Category Archives: Events

Herbarium Torus May 2017

Herbarium opens its doors

The month of May has been busy for the State Herbarium of South Australia to open its doors to the community.

History Month Tours—again a full house Saturday and Sunday 27–28 May 2017

Visitors were treated to a summary of the history of the Old Tram Barn which now houses the State Herbarium of South Australia by Peter Canty. Escaping the weather which was at times wild and woolly, the tour also gave insights into a modern herbarium and its operation, along with getting to see some specimens of extinct South Australian plant species and some of the weird and wonderful collections by Michelle Waycott.

Peter Canty, Manager State Herbarium, and tour participants

The interest in the building was matched by the interest in the Herbarium and the botanical science that is run out of the Herbarium.

Jürgen Kellermann describes the publications and knowledge resources the State Herbarium of South Australia May 2017

There were many questions by tour participants on the role of the Herbarium as a public institution that provided information for the community on our native and naturalised plants, fungi, algae, lichens and bryophytes. Most were surprised to learn that the knowledge the Herbarium manages, including the Census of the South Australian Flora is freely available via the online web interface:

Publications of the Herbarium were also highlighted including our flagship publication, the Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, soon to be renamed Swainsona to honour our states floral emblem. Jürgen Kellermann, our editor and Senior Botanist, outlined how the new publications we produce are made such that they are freely available online.

Before 1900 at AD

Map of collections made before the year 1900, map drawn using Australia Virtual Herbarium (




A new fun fact about our collections is that more than 15,000 specimens we house were collected prior to 1900!

Totally Wild in the vaults

Leela and Michelle – with some lookers on and film crew, during filming at the State Herbarium of South Australia

Last week, we also had the film crew from Totally Wild visit to find out about herbarium collections and some of the ways plants are named. The filming had some fun moments and we hope will provide some interest to younger audiences.




Contribution by Michelle Waycott


State Herbarium open days 2017

As in previous years, the State Herbarium of South Australia will be open to the public as part of South Australia’s History Festival, this year on the weekend of 27 & 28 May 2017. The heritage-listed 1909 Tram Barn A was once part of a complex housing the Adelaide tram fleet. Now the State Herbarium, it houses over one million plant specimens instead. See some of the first plants collected in the state on Matthew Flinders’ voyage and learn how all these dried specimens are critical to the effective preservation of living plants.

Read more about Tram Barn A (pdf) and the over one million plant specimens (pdf) in booklets published by the institution.

Guided walking tours will be available on both 27 & 28 May at 11am & 1pm (duration 45–60 minutes, maximum 15 persons per tour).

Bookings are essential — via Eventbrite

Please subscribe to the State Herbarium’s blog to find out more about its activites, events and publications.

Roses and chocolates

Alyogyne hakeifolia (Desert Rose)

We have a botanical theme for celebrating Valentines Day this year in Adelaide which includes extended opening hours for both the Botanic Gardens in Adelaide and Mount Lofty, open until 8 pm. There are also a range of special events including ‘Love Notes’ and pop-ups around the gardens for romantic trysts in Adelaide.

Arthropodium strictum (Chocolate Lily)

The State Herbarium is geeking out by selecting two native South Australian plants to celebrate Valentine’s Day — Alyogyne hakeifolia (Giord.) Alef. and Arthropodium strictum R.Br. Common names of these two species include Desert Rose and Chocolate Lily. The Australian endemic Alyogyne is closely related to the rose mallows (Hibiscus) and the flowers of Arthropodium gets its common name from having a scent reminiscent of chocolate or vanilla. We have photographed a couple of our herbarium specimens to share these plants with you.

Happy Valentines Day!

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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.

Another month – another Blitz!

October sees the State Herbarium participating in another ‘blitz’ – this time a BioBlitz!

bioblitz-logo-02A BioBlitz involves a team of scientists and naturalists working with the public to discover and record the life of a park or reserve, normally close to or within a city. BioBlitz events are usually run over a day and evening and include activities for all ages, experienced and novice naturalists, and anyone who wants to contribute and learn. In South Australia, Dr Philip Roetman from the University of South Australia has embraced the BioBlitz concept and, in collaboration with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (which includes the State Herbarium of South Australia), the City of Marion and the City of Salisbury, formed a group called the Discovery Circle, which supports local BioBlitzes and other citizen science projects.


Warriparinga Wetland offers habitat and safe breeding grounds to native birds and fauna. Photo: Discovery Circle.

The October BioBlitzes will be held on Saturday 8 October: Cobbler Creek (see our forthcoming October Plant of the Month and Good Living’s Park of the Month for more information on Cobbler Creek Recreation Park) and on Saturday 29 October: Warriparinga Wetlands. The State Herbarium will be leading groups interested in discovering the reserve’s vegetation.

The Cobbler Creek BioBlitz will run from 9.00am – 9.30pm and will feature wildlife on display, searches for birds, wildflowers and mammals, plus spotlighting, nature play, nature poetry, nature art, kids sessions and bat detecting. The event is free but bookings are essential.

A full program and bookings are available online through “Eventbrite

Cobbler Creek BioBlitz – BOOK NOW

A full program and on-line booking for Warriparinga was not available at the time of writing, but check out the Discovery Circle website for more information:

Contributed by State Herbarium Manager Peter Canty.