AUSTRALIAN PLANTS SOCIETY
PO Box 8835 Armadale 3143
APRIL NEWSLETTER 2015
Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month, February to
December except November.
Kangaroo Roads, Hughesdale (MEL 69 C7)
John Thompson 9598 6982
Gillian Jervis 9569 5637
PUBLIC OFFICER: Gillian Jervis
Oakleigh South 3167 or to the email address above.
Deadline for the May newsletter is April 27th
Our speaker for April is to be Neville Walsh, discussing Pomaderris.
Neville is the Senior Conservation Botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. His work
as taxonomic research in a number of plant groups, principally the genus Pomaderris in the
family Rhamnaceae, Melicytus (Violaceae) and genera of Australian Asteraceae, Poaceae and
Lobeliaceae (Campanulaceae subfamily Lobeloideae). Neville has a background in botanical
survey, particularly of alpine/subalpine vegetation, and continues with this work from time to
time. He is co-editor of the four volume Flora of Victoria and has submitted accounts of various
plant groups for publication in the Flora of Australia. He is a member of the Australian Plant
Census working group, the Mountain Invasions Research Network (MIREN) and is a member of
recovery teams for threatened plants and animals in Victoria.
Neville is an entertaining speaker who last spoke to us in April 2014 about his role at RBGM.
Specimen grown by Ray Turner
Verticordia grandis is a small to medium sized lignotuberous shrub, 1m - 2.5m high by 0.3m - 2m
wide. It grows from Cataby northwards to Geraldton and as far east as Dalwallinu in the south-
west of Western Australia. It grows in heath or open scrubland in sands often with or over
lateritic gravel and loam. The scarlet flowers are attractive to nectar feeding birds. Flowering is
mainly between August and January but plants can flower intermittently throughout the year.
In cultivation a warm, sunny, well drained aspect is preferred with the plants not to crowded so
conditions in a garden situation and can suffer dieback in some branches if adequate space is not
maintained around the plant. Regular tip pruning is recommended to create a bushy plant.
Propagation is from cuttings, grafting or tissue culture. This species and other Verticordia species
improve reliability. Verticordia grandis will grow on its own roots quite happily in our sandy soils.
Verticordia is a member of the Myrtaceae family. A large family of c.3500 species in c.150 genera
, Callistemon, Eremaea, Eucalyptus, Homoranthus, Kunzea, Leptospermum, Melaleuca,
Northern Territory endemic) occurring in Western Australia.
The name Verticordia literally translated means ‘turner of hearts’, a reference to the Roman
does Verticordia. The specific name, grandis, is from the Latin, large, in reference to the
size of the plant, its leaves and flowers.does Verticordia. The specific name, grandis, is from
the Latin, large, in reference to the size of the plant, its leaves and flowers.
Julie Shepherd, manager, told us that the nursery started out with volunteers providing
indigenous plants to augment remnant bushland areas. The volunteers produced and planted
about 5000 plants. The Bayside Council now provides two staff to manage the nursery and
annual production of up to 100,000 plants is used by Council for parks, gardens and bushland
reserve revegetation work, and by golf clubs and private residents.
Most plants are forestry tube size but about 8000 are provided as 150mm pots for Council
Two volunteer sessions per week are attended by 5 to 18 people. The experienced volunteers
provide the on-going detailed knowledge base of the group about the locations and preferred
growing conditions of the local plants.
Seed and cuttings for propagation are sourced from remnant sites, preferably after burns to
control weed species, and supplemented from nursery-grown plants.
A large part of Julie’s work is coordinating the supply of plants to the 18 Friends Groups and the
get involved in planting programs at their schools and in some reserves.
Natural regeneration of plants in remnant bushland areas is preferred to planting nursery
stock. This process is assisted by controlled burning and hand weeding. In some cases the
main way of preserving plants which are now rare in Bayside such as Gompholobium huegleii (a
bright yellow flowered small pea shrub) and Pimelea octophylla (Woolly Rice-flower) is by
Julie shared some knowledge about using honey as well as rooting hormone on cuttings. Her
attempts to propagate Ricinocarpos pinifolius (Wedding Bush) by extended holding periods in
pots may be showing some promise.
The nursery buildings and layout will soon be modified to improve the work flow as the nursery
continues to become more “commercial”.
Surely the most aromatic plant on the table tonight was Robert’s Murraya paniculata – an
evergreen rainforest plant with
dark foliage and lovely cream,
highly scented flowers. His plant is
22 years old and has grown to 4m
x 1 1/2m. It is easy to maintain,
flowers prolifically and the bees
love it. Prune after flowering.
Robert’s other specimen was of
the purple flowering Thryptomene, T. denticulata. It has
grown to 1m x 1m and is also easy to maintain apart from
having to pull off the webbing caterpillars at times.
Mandy’s Acacia harveyi is a spindly plant which flowers for
Correa time and Mandy had two – C. bauerlenii (chef’s cap
correa) and the cream C. backhousiana. It is also time for the
autumn flowering Crowea exalata which does very well in
Others of Mandy’s collection were
leaf and curly leaf forms (this last
being the ‘pick of the bunch’ – see
later, and the bright magenta
coloured Calytrix frazeri .
The Calytrix is growing on its own roots, is
months. Mandy thinks that it is allergic to
soil, having had some failures in the ground,
so she keeps it in a pot in full sun.
John brought in two
plants: the first was the native tamarind
Diploglottis campbellii (which can grow to
30m in the wild) and this one had several
fruits. One was splitting open to show its
bright red edible aril which surrounds
quite a large stone. Jam can be made from
the rather astringent aril. This plant grows
in northern NSW and is currently 3 1/2m x
4m in full sun. Being a rainforest plant it
requires extra watering. Each fruit can
have 1,2 or 3 seeds. The plant is rare and
endangered in the wild.
John’s other specimen was a potted Boea
Queensland. At first glance it appeared to
be an African violet, to which it is related.
Purple flowers, the first after 7 years, are
held above the leaves just like the African
violet. It is a type of resurrection plant; the
leaves can dry out but will respond well to
water, however the plant can die from
overwatering. Possums seem to love this
plant so John is taking it inside each night.
We then had a brief discussion about how to deal with possums and John recommended ‘D-ter’
which is a powder (aluminium ammonium sulphate) and is dissolved in water before spraying
on the plant to be protected. It is a registered animal deterrent.
Specimen grown by Amanda Louden
Grevillea nudiflora is a prostrate, spreading, occasionally suckering shrub to 3m across. It is
form and there are four main variations. They are, the Fine Leaf Form, which is the most
common in cultivation, the Curly Leaf Form, which comes from the Point Anne region in
Fitzgerald River National Park, a Broad Leaf Form from east of Ravensthorpe and a Shrubby
Form that can attain a height of more than a metre. The bright red and yellow flowers are on
long leafless stems and occur both within and beyond the foliage between winter and spring
but also sporadically throughout the year.
In cultivation it is a relatively hardy plant that grows well in most well drained soils without the
weeping standard. Flowering in garden conditions can occur all year round. A full to partial sun
position is best. It makes an excellent plant to cascade over a wall or embankment.
Grevillea is a member of the Proteaceae family, a family of c.1500 species in c.80 genera
species in 45 genera in Australia. It includes such genera as Adenanthos, Banksia,
The genus was named in honour of Charles Francis Greville (1749-1809), a founder of the Royal
(flower) alluding to the flowers shedding their bracts as the buds begin to expand.
Note that the September and October speakers have been swapped since our last newsletter
due to a clash of events.
“Back Lake” Open Garden, Scotsburn (see flyer)
April 7 Meeting Neville Walsh – Pomaderris
Australian Plants as Bonsai National Symposium, RBGM
APS Yarra Yarra Autumn Plant Sale, Cnr Brougham St & Main road,
Eltham 10am – 3pm
Grampians Pomonal Native flower Show, Pomonal Hall,9:30 am–
October 6 River Yarra Keepers
November Wonthaggi Desalination plant excursion
November 15 – 20 ANPSA Biennial Conference, Canberra
December: Members’ Slides and Christmas break-up
talked about a visit planned to the Wonthaggi Desalination plant in November. By show of
hands, members agreed to the date chosen, Monday November 9
and that we would go by
private vehicle – perhaps car-pooling, rather than organising a bus which restricts everyone to
coming and going at the same time. There will be more details later about times, where to
meet etc, but in the meantime, put the date into your calendar.