Category Archives: News

ASBS-SASB Systematics 2017 Conference

Last week, the joint meeting of the Australasian Systematic Botany Society (ASBS) and the Society of Australian Systematic Biologists (SASB), including the biennial Invertebrate Biodiversity and Conservation Meeting, was held in Adelaide. About 160 delegates, botanists and zoologists, met at The University of Adelaide to hear about and discuss the latest research and developments in systematics and taxonomy.

ASBS President Darren Crayn congratulating Burbidge Medallist Pat Brownsey. Photo: J. Clarkson.

HIghlights of the meeting included

Presentations by research students and professional botanists and zoologists were excellent and provided an insight into the latest research in systematics in Australia and New Zealand, as well as the application of new techniques and methods. The Conference Book with abstracts to all presentations is available online (5.1mb PDF).

The Organising Committee included staff members and post-graduate students from the State Herbarium of South Australia, The University of Adelaide, the South Australian Museum and Flinders University.

The next ASBS Conference will be held at the Queensland Herbarium in Brisbane in Dec. 2018.

The University of Adelaide, Barr Smith Library in the foreground. Photo: M. Seyfang (CC-BY).

Weed reports from The State Herbarium of South Australia now online

Cardiospermum grandiflorum, a new weed found in Adelaide. Photo: C. Brodie.

The State Herbarium of South Australia documents all known plant taxa (species, sub-species, varieties and forms) native and naturalised (weedy) in South Australia. These taxa are listed in the Census of South Australian Plants, Algae and Fungi. All newly discovered state and regional records are added to the Census throughout the year. The records are based on preserved plant specimens, verified by a botanists, and housed in the vaults of the State Herbarium.

For all new records of non-native plants, an annual report is produced by the Weeds Botanists and colleagues from the State Herbarium. The report includes the list of new weeds recorded for South Australia with locations, descriptions, and photographs. Also documented are updates to other taxa that have had a change in distribution, weed status or name. Other activities carried out by Weeds Botanist are also summarised, such as field trips or presentations to community groups.

The latest report, Regional Landscape Surveillance for New Weed Threats Project, 2016-2017: Annual report on new plant naturalisations in South Australia is now available online (3.8mb PDF).

Previous annual reports from 2010 to 2016 have been combined in to one document and are also available (3.7mb PDF).

Nerine sarniensis, an introduced bulb in Belair National Park. Photo: P. Lang.

These reports highlights to land mangers, which non-native plant species have recently been found in South Australia and where.

New records are listed as either “naturalised/established” (*) or “questionably naturalised/established” (?e).

Chris Brodie collecting a specimen of Eucalyptus woodwardii near Snowtown. Photo: P. Lang.

Naturalised plant taxa are those that have originally been introduced by humans to an area, deliberately or accidentally.  They have self-propagated without aid where they are not wanted, possibly spreading by natural means to new areas. An example listed in the recent report is Cardiospermum grandiflorum, commonly known as Balloon Vine. It is a climbing plant that is spreading along a suburban creek line the suburb of Darlington. An attractive bulb species, Nerine sarniensis (Guernsey Lily), has been found naturalising in Belair National Park.

Questionably Naturalised plant taxa (i.e. possible new weeds) are introduced non-native plants that may be self-propagating without aid, but are not well established or lack data to classify them as naturalised. An example of this in the report are a selection of species of Eucalyptus from W.A. and eastern Australia, including E. campaspe, E. spathulata, E. tricarpa, E. urna and E. woodwardii.

A map of State Herbarium botanical regions of South Australia can be found here.

Any unknown or possible new state or regional weed records should be reported to Chris Brodie (08 8222 9468, 0437 825 685, chris.brodie@sa.gov.au).

Contributed by State Herbarium Weeds Botanist Chris Brodie.

Two new native plants in South Australia

Eremophila undulata: fruit & flower. Photo: P.J.Lang (left) & J.Kellermann (right).

Two new native vascular plant species have just been added to the Census of South Australian Plants, Algae and Fungi. Both are eastern range extensions of species previously considered as endemic to Western Australia.

They were first recorded in the Maralinga Tjarutja Lands in the North-western Region of the State by the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre and are now supported by new occurrences discovered by State Herbarium botanists on the recent BushBlitz Great Victoria Desert Survey in September.

Eremophila undulata: habit & leaf morphology. Photo: P.J.Lang.

Eremophila undulata Chinnock was described by State Herbarium Honorary Associate Bob Chinnock in 1980 (1mb PDF) and the specific epithet refers to its distinctive undulate leaf margins.

Eremophila undulata is related to Eremophila serrulata and has similar golden-green coloured flowers, but it grows in sandy loams on plains rather than the rocky habitats more typical of the latter.

Sclerolaena eurotioides (F.Muell.) A.J.Scott is unusual in having soft filamentous processes in place of the woody spines that are present on most Sclerolaena fruit. It was found during the Bush Blitz survey on the margin of a clay pan to the south of Serpentine Lakes in Mamungari Conservation Park.

Sclerolaena eurotioides: fruit & habit. Photo: J.Kellermann.

Contributed by State Herbarium botanist Peter Lang.

Happy 40th Birthday to the Friends of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide

Friends preparing to Enter Government House

Congratulations to the Friends of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide on their 40th birthday which has been celebrated over the last week or so. The Friends, are a volunteer organisation having an impressive membership of more than 900. Members are passionate about the importance of plants which they share during their popular daily guided walks and other volunteering. Volunteers enrich the work we do, the lives we lead and create an amazing connection between the community and out institution.The Friends also contribute to the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium of South Australia by helming find support for projects and to encourage the next generation of horticulturalists through awards.

Today, at a reception held at Government House, hosted by friend Patron and Governor, His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC and Mrs Le, the work and commitment of these volunteers was recognised and in the words of the Governor, should continue for another 40 years! Members of the Friends enjoyed afternoon tea and the chance to visit in Government House.

Governor Le, Judy Potter, Mrs Le

Governor Le, Judy Potter, Mrs Le at Friends of the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide 40th Birthday Reception

Support by our Friends—formal, informal and by any means—is something we value highly, and I wish to express my thanks to all of you.

Michelle

Chief Botanist, Professor Michelle Waycott, State Herbarium of South Australia, Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium.

 

The State Herbarium and weed management in South Australia

Herbarium specimen of Cotoneaster pannosus, consisting of stems with leaves and fruits, label with collection information, and a barcode that identifies the sheet.

The State Herbarium of South Australia documents and lists all known plant species that grow wild in South Australia. We are able to do this for both introduced and native species, with all observations verified by voucher specimens. These are stored as permanent verifiable records of what species grew where and at which time.

Herbarium specimens have two main components: The actual specimen is normally a pressed and dried plant, or part(s) thereof, that can be used for identification. The second part of the specimen is the data associated with the collection. This includes, but is not limited to, location, frequency, habitat, habit and any other obvious observations. This data are as important as the preserved plant itself. Having one part without the other renders the specimens almost useless.

State Herbarium Weeds Botanist, Chris Brodie is responsible for identifying and cataloguing the wild non-native plants for South Australia. Especially important are any previously unrecorded wild populations of non-native plant species that are new to the State or new to individual regions, especially those in the early stages of establishment that could be the next ”big problem weed species”.

Cardiospermum grandiflorum (Balloon Vine), a species listed as naturalised in 2017. Photo: C.J.Brodie.

Weed species are organisms that adversely impact natural and agricultural environments. Some known problematic weed species in South Australia are:

The Weed Management Society of South Australia (WMSSA) provides a forum to share knowledge, debate issues and generate ideas, drawing on practical weed control experience and the latest research. New members are always welcomed and events are open to all. The Society brings together people actively involved in managing weeds and researchers with interests in protecting our agricultural and natural environments. The main aim of the WMSSA is to minimize the “impacts of weeds in South Australia, on our economy, environment and society”.

At this year’s Annual General Meeting of WMSSA, Chris Brodie was voted in as Secretary of the Society. This is a great opportunity for the Herbarium to involve itself in the wider weeds community in South Australia, and it is with enthusiasm that Chris assumes this role in the Society.

Next year, the WMSSA will be holding its 6th bi-annual conference on 2–3 May 2018 at the Waite Plant Research Centre. Further details can be obtained from the June edition of Weedwise, the Society’s newsletter. All are encouraged to get involved and interested parties should keep their diaries clear for the 6th WMSSA conference in May.

Contributed by State Herbarium Weeds Botanist Chris Brodie.