Christmas greetings

The State Herbarium of South Australia wishes all followers of the blog, its  volunteers, staff, Hon. Research Associates and Research Affiliates a very happy Christmas break and all the best for the New Year. We hope to see you all again in 2017!

Please note that the State Herbarium will be closed during the holiday period from 23 Dec. 2016 to 2 Jan. 2017.

Last week, we celebrated our traditional volunteers’ End-of-year-thank-you party.  Everyone had a nice time and enjoyed the good food.  During the last year, Herbarium volunteers and Hon. Associates donated over 12,843  hours of their valuable time, which is equivalent to 8 full-time staff members.

New Journal articles: Dec. 2016

Today, the State Herbarium of South Australia published two large papers in the online version of the Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.

H.R. Toelken, Revision of Kunzea (Myrtaceae). 2. Subgenera Angasomyrtus and Salisia (section Salisia) from Western Australia and subgenera Kunzea and Niviferae (sections Platyphyllae and Pallidiflorae) from eastern Australia. (8.1mb PDF)

Kunzea pulchella. Photo: M. Fagg (ANBG).

This paper almost completes Hon. Research Associate Hellmut Toelken‘s revision of the genus Kunzea. Some Western Australian taxa were treated before by Toelken (1996) (5.38mb PDF) and Toelken & Craig (2007). The current paper revises most of the eastern Australian species, as well as others from Western Australia, and follows the infrageneric framework established by de Lange et al. (2010). Ten new species and two new subspecies are described and illustrated; hybridisation within the genus is discussed in detail. A review of Kunzea sect. Niviferae in Australia, which contains K. ericoides and related taxa, is currently in progress and will complete the revision of the genus; it will be published in the near future. The New Zealand members of that section were described by de Lange (2014).

P.S. Short, Notes concerning the classification of species included in Calocephalus R.Br. and Gnephosis Cass. (Asteraceae: Gnaphalieae), with descriptions of new genera and species. (4.4mb PDF)

Trichanthodium skirrophorum. Photo: P.S. Short.

Phil Short from Darwin continues his revision of genera of Asteraceae, after the publication of his recent paper on Brachyscome and Roebuckiella in J. Adelaide Bot. Gard. 28: 1-219 (2014) & 28: 221-222 (2015) (10.5mb PDF & 342kb PDF), with this monograph on Calocephalus, Gnephosis and related taxa. Fourty species are described in the paper: Two new genera (Balladonia & Notisia) and five new species. The complicated taxonomic and nomenclatural history of the group is also discussed.

To access content of all volumes of the Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens since Vol. 1 (1976), please visit the journal’s web-site at (the Journal is also available through JSTOR).

International Volunteer Day 2016

International Volunteer Day is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly and is held each year on December 5. It is a day for volunteers and volunteer based organizations to celebrate their efforts, to share their values, and to showcase the difference they make in their communities.

volunteers-deh037-400x600International Volunteer Day once again provides the opportunity for the State Herbarium of South Australia to recognise and reflect on the huge contribution that its volunteers and Honorary Research Associates make to the success and reputation of our institution.

As a gauge of how significant that contribution is, last financial year the Herbarium’s volunteers contributed 12,843 hours of their time. The Honorary Research Associates’ efforts made up 8,623 of those hours.

The ten Honoraries continue to play a major part in providing the taxonomic research that underpins our fundamental knowledge about native and introduced plant and fungal diversity. To single out some projects, significant contributions were made to weed research by Hellmut Toelken with his work on native and introduced pigfaces, Carpobrotus species (a joint project with the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Region and Birdlife Australia that has been nominated for a DEWNR Green Globe award), Bill Barker with his work on weedy and native broom-rapes (Orobanche) and Laurie Haegi contributing his expertise to help determine if a biological control for a weedy Solanum species can be introduced to Australia without threatening our diverse native Solanum species.  All three are recognised as national and international experts in their fields and we are very fortunate to have their and our other Honoraries skill and experience available to us.

Communicating our knowledge is also a vital part of our work. The efforts of Honorary Bob Baldock in providing beautifully photographed Algae Revealed fact-sheets to help describe and identify our State’s mega-diverse marine algae flora are creating an invaluable addition to our identification aids.  Bob is also an excellent communicator and his blog articles and stunning images of marine algae have set a high bar.

Our general volunteers numbered almost 30 this year and ranged from enthusiastic botany students and graduates to our very senior and experienced long-term volunteers. Once again we are very fortunate to have such a loyal and dedicated volunteer workforce who play a major role in keeping the vital routines of maintaining a collection of over one million specimens in good order.

Contributed by State Herbarium Manager Peter Canty.

New paper published

ASBv29n3_cvrs_Cover24(2)A team from the State Herbarium of South Australia and The University of Adelaide have just published a research paper in Australian Systematic Botany. This journal issue combines several papers presented during the Australasian Systematic Botany Society Conference in Canberra in 2015.

The authors show in three examples, how Next Generation Sequencing can provide numerous tools for population and systematic studies. These tools are helpful for researchers working with non-model and poorly characterised organisms where little or no genomic data exist.

The case studies discuss the genetics of Acacia pinguifolia, the relationships of Acacia pycnantha at and above species level, as well as relationships in Myrtaceae: within eucalypts and at higher level.


The art of Ferdinand Bauer


Truth & Beauty

The Australian botanical works of Ferdinand Bauer

Ferdinand Bauer (1760 – 1826) was an Austrian born botanical illustrator. At the turn of the 19th century he was one of six scientists selected to join Capt. Matthew Flinders in the scientific expedition that would chart Australia’s coastline and document its flora and fauna. Robert Brown was the botanist of the expedition. Bauer returned to England in 1805 with sketches of more than 1500 plants.

This exhibition draws on the McCarthy Collection of prints from the Flinders University Art Museum, illustrated publications by and about Bauer and plant specimens from the State Herbarium of South Australia to explore the fusion of art and science in his remarkable work.

Please drop in at the Flinders University City Gallery on the ground floor of the State Library of South Australia. The exhibition runs from 3 Dec. 2016 to 5 Feb. 2017. Opening hours are: Tue.–Fri. 11am–4pm, Sat. & Sun. 12am–4pm. Note also the public lecture by Prof. David Mabberley on 3 Dec. 2016, 2pm (see exhibition poster below).

This is a Flinders University Art Museum exhibition in partnership with the Santos Museum of Economic Botany, Botanic Gardens of South Australia, co-curated by Fiona Salmon & Madeline Reece (Flinders University) and Tony Kanellos (Botanic Gardens of South Australia).

Top banner & exhibition poster: Ferdinand Bauer, Banksia coccinea from Illustrationes florae Novae Hollandiae, stipple engraved on copper, hand-coloured 1813, published 1989 by Alecto Historical Editions in association with the British Museum (Natural History), London. Acquired by Flinders University with the support of the University of the Third Age in commemoration of Flinders University’s 50th Anniversary.