Category Archives: Publications

New Outback Book edition

The revised edition of the Field Guide to the Plants of Outback South Australia is now available. The first edition of the book was written by Frank Kutsche and Brendan Lay and published in 2003 by the Pastoral Program. It was out-of-print for almost 15 years.

The State Herbarium of South Australia partnered with the Pastoral Unit (Department for Environment and Water), to produce this new second edition, which was revised by Tim Croft and Jürgen Kellermann from the State Herbarium. It has been completely reformatted and newly type-set, all plant names have been updated, descriptions were revised, photos were added or replaced with better images. Ten more species were added to the book.

This comprehensive field guide draws together the knowledge of the more common plants within the outback region of South Australia (the area north of a line from the Murray River to Morgan, across to Pt Augusta and westwards to the W.A. border). 356 of the most common outback plants are described and illustrated (incl. 24 introduced weeds). 212 of these plants are featured with full page descriptions, the others have shorter treatments. Distribution maps are provided. All species are arranged by their life form (trees, shrubs, forbs, grasses, climbers, etc.) for easier identification.

It is for sale at the OPENBOOK HOWDEN online bookshop, as well as the Botanic Gardens reception desk (Goodman Building, Hackney Road, Adelaide). It will also be available from selected bookshops, retail outlets, roadhouses and tourist informations. A full list of shops, where the book can be purchased in person, will be published on the Outback Book web-page.

Kutsche, F., Lay, B., Croft, T. & Kellermann, J. (2023). Field guide to the Plants of Outback South Australia (second revised edition). (State Herbarium of South Australia: Adelaide).

The field guide has 320 pages; binding is section-sown and the book has a vinyl outer cover for protection against the environment.

Retail price is $44 (incl. GST).

New journal articles: Mar. 2023

The State Herbarium of South Australia published two articles in the online version of its journal Swainsona today, 24 Mar. 2023. The first article was published in Vol. 30, the special volume to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the State Herbarium; the second paper is the first to be published in this year’s regular volume, Vol. 37.

(1) J.A. Gardner & K.L. Delaporte, Waite Arboretum – An enduring gift (3.5mb PDF).

The article explains the history of the Waite Arboretum from its establishment in 1928, through pivotal developments as a rain-fed scientific collection, with expanding educational and community outreach programs, to the digital technology making the information embodied in this significant collection available to the widest possible audience.

Dragon’s Blood Tree (Dracaena draco) at the Waite Arboretum. Photo: E. Harvey.

(2) T.A. Hammer, Description of Hibbertia hesperia (Dilleniaceae), a new species from the Kimberley region, and a new regional key to species (0.9mb PDF).

After evaluating all available specimens of Hibbertia from the Kimberley region, W.A., one collection from Sale River was clearly separable from all other species in the genus. The author compares this specimen to its presumed close relatives and formally describes it as the new species H. hesperia. An identification key to all Hibbertia taxa currently known to occur in the Kimberley is also presented.

Hibbertia hesperia, the new species from the Kimberley region. Part of type specimen.

To access content of all volumes of Swainsona and the Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens since Vol. 1 (1976), please visit the journal’s web-site at or the Swainsona back-up site.

New Journal articles: Dec. 2022

Spyridium cordatum from Western Australia, first described by Russian botanist Turczaninow in 1858 from collections by James Drummond.

The State Herbarium of South Australia published two articles in Vol. 36 of its journal Swainsona today, 1 Dec. 2022.

(1) J. Kellermann, S.L. Mosyakin, C. Clowes & F. Udovicic, Australian species of Rhamnaceae published by Turczaninow, their types, current names and synonyms (6..7mb PDF).

Holotype of Spyridium villosum at KW, described by Turczaninow as Cryptandra villosa.

The authors clarify the typification of eight names of Australian taxa of Rhamnaceae, described by the 19th century Russian botanist Nicolai Turczanionow (1796-1863). APNI lists 521 names of Australian genera and species published by Turczaninow, of these almost 200 are still current and used today (according to APC).

Holotypes or lectotypes of these names can be found in Turczaninow’s personal herbarium (KW-TURCZ), which is preserved in the National Herbarium of Ukraine, Kyiv. The herbarium KW houses over 2 million specimens and important historical collections, among them many type specimens of Australian taxa. It is part of the M.G. Kholodny Institute of Botany, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, which also publishes two well-known taxonomic journals: the Ukrainian Botanical Journal, since 1921, and Algologia, since 1990.

For information about the current conditions at the M.G. Kholodny Institute of Botany and the National Herbarium of Ukraine see an article by Sergei Mosyakin & Natalia Shiyan, Ukr. Bot. J. 79: 339-342 (2022).

(2) T.A. Hammer, Updated nomenclature and identification key for Hibbertia subg. Pachynema (Dilleniaceae) and description of a new species from the Northern Territory (2.4mb PDF).

Flower of Hibbertia triquetra, a new species from the Northern Territory described by Tim Hammer (type specimen).

The eleven species and three species groups of Hibbertia subg. Pachynema are discussed in this paper, and an identification key and the first formal synonymy for the subgenus are given. Additionally, the phrase name Hibbertia sp. Marrawal (K.G. Brennan 3194) from the Northern Territory is finally assessed and formally described as Hibbertia triquetra.

To access content of all volumes of Swainsona and the Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens since Vol. 1 (1976), please visit the journal’s web-site at or the Swainsona back-up site.

New journal articles: July 2022

The State Herbarium of South Australia published three articles in Vol. 36 of its journal Swainsona today, 22 July 2022.

(1) T.A. Hammer, Inadvertent lectotypifications of Australian Dillenia and Tetracera (Dilleniaceae) (100kb PDF).

In this Short Communication, Tim Hammer (State Herbarium of South Australia & The University of Adelaide) clarifies the types for two species of Dilleniaceae: Dillenia alata (R.Br. ex DC.) Banks ex Martelli and Tetracera daemeliana F.Muell. In both cases, a lectotype was chosen inadvernetly by R.D. Hoogland, i.e. he did not explicitely designated the type specimens in his publications as lectotypes, but according to Art 9.10 of the International code of nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) his listing of a “type” specimen is interpreted as lectotypification.

Tye specimen of the new species Quintinia macrophylla.

(2) O.K. Paul & J. Kellermann, A new species of Quintinia (Paracryphiaceae) and an overview of the genus for New Guinea (3.2mb PDF).

Botanist Oliver Paul from the Papua New Guinea National Herbarium and State Herbarium of South Australia staff member Jürgen Kellermann publish an overview of the enigmatic tropical genus Quintinia for New Guinea, lectotypify several names and also describe a new species, Q. macrophylla. Over the years, the genus has been assigned to several different plants families: Saxifragaceae, Escalloniaceae, Grossulariaceae or to its own family Quintiniaceae. Molecular data now place it into Paracryphiaceae. Quintinia species are small to medium-sized shrubs or trees, growing from lowland rainforests to high montane moss forests. A world-checklist of Quintinia is also appended to the paper: The genus is most species-rich in New Guinea (13 spp.), but is also distributed in New Caledonia & Vanuatu (6 spp.; see Pillon & Hequet 2019), Australia (4 spp.), New Zealand (1 sp.) and Mindanao (Philippines) & Sulawesi (Indonesia) (1 sp.).

(3) T.A. Hammer, Two new cremnophilous Hibbertia (Dilleniaceae) species from the Northern Territory (2.2mb PDF).

The author describes to species of Hibbertia, which are mainly occurring in Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory. Both species have been known as phrase name taxa for several years: The new species Hibbertia pendula was known as Hibbertia sp. South Magela and H. scopulicola was known as Hibbertia sp. Mount Howship. Both taxa grow in sandstone gorges, hanging from fissures in cliff faces.

The new species Hibbertia scopulicola growing on a cliff face in a gorge in the Wellington Range. Photo: D.E. Murfet.

To access content of all volumes of Swainsona and the Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens since Vol. 1 (1976), please visit the journal’s web-site at or the Swainsona back-up site.

Lepiota brunneoincarnata – another exotic toxic mushroom in South Australia

Lepiota brunneoincarnata. Collection of the mushroom involved in a dog poisoning case. Scale divisions: 1 mm. Photo: P.S. Catcheside.

For some time, Lepiota brunneoincarnata is known to occur in South Australia and a similar species, Lepiota cristataoccurs in parts of New Zealand. The State Herbarium of South Australia has now published a new fact-sheet on this poisonous fungus (500kb PDF).

At the State Herbarium of South Australia, we have collections of Lepiota from at least 6 poisoning cases, some human and some dogs, over the last 5-8 years. While microscopy was done at the time of each case, the condition of samples when we receive them can be problematic. In the last few months we have extracted DNA and confirmed the identity of 3 of the past cases as L. brunneoincarnata, based on analyses of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) DNA region data. The next step is to complete tests for amatoxin concentration, to determine how much is a deadly dose.

Lepiota brunneoincarnata. Fungus involved in a human poisoning case, showing the typical white gills, purplish-brown fibrils on the cap, and the skirt on the stem with a purplish-brown rim and purplish-brown fibrils in patches below the skirt. Photo: T. Lebel.

Amatoxin poisoning upon ingestion of species of Lepiota may have a deadly outcome, but is not seen as often as it is from the genus Amanita. Amatoxins inhibit nuclear RNA polymerase II, and this inhibition results in impaired protein synthesis and cell death. Because the liver is an organ in which protein synthesis and cell turnover are high, it suffers the most distinct damage in amatoxin poisoning. The damage appears to be directly proportional to the dose of toxin ingested (i.e. more eaten, more damage). Amatoxins are contained in some Amanita, Galerina and Lepiota species. In Australia and New Zealand, Amanita phalloides (death cap) is known to have a high concentration of amatoxins, and to have been the cause of over 10 deaths in the last 15 years (a far lower rate than occurs in many overseas countries). Some Lepiota species (L. brunneoincarnata, L. brunneolilacina, L. helveola, L, josserandii, L. spiculata, L. venenata) are also known to be very toxic.

These exotic fungi are found in urban areas, mulched gardens or lawns. Don’t make the mistake that just because you have put mushroom compost in your garden beds, that edible Agaricus field mushrooms are the only ones that will grow!

State Herbarium fact-sheets are also available on the poisonous fungi Amanita phalloides (death cap) (700kb PDF) and Agaricus xanthodermus (yellow stainer) (650kb PDF).

Some fungi that have been confused with Lepiota brunneoincarnata in the past: Chlorophyllum brunneum (left), Leucoagaricus leucothites (middle) and Agaricus sp. (right). Photos: T. Lebel & K. Syme.

Written by State Herbarium mycologist Teresa Lebel
and Hon. Research Associate Pam Catcheside.