘overwhelmed by other plants’, ‘blown out of the ground’, ‘unearthed by fox’, ‘whipper-snipped in error’ or ‘nibbled off by raven’, the usual litany of garden woes. Eremophilas bloom for a long time This is one of their best characteristics. In 2016 in our garden 27 different varieties of eremophila flowered for more than half the year and two, Eremophila maculata brevifolia and Eremophila maculata ‘Aurea’ flowered every week of the year, even during Canberra’s winter. This is important for both birds and insects. ‘Approximately 75% of eremophilas are insect pollinated (entomophilous), with the remainder being bird pollinated (ornithophilous), or adapted for pollination by either.’ (Colin Jennings, Newsletter of the Australian Plants Society (South Australia), August 2001). Long periods of flower, particularly in the winter in Canberra and other cooler regions, can keep both insects and birds alive. I have purchased eremophilas from more than twenty different sources over the years, as well as receiving many as gifts from propagating friends. Most have come from sources close to Canberra, Yarralumla native plants sale, Stocks Native Nursery, Heritage Nursery and Australian Native Plants Society Canberra sale, ANPS Market Day, and Cool Country Natives, but some from South Australian Plants Society sale, and nurseries such as Belair, Port Augusta, Maffra, Kuranga, Goldfields and Sunvalley. My favourite eremophilas Some of my favourite plants are outlined below.  Eremophila alternifolia for its deep pink bloom and long flowering period, shown above.  Eremophila alternifolia x Myoporum platycarpum for its delicate pink flowers.  Eremophila alternifolia X Myoporum platycarpum, image Ben Walcott Eremophila ‘Belalla Gold’ for its bright yellow flowers over a long period. Eremophila ‘Beryl’s Blue’ has performed admirably in our garden conditions. We first planted one, (with some trepidation as it is silver leaved and related to E. nivea), in August 2015 and this plant had grown to 1m high and wide with silver grey leaves and blue flowers over a very long period.  Much encouraged we planted eight more from 2017-20 and look forward to them performing well. This plant is a hybrid of E. nivea and was developed in a garden in Natya in northern Victoria.  We have tried repeatedly to grow Eremophila nivea and its grafted cultivar ‘Gubburra Bells’ in our garden without success. Eremophila ‘Beryl’s Blue’ flower, image Ben Walcott We planted two Eremophila brevifolia in 2017 and these have grown to 1m x 1m with white flowers over a long period. The foliage consists of small, sticky, bright green leaves. These plant have a ‘certain bony charm’ as Christopher Lloyd said to Verbena bonariensis. Eremophila maculata brevifolia, image Ben Walcott We planted Eremophila calorhabdos x denticulata in a pot in December 2013 and into the ground in March 2014. This plant grew to 1m x 1m with deep pink flowers in abundance. Ben tried making cuttings of this plant but despite growing well, and even flowering in the pots, they all died in the garden. By October 2018 Ben had another 8 cuttings ready to go into the garden. These plants have thrived amazingly well and grown to 1.5m high and wide, threatening to take over the area in which they are planted. We cannot see any difference in the conditions where the first cuttings were planted and failed and the second crop which has thrived. Eremophila calorhabdos x denticulata, image Ben Walcott We planted Eremophila christophori, white flowered form, in September 2017 and this plant has grown to 1.5m high and 1m wide and is expected to grow to 2.5m high and wide. The foliage is light green and the flowers last for months. We have now planted a blue flowered form in August 2019 and are on the hunt for the pink-flowered form of this useful plant. The Meringur hybrid eremophilas bred by Ray Schilling have proved a great success in our garden. We love the linear foliage and the constant flowers of these plants and thoroughly recommend trying them in your garden. We planted two Eremophila alternifolia x bignoniiflora ‘Meringur Crimson’ in spring 2018. These plants form a shrub 3m high x 2m wide with long, thin hanging foliage and pinkish flowers over a long period. Both these plants have grown and performed well but the flowers are definitely not crimson. We also received two ‘Meringur Crimson’ plants from a friend who guaranteed that these have crimson blooms and planted them in February 2019. By March 2020 one of these plants had bloomed with flowers of a bright vibrant crimson. So which plant is the correct ‘Meringur Crimson’? As Ian Tranter has pointed out, the crimson form is very like E. ‘Passionate Lady’, but does differ in some respects, (Eremophila Study Group Newsletter 119 February 2018, p. 15). Eremophila ‘Meningur Isaac’ flower, image Ben Walcott Eremophila ‘Meringur Crimson’, image Ben Walcott We planted Eremophila bignoniiflora x alternifolia ‘Meringur Isaac’ first in March 2015, another plant developed by Ray Schilling. This plant has grown to 1m x 1.5m across with linear foliage and pink flowers over a long period. We planted two Eremophila bignoniiflora x pururascens ‘Meringur Ray’ in March 2020 and have already seen bright cerise flowers. This plant should form an upright dense shrub to 3-4m high x 2-3m wide, although probably smaller than that in Canberra. We planted Eremophila bignoniiflora x viscida ‘Meringur Midnight’ first in November 2015. This plant grows to 4m high and 2m wide and is already 3m high in our garden. This plant has long narrow green leaves and bright mauve flowers, which we saw first in November 2016. Our original plant was stripped of all its leaves by the severe hailstorm in January 20, 2020 in Canberra, but has releafed and looks well. We planted two more in 2016 and 2018 which are also growing well. We planted Eremophila bignoniifolia x polyclada, or ‘Big Poly’, in April 2008 and after a rocky start this plant has grown to 3m high and wide in our garden. This plant has dark green strappy leaves with white flowers with lilac spotted throats in profusion. This plant responds well to pruning. Eremophila bignoniifolia X polyclada, image Ben Walcott Eremophila biserrata, a groundcover with perky orange flowers. Eremophila calorhabdos for its upright form and bright pink flowers. Eremophila calorhabdos X splendens, image Ben Walcott Eremophila dempsteri for its dense flowering habit. Another wonderful groundcover is Eremophila glabra ‘Fruit Salad’ which we first planted in a group of six in 2015. This plant is prostrate and can spread to 1.5m wide with bright green leaves and perky orange and yellow flowers over a long period. This plant grows so vigorously for us that we are constantly clipping it back into shape. Eremophila glabra ‘Fruit Salad’ flowers, image Ben Walcott Eremophila glabra ‘Roseworthy’ for its flat habit, dense flowering and even spread of foliage. Eremophila decipiens with fine bright green foliage and brilliant red flowers. We planted Eremophila dempsteri, white-flowered form, in May 2011, which flowered for us in October 2011 and in September 2012 after which we moved it to a sunnier and drier position where it has grown to 1.5m high and 1m wide. We planted a dark blue flowered form in February 2014, but this one was whipper-snipped by mistake and did not recover. We have now planted a pink-flowered form in December 2016 and this plant has grow to 1m tall and has flowered well in October 2018. These plants improve and flower more freely with age, as do many eremophilas. Eremophila densifolia is a small mounding shrub to 0.5m high and 1-3m wide with narrow crowded leaves and tubular purple flowers. We planted one in November 2010, but it died in January 2012. The second one we planted in October 2011 has grown exceptionally well and Ben has made cuttings on several occasions. These plants thrive under and around other shrubs and trees where they serve as attractive fillers. Eremophila ‘Fairy Floss’ orange buds, pink flowers, and never stops blooming We planted three Eremophila glabra ‘Hello Cocky’ in March 2015 and these have formed a low compact shrub, 0.5m high and up to 1.5m wide,  with silver foliage and yellow flowers. These plants were so successful in our garden that we planted three of them in the Terra Australis garden at the National Arboretum where they are forming satisfactory mounds of silver foliage. Eremophila glabra ‘Rottnest Emu Bush’ in a group of three, planted in October 2015, have grown larger than advertised in our garden to 1.5m high and wide. They did blow over in the wind and needed staking two years later, but since then have bloomed with dark red flowers over many months. Eremophila glabra ‘Steep Point Green’ with even brighter red flowers Eremophila glabra ‘Steep Point Green’, image Ben Walcott Eremophila glabra subsp. albicans (orange) for its cheerful orange flowers. The one below is called ‘Silver Ball’.  Eremophila glabra subsp albicans ‘Orange’ flowers, image Ben Walcott What a great plant Eremophila hygrophana is. Even though we lost our original plant after five years we were emboldened to plant another in February 2019 and this plant is flowering well with a really beautiful large purple flower which contasts well with the greyish leaves. We first planted Eremophila longifolia in October 2011 and have since planted 6 more, mostly from cuttings. This plant grows to 2-4m high and up to 3m wide with weeping linear grey foliage and many dusty pink tubular flowers. The fruit of Eremophila longifolia are eaten by emus, useful knowledge if you happen to have emus in your garden. This plant does sucker, but often in useful spots, so we encourage it to spread. Eremophila longifolia, image Ben Walcott Eremophila longifolia, image Ben Walcott Eremophila mackinlayii subsp. spathulata forms a compact  shrub 1.5m high and wide with grey-green leaves and large purple flowers. The shape of the shrub is very pleasing and the flowers are eye-catching. Eremophila mackinlayii subsp. spathulata flowers, image Ben Walcott Eremophila mackinlayii subsp. spathulata plant, image Ben Walcott Eremophila maculata apricot form obtained from Port Augusta Nursery and our best performing plant, one that we have propagated many times Eremophila maculata ‘Aurea’ and Eremophila maculata brevifolia for their all year round performance Eremophila maculata ‘Aurea’, image Ben Walcott Eremphila maculata Orange Form, image Ben Walcott We planted seven Eremophila maculata ‘Compact Lemon’ from 2014-16. This plant is 1m high and wide with many tubular lemon flowers. We liked this plant so much we used three of them at the Terra Australis Garden at the National Arboretum in Canberra, but these plants faced the horror summer of ‘19/’20 and are struggling. Eremophila maculata ‘Elf’,  a compact bush with pink flowers whose foliage turns burgundy in winter in Canberra Eremophila maculata (purple) , sometimes called ‘Thundercloud’, with large purple flowers Eremophila maculata x viscida, a large and vigorous bush with masses of mauve flowers One of our most successful eremophila plantings  is a group of 8 ‘Mallee Lipstick’, a cross between E. glabra and E. maculata which we planted in 2014-5. These plants form a shrub 1m high and 1.5m wide with grey green leaves and bright pink flowers over many months. We planted Eremophila oldfieldii ‘Honeyeater Cheer’, grafted, in November 2011 and have been rewarded with a shrub 2m high and wide which blooms with a dark orange flower much beloved by Eastern Spinebills. We have planted another 5 Eremophila oldfieldii in recent years and eagerly await their growth and flowering. Eremophila oppositifolia ‘Hardy Harry’ with lovely grey foliage and white flowers over a long period Eremophila racemosa with orange buds and pink flowers   Eremophila racemosa flowers, image Ben Walcott Eremophila ‘Yanna Road’ with a pleasing contrast between grey foliage and pink flowers. Eremophila divaricata, image Ben Walcott Eremophila polyclada X divaricata, image Ben Walcott Eremophilas work well in pots. I have a group of nine Eremophila ‘Desert Passion’ in planters near the front door which flower well. I have also had many years of growing Erermophila ‘Yanna Road’ in a pot. When I tried to transplant it into the garden it died, a;though we have since managed to grow three in the garden.  I notice from my notes that many eremophilas do resent being moved – I have had a series of deaths after transplantation. However, the ‘super’ plant Eremophila maculata ‘Aurea’ was originally ripped from the ground and discarded, before being resurrected and moved to another position where it thrives many years later, so not all eremophilas baulk at being moved. Eremophila ‘Desert Passion’, image Ben Walcott Eremophilas make useful hedges In the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden near Port Augusta there are some small display gardens which feature eremophila hedges. Both the blue flowering, grey leaved Eremophila hygrophana and red flowered, green leaved Eremophila maculata brevifolia were clipped very successfully into low hedges and were mobbed by feasting honeyeaters. They can also be used as larger screening plants to boost the bird and insect life in your garden.   Eremophila maculata brevifolia Hedge, image Ben Walcott Eremophilas are useful plants in garden design Eremophilas, like most garden plants,  appreciate judicious watering, pruning and fertilising to encourage them to put on their best display in the garden. They grow in a wide variety of habitats and conditions and can be used in many ways in the garden, hedges, groundcovers, screens and shrubs. They will attract both insects and birds to your garden. Try some eremophilas in your garden design – they are surprisingly adaptable to a variety of garden conditions. Eremophila calohrabdos flowers in Nuriootpa,South Australia, image Ben Walcott Eremophila calohrabdos, image Ben Walcott Story by Ros Walcott, photos by Ben Walcott This article originally appeared in GardenDrum.     

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.

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:

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 SheatherWarren 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.