Gardens and arboreta
A directory of Australian botanic gardens and arboreta has been compiled by Murray Fagg and Jan Wilson (1998). The growing of cultivars was encouraged by the proliferation of parks, reserves and both private and public gardens, including botanic gardens, dedicated to the growth of native plants. These included: the evolution of the Australian National Botanic Gardens through the 1930s and 40s, Jervis Bay Botanic Gardens (ANBG Annex, 1951; becoming Booderee National Park and Botanic Gardens in 1995); the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne annex at Cranbourne (1960s to the present); Burrendong Arboretum (1964), King’s Park and Botanic Garden (Approved 1962,opened Oct 1965), The North Coast Regional Botanic Garden, Coffs Harbour (gazetted 1975, work begun 1981); Mount Annan Botanic Garden (1984-5). More recently there is the Olive Pink Botanic garden in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta, South Australia and the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens, Mildura, Victoria. Various sites have been devoted to single genus collections built up either by SGAP Study Groups or the former Ornamental Plant Collections Association. Among these are the Callistemon collection of Harry Infield at his Callistemon arboretum at Demesne Park on the mid-north coast of New South Wales (he also raised many new selections) and the collection of Brisbane nurseryman Ted Knight who ran a Callistemon nursery in the school grounds of the Redlands Special School in Thornlands and was assisted by Brisbane grower Colin Cornford. The SGAP Grevillea Study Group established a Grevillea collection in Illawarra (Payne, 2002). For Correa there was the 3.2 ha Katandra Gardens 50km east of Melbourne at the foot of the Dandenong Range (B. & D. O’Niel, 2003).
Nurseries and collections
Much of the history of native plant cultivars relates to the nurseries and sites where those people who raised the new plants were working. The following is a sample of the more influential native plant nurseries that would have supplied the new cultivars of their day.
• Boddy’s Eastern Park Nursery Geelong supplied native plants including 150 grevilleas with some hybrids and cultivars as well as Schubert’s Nursery at Noble Park, Victoria (Elliot & Jones Vol. 5, p. 11).
• Cadwell Nursery, Annangrove, New South Wales, property of Mr S Cadwell used the prefix Boongala for many of his selections most notable of which is G. ‘Boongala Spinebill’. G. ‘Sid Cadwell’.
• Kentlyn Nursery, Kentlyn, New South Wales in 1980s G. ‘Mason’s Hybrid’.
• Myall Park, a 90 ha property and garden and herbarium at Glenmorgan, in south-west Queensland from 1941 with proprietor horticulturist and grazier David Gordon (David Morrice Gordon, 1899–2001) who produced a number of important Grevillea cultivars in the 1960s, notably two named after his daughters: ‘Robyn Gordon’ (1963) and ‘Sandra Gordon’ (1968), and also ‘Mason’s Hybrid’, G. ‘Merinda Gordon’. [Pic of David Gordon pg. 66 of Banksias etc.] The property continues as Myall park Botanic Garden Ltd, being formed in 1991.
• Payne’s Nursery
• Poorinda the property of Leo Hodge (Leomin Hodge, 1904–1994) at W Tree, near Buchan, in East Gippsland, Victoria, growing native plants in the 1940s and producing a number of Grevillea cultivars – releasing four in the early 1950s, the first four being ‘Poorinda Queen’, ‘Poorinda Pink Coral’, ‘Poorinda Leanne’ and ‘Poorinda Queen’in 1952, and later ‘Poorinda Constance’, continuing to produce cultivars until about 1968, one of the last being ‘Poorinda Royal Mantle’ in 1967-8, one of the most successful of all native plant cultivars. Using hand pollination techniques he developed forty-five grevillea hybrids, and he included the name of his property in the names of selected grevillea cultivars (Aitken & Looker, 2002).
• Clearview Nursery, Maffra, Victoria was run by Bill Cane. It was planted out in the 1940s, mainly with eucalypts. Bill was a friend of Leo Hodge and a founding member of the SGAP. He raised G. ‘Clearview David’ in the 1940s. Also at this time G. ’Clearview John’ and ‘Clearview Robin’ and also some Callistemon cultivars.
• Nindethana Nursery, Dripstone, central western slopes of New South Wales was established in 1935 as a native seed and plant nursery managed by George Althofer (George William Althofer, 1903–1993, brother Peter Althofer, 1918–1991) a pioneer grower of native plants who began his collection in the 1920s. G. ‘Coral’ (1956), G. ‘Audrey’ (1957), G. ‘Glen Sandra’ and ‘Glen Pearl’ (1960), and G. ‘Dorothy’ (1963), named after David Gordon’s wife. He also specialized in the Mintbush genus Prostanthera, publishing a botanical account of the genus, Cradle of Incense in 1978. George’s brother Peter established and managed the Burrendong Arboretum at Wellington in New South Wales.
• Austraflora Nursery, (Proprietor Rodger Elliot established this nursery at Croydon (Vic) in 1959, later moving to Bayswater (1963) then Montrose (1968); it was leased in 1973 to Bill Molyneux then sold in 1982. The nursery has released many cultivars and under Bill Molyneux has specialized in selecting and developing new native plant cultivars. As the name Austraflora is now a trademark it cannot be included as part of the cultivar name as was once the case. Releases include Callistemon pallidus ‘Candle Glow’ and ‘Firebrand’ (1973), Grevillea ‘McDonald park’ (1967), G. ‘Copper Crest’ (1975), G. ‘Lyrebird’ (1979), G. ‘Bon Accord’ in 1982. Bush Gems Garden Nursery, Victoria, noted for the selection of genetic resistance to the fungus disease Ink Spot in Anigosanthos, the Bush Gems series of cultivars being marketed by Biotec Australia.
• Crystal Waters Nursery, Victoria produced Boronia megastigma ‘Heaven Scent’.
• Chandlers Nursery, Victoria Boronia megastigma ‘Jack Macguire’s Red’.
• Native Flora Sanctuary, Addison Ave, Athelstone, South Australia, proprietor F.C. Payne Thryptomene ‘F.C. Payne’
• Save the Trees Campaign Research Nursery at Zillmere, Brisbane, was run by pioneer native plant grower George Trapnell ((Walter) George Trapnell, 1919–1998) in the 1970s (now disbanded). He raised selections of Callistemon cultivars.
• Coomba Park, Harry Infield’s property on the mid-north coast of New South Wales has a callistemon arboretum called Demesne Park. Harry was, for many years, leader of the SGAP Callistemon Study Group.
• Lullfitz Nursery, Established in 1975 by George Lullfitz, Lullfitz Nursery has specialized in the propagation, growing and promotion of West Australian Native Plants. Situated to the north-east of the Wanneroo township on 4 acres, the Nursery stocks a vast range of Australian plants and is open to the public 7 days a week. New introductions of native plants are made available and promoted by Lullfitz Nursery every year. The introduction of a plant tissue culture laboratory several years ago, has enabled the nursery to propagate and breed plants that were previously difficult to produce by conventional means.
Books and horticultural writers
Along with the gathering interest in growing native plants that occurred over the period 1940 to 1970 came the desire to communicate information and enjoyment through journals and books (see e.g. Payne, 1995)
Bill Payne (William Herbert Payne, 1926-2005) was editor of the quarterly journal Australian Plants which began publication in 1959 at 3 shillings per issue. It was the main means of communication for Australian native plant enthusiasts and nurserymen and was published by the (then) state Societies for Growing Australian Plants. Even at this time the national Society for Growing Australian Plants (which became the Australian National Plant Society (Australia) ANPSA in September 2007 as the federal body with state chapters known as the “Australian Plant Society, NSW “etc., this was after a brief period as the Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants (ASGAP), which was formed by Arthur Swaby in 1957, supported many study groups that specialized in particular genera (this is still an important source of specialist knowledge as each study group produces its own Newsletter) and it was instrumental in the formation of ACRA in 1963 (Blackmore, 2007; Walters, 2007).
Although native plants have been grown since settlement, it was only in the 1950s that gardens of native plants captured wide public appeal. Bill Payne was a founding member of both ACRA and the Australian Flora Foundation, the latter aiming to: “foster research into the biology and cultivation of Australian plants by funding research projects, giving prizes for research, organising seminars, publishing research findings and by any other effective means.” ACRA would meet once a year and the journal Australian Plants would publish descriptions and illustrations of the new registrations. There was a conspectus of registrations A–C in 1988 (Payne, 1989)
In 1988 ACRA produced a booklet Garden Varieties of Australian Plants Vol 1 (1988) with a forward by Don Burke congratulating ACRA members, especially Ben Wallace (Horticultural Botanist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney), John Wrigley (Horticultural Botanist at the National Botanic Gardens Canberra) and Geoff Butler (ACRA Registrar) on the first of what was intended to be many volumes (see also Payne, 1988). Its publication was been flagged in Australian Plants in 1985 (Payne, 1985). Financial assistance was provided by the Society for Growing Australian Plants New south Wales and Queensland Region and the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney but unfortunately only one volume was published. The Introduction by John Wrigley describes the 31 cultivars that were illustrated and described as “a few of the most outstanding registered Australian cultivars that are currently available” and acknowledges the work of Bill Payne in the preparation of a draft of the book.
It was during this period that knowledge of the state Floras was undergoing substantial revision. Plant descriptions were coming out of the academic journals and literature and into the public domain and this too would have fuelled interest. J. M. Black’s Flora of South Australia (first published in 1922–29) was completely revised in 1986; in Victoria the early work of von Mueller and Ewart’s Flora of Victoria (1930) was made more accessible by the pocket-size Jim Willis’s A Handbook to Plants in Victoria (1962–72) which was superseded by the large four-volume flora treatment Flora of Victoria by Foreman, Walsh and Entwisle (1993–99); the Flora of New South Wales edited by Gwen Harden (1990–93); a Flora of Central Australia in 1981. Along with these scientific publications came outstanding pictorial accounts of specific regions, Western Australia, the Grampians, the Blue Mountains and more would have increased the desire to grow native plants.
In 1981 the first volume of the massive Flora of Australia project was launched. This included lichens but algae and fungi were treated as separate groups. By 2010 about 31 volumes had been produced. This project ran almost in parallel with another ambitious undertaking, the 9-volume Encylopaedia of Australian Plants, a horticultural account of the Australian flora (including cultivars) by Rodger Elliot and David Jones with botanical illustrator Trevor Blake (1980–2010). David Jones in particular has been astoundingly prolific botanically, combining his botanical and horticultural work to produce a steady stream of botanically authoritative accounts of large and complex cultivated plant groups both in Australia and the world including ferns (1987, Jones & Clemesha 1981), orchids (Jones, 1988), palms (2000a, 2000b), climbing plants and cycads (1993), and discussing cultivars where this was appropriate. While at the same time Rodger Elliot and his wife Gwen have been key figures in the horticultural promulgation of native plants. Volume 1 of the Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants by Elliot and Jones contains a section on the History of Australian Plants in Cultivation. This includes a history of Australian plants in cultivation overseas, a history of eucalypts in cultivation, and a history of Australian plants and their horticultural development in Australia (Elliott & Jones, 1980-2010). A wide range of cultivars are briefly described in this 9-volume publication with the cultivars in some genera, like Callistemon, being given more detailed treatment so, for example, the cultivars of C. citrinus and C. viminalis are tabulated for easy comparison.
John Wrigley and Murray Fagg from the National Botanic Gardens in Canberra described a number of cultivars in their Native Plants of Australia in 1979. But the genera Banksia, Grevillea, and Telopea were covered by them in much more historical detail in 1989 (Wrigley & Fagg, 1989), and Callistemon, Melaleuca and Leptospermum in 1993 (Wrigley & Fagg, 1993).
Among the first cultivars and probably the oldest of the Callistemon cultivars is Callistemon ‘Harkness’, purchased as C. citrinus in 1937 and propagated for commercial release in Gawler, South Australia in 1948: it is still a widely grown and reliable cultivar. This appears to have been pre-dated by Boronia megastigma ‘Jack Macguire’s Red’ a selection from seedlings raised in Chandlers Nursery Victoria in 1928.
The people who raised them – personalities
The history of cultivar production is studded with colourful and interesting personalities. The following list is by no means exhaustive: it attempts to include only people who have produced or who strongly influenced the production of native plant cultivars. Historical information is derived largely from Aitken & Looker (2002).
Althofer, George William (1903–1993) – Seed merchant, nursery proprietor and advocate of the “Bush Garden”. A self-trained botanist who established a small arboretum at Dripstone, CW New South Wales which, in 1935, became Nindethana Nursery. He later established Burrendong Arboretum in 1964 (Althofer, 1977) near Wellington in New South Wales and this was managed by his brother Peter (1918–1991) who shared George’s interests and joined him on many of his seed collecting expeditions. His publications include The Story of Nindethana (1959) and Cradle of Incense (1979).
Blombery, Alexander Morris (1913-2002) – A prolific early writer, educator, authority on native plants and early member of the Society for Growing Australian Plants. Notable publications incude: Native Australian Plants: Their Propagation and Cultivation (1955), A Guide to Native Auastralian Plants (1967), and What Wildflower is That? (1973) (see Leech, 2003).
Cane, William Lancashire (1911–1987) – Nurseryman and selector of cultivars was a pioneer native plant enthusiast planting out a large eucalypt arboretum on his property in Maffra in the 1940s. He was a friend of Leo Hodge (Anon, 1978) and shared his enthusiasm for grevilleas, naming his new introductions with the prefix Clearview, the name of his property. He was a foundation member of the SGAP. Banksia canei was named by Jim Willis in recognition of his work.
Elliot, Winston Rodger (b. 1941) – Nursery proprietor and author who established the nursery Austraflora at Croydon (Vic) in 1959, later moving to Bayswater (1963) then Montrose (1968). He worked briefly for Edna Walling (1960-61) and Eric Hammond (1961-66). For many years he wrote for Your Garden magazine but is perhaps best known for his booklet An Introduction to the Grampians Flora and the 9-volume Encyclopaedia of Australian Plants coauthored with David Jones (1980–2010). Austraflora was leased in 1973 to Bill Molyneux then sold in 1982. The nursery has released many cultivars and under Bill Molyneux has specialized in selecting and developing new native plant cultivars. Rodger Elliot’s wife Gwen has also written widely on native plants, conducted tours. Through the business Outback Plants Rodger Elliot markets plants to America, Europe and Japan.
Fagg, Murray [entry here]
George Lullfitz – (see Verbeeten, 2006)
Gordon, David Morrice (1899–2001) – Born in Talbot, Victoria, David Gordon was a grazier, and pioneer native plant horticulturist who, starting in 1941, developed an outstanding native plant garden called Myall Park at Glenmorgan Queensland. His wife Dorothy Curtis (1930–1985) was a botanical artist. He is perhaps best known for his Grevillea selections named after his daughters Roby and Sandra Gordon. The park became Myall Park Botanic Garden in 1991.
Hodge, Leomin (1904–1994) – An early pioneer of native plant cultivation Leo was born in Meredith, Victoria, moving to E Gippsland with his family in 1905 where he lived on the property called ‘Poorinda’ which was to serve as the prefix for his cultivars, many of which were grevilleas that he had bred using hand pollination on his property at W Tree. His collection dated back to the 1940s and he introduced about 45 grevillea hybrids and selections. His exceptional garden reached its peak in the 1950s.
Molyneux, William Mitchell (b.1935) – Landscaper, horticulturist and field botanist ‘Bill’ was born and raised in Footscray and trained at Burnley College, Victoria. He has travelled extensively collecting and describing the native flora, concentrating on Acacia, Callistemon and Grevillea. In 1973 he took over the management of Austraflora Nursery from where he has introduced many new cultivars.
?Oakman, Henry Octave
Payne, Frederick Cyril (1893–1972) – Nurseryman and pioneer promoter of Australian native plants he established his native plant nursery in Torrensville, South Australia, in the 1940s. With a successful business this was re-established as Paynes’s Nursery (often referred to as ‘The Sanctuary’) including a display of wildflowers. This nursery became known as the Athelstone Wildflower garden and Nursery and was acquired by the Campbelltown City Council (1963). In 1974 after being taken over by the state the nursery was made part of the Black Hill Native Fllora Park Trust designed by Lindsay Prior. Several cultivars are derived from ‘Fred’s’ nursery probably the best known being Thryptomene ‘F.C. Payne’.
Payne, William Herbert (1926-2005) – ‘Bill’ was editor of the quarterly journal Australian Plants which began publication in 1959 at 3 shillings per issue. It was the main means of communication for Australian native plant enthusiasts and nurserymen and was published by the (then) state Societies for Growing Australian Plants. He was a founding member of both ACRA and the Australian Flora Foundation, the latter aiming to: “foster research into the biology and cultivation of Australian plants by funding research projects, giving prizes for research, organising seminars, publishing research findings and by any other effective means.”
(See: NSW Regional Council, 2002; Olde, 2005; Crawford, 2007).
Pryor, Lindsay Dixon (1915–1998) – Landscape architect, horticulturist, forester and botanist relates to cultivars through not only hiswork on the genetics and breeding of eucalyptsfrom 1949-1958 but also his wide influence on public landscape philosophy, being Director, Parks and Gardens in the ACT (1944–1958) and his emphasis on indigenous species and genetically sound native plant stock.
Swaby, Arthur James (1887–1979) – Though not a producer of cultivars, Arthur was a great inspiration to growers and the native plant movement in general through his column ‘Know Your Natives’ (1964–1960) in Your Garden magazine and as the prime mover in the initiation of the Society For Growing Australian Plants.
Wrigley, John Walter (b. 1934) – Curator of the Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra (1967–81) before moving to Coffs Harbour in New South Wales. He promoted the idea of Regional Botanic Gardns including those at Coffs Harbour, Tamworth and Mildura. He had a term as National president of SGAP and authored several books with Murray Fagg detailing native plant cultivars including Australian Native Plants (1979), Banksias, Waratahs and Grevilleas (1989) and Bottlebrushes, Paperbarks and tea Trees (1993).
Plant Breeder’s Rights
The advantage of registering a new cultivar with an international cultivar registration authority is that the plant becomes fully documented and “on the record”. The likelihood of nomenclatural and identification problems is thus greatly reduced.
However, with improved technology and increasing commercial demands for protection of new cultivars those people raising new cultivars needed a way of taking financial advantage of their research by preventing other people from propagating and selling their new plants – this became possible with the introduction of Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR). The original Australian Plant Variety Rights Act was passed in 1987 and superseded by the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act in 1994. For a fee PBR gave legal protection for the cultivar over a period as well as for the “commercial” name chosen.
Over the period 1987 to 1992 in the early days of PBR program the ornamental native plants submitted for protection were: Acacia (3), Acmena (1), Agonis (1), Anigozanthos (5), Banksia (2), Boronia (3), Brachyscome (4), Callistemon (1), Chamelaucium (21), Danthonia (2), Grevillea (2), Hardenbergia (3), Helipterum (1), Lechenaultia (4), Leptospermum (1), Macadamia (2), Pimelea (1), Scaevola (1), Syzygium (1), Telopea (2), Xanthostemon (1).
With PBR came the emergence of organizations that were more professional and commercially astute in their marketing, and often operating on a much larger scale than earlier nurseries. There was the emergence of dedicated companies targetting the overseas markets, especially those in floristry. In 1996 the Australian Native Flower Growers and Promoters Inc. was formed to take advantage of the increase in world demand for exported cut flowers (Payne, 1996).
ACRA provides IP Australia’s Plant Breeder’s Rights Office with an advisory service for Australian native plant applications as well as the herbarium facilities used for the storage of specimens registered with PBR (for which there is a small fee to the rights applicant). These herbarium specimens are designated as nomenclatural standards under the CPC and housed in the herbarium as a standard portfolio .
Taking out ACRA registration does not protect a cultivar from propagation and sale by others, but it does preclude others taking out PBR on the cultivar, and this is a valuable function for some growers.
Also, under Article 15 of the International Convention on Biological Diversity, access to genetic resources must be subject to prior informed consent on mutually agreed terms. Proper documentation of the resource (plant cultivar) helps in the enforcement of these provisions.
Present-day breeding and selection
Entries in the Plant Varieties Journal indicate that most native plant introductions are “one-offs” few applicants make repeated applications in the same plant genus – with the exception of a few specialist companies. The lack of large-scale breeding and selection for native plants may be related to the cost of PBR and the extensive work needed to draw up descriptions, carry out trials and submit applications – also to a possibly more lucrative market in exotics. The following is a list of companies using PBR to protect new native plant cultivars: it may be used as a contact list to check for new cultivar introductions and for specialist knowledge in particular genera.
Agriculture Western Australia, South Perth, Western Australia. (Phil Watkins) Boronia, Chamelaucium
Austraflora Pty Ltd, Dixons Creek, Victoria. (Bill Molyneux) Acacia, Grevillea, Telopea
Australian Native Produce Indistries Pty Ltd (S. Sykes) Citrus
Botanic Garden and Parks Authority, West Perth, WA. (Patrick Courtney) Lechenaultia
Burbank Biotechnology Pty Ltd, Wyong, NSW
Bywong Nursery, Bungendore, NSW (Peter Ollerenshaw) Grevillea, Leptospermum
Byron Bay Native Produce, Bangalow, NSW. (Erika Birmingham) Citrus (Microcitrus)
Greenhills Propagation Nursery Pty Ltd, Tynong, Vic. (Mark Lunghusen) Boronia
Koala Blooms, Monbulk, Victoria (M. Lunghusen) Bracteantha
Redlands Nursery Pty Ltd, Redlands Bay, Queensland (Ed Bunker) Bracteantha, Callistemon, Leptospermum
Russell & Sharin Costin, Limpinwood, New South Wales. Syzygium
Oasis Horticulture Pty Ltd, Wimmalee, NSW (Mat Turner) Bracteantha
Ornatec Pty Ltd, Birkdale, Queensland. Grevillea
Pacific Plant Development Pty Ltd, Balmoral Village, NSW (Tom Cuneen) Brachyscome
George Lullfitz, Wanneroo, WA. (George Lullfitz) Grevillea
Western Flora, Coorow, Western Australia. (Brian Jack) Chamelaucium
Yellow Rock Native Nursery Pty Ltd, Winmalee, NSW. (Neil Kirby) Ceratopetalum
In 1996 Koala Blooms Australia released their first collection of plants in the Koala Blooms Export Quality Range (Koala Blooms Australia, 1996). Koala Blooms had been in operation since 1990 and discovered that Israel and other European countries had been selling Australian plants for some time but with no financial benefit (as sales royalties) being returned to Australian breeders and originators or the Australian horticultural industry. Koala Blooms established a system whereby all Koala Blooms plants sold in Australia or overseas would pay a royalty to the breeder or person who assigned the rights for Koala Blooms to market them and greater royalties are paid for plants that can be protected by PBR or patents. Koala Blooms was increasing its market in the USA with releases like Brachyscome ‘Mardi Gras’ and other Brachyscome cultivars.
PBR Trials Consultants assist people with cultivar enquires in their specialist groups.
Anigozanthos Ian Paananen, Greg Kirby, Dan Smith
Ficus Liz Darmody, Dan Fitzhenry, Graham Fleming, Zoee Maddox, David Pullar
Grevillea Mark Heyington
Myrtaceae Bob Dunstone
Proteaceae Gail barth, Neil Kirby, John Robb, Ben Robinson, Peter Scholefield, Dan Smith
Between 1999 and 2004 the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and the University of Melbourne, Burnley College, established a program to improve the documentation of cultivars in Australia (Spencer & Adler, 2000). Students in the Plant Materials course at Burnley were matched with a mentor (generally a collector or nurseryman) associated with the origin of a cultivar and, as an assignment, the student would provide a detailed description and diagnosis of the cultivar, including details of its origin and history as well as a herbarium specimen and a colour photocopy (to extend the record of flower and foliage colour) housed in the Horticultural Reference Herbarium at RBG Melbourne as a standard portfolio for the cultivar. Some of these descriptions were published in Australian Horticulture, the first being Banksia ‘Giant Candles’ in 2000. With staff restructuring at Burnley College the program ceased in 2005 but by this time students had prepared more than 160 detailed formal descriptions, many of these being for native plants. For several years the descriptions and images were also made available on the internet.
Cultivars by genus
The following list of native plant genera is a summary reference to information and key literature concerning the production, cultivation and research done on cultivars within each genus.
Acacia has been the subject of a SGAP Study Group (Eisen, 2004). Most cultivars are the result of open pollination and seedling selection although Acacia ‘Scarlet Blaze’ is a wild selection. Selections have been made of A. pravissima and there is the very popular Acacia cognata ‘Limelight. The popular Acacia cardiophylla ‘Wyalong Wattle’ and A. cognata ‘Green Mist’ were produced by Tree Planters nursery, Springvale, Melbourne.
Boden, Robert W. 1969. ‘Variation and Inheritance of Flowering in Acacia baileyana.’ Australian Plants 5: 230-1, 235-6.
Philp, J. & Sherry, S.P. 1946. ‘The Degree of Natural Crossing in Green Wattle Acacia decurrens Willd. and its Bearing on Wattle Breeding.’ Journal of the South African Forestry Association 14: 1–28.
Cross, Rob 2001. ‘Acacia leprosa ‘Scarlet Blaze’: Victoria’s Federation Flower.’ Australian Plants 21(169): 199–201.
Hitchcock, M. 2004. ‘The Dwarf Acacia Cultivar Evolution.’ Australian Plants 22(180): 323–325.
Acacia amblygona ‘Austraflora Winter Gold. 1978 AP 10: 169–170.
Acacia pravissima ‘Golden Carpet’. 1978 AP 10: 170.
Acmena smithii ‘Hedgemaster’ Don Burke, Kenthurst seedling selection. See also Syzygium for “Lilly Pilly” selections.
Actinotus helianthi ‘Starbright’ was raised by RBG Sydney in 1997 by recurrent phenotypic selection over 9 years and tested for tissue culture and hardiness.
Adenanthos meissneri has been the subject of seedling selection and propagation by cuttings.
Cultivars in this genus are all selections of A. flexuosa selected for their pendulous, exceptionally fine, broad or variegated foliage, or low and compact habit.
Agonis flexuosa ‘Variegata’ AP 1976 8: 325-326.
Agonis flexuosa ‘Fairy Foliage’ AP 1977 9: 80.
From the earliest days of native plant cultivation Kangaroo Paw has had ornamental appeal. Breeders include Burbank Biotechnology Pty Ltd, Wyong, NSW from about 1995. In recent times there has been increasing use of controlled pollination and micropropagation e.g. Forbio Plants Pty Ltd and Yates Botanicals Pty Ltd, Somersby (see Hopper, 1979).
Oliver, K.R. 1971. ‘New Kangaroo Paws.’ Australian Plants 6: 60-64.
Anon. 1971. ‘A New Hibiscus Hybrid. (Hibiscus ‘Wirruna’).’ Australian Plants 6: 104.
Anigosanthos ‘Pin Joey’ AP 1976 8: 326-327.
Motum, G., Stewart, I.A. & Goodwin, P.B. 1985 ”Kangaroo Paw. A Hybridisation and Breeding Program.” Australian Plants 13 (105): 196–199.
Dixon, Bob & Sue 1991. “Kangaroo paw – Plants for Horticulture – Forms and Iterspecific and Intraspecific Hybrids.” Australian Plants 16 (126): 47–50.
Hansa, Alex, Fairhill Nursery 1991. “Hybrid Paws in Queensland.” Australian Plants 16 (126): 51.
Moore, Alison 1991. “Growing Hybrid Kangaroo Paws in Tasmania.” Australian Plants 16 (126): 51–52.
Oliver, Keith R. 1991. “Hybrid Kangaroo Paws.” Australian Plants 16 (126): 53.
Bowden, Adrian G. 1991. “The Western Star Kangaroo Paws.” Australian Plants 16 (126): 62–65. (with list)
Biotech 1991. “The “Bush Gem” Hybrid Kangaroo Paws.” Australian Plants 16 (126): 66. (with list)
Anon 1991. “The Southern Aurora Kangaroo Paws.” Australian Plants 16 (126): 67–69.
ACRA 1991. “Kangaroo Paw Cultivars”. Australian Plants 16 (126): 75–76.
Payne, William H. 1994. “Kangaroo Paws in Horticulture”. Australian Plants 18 (141): 21.
Dietch, Dick 1991. Hybrid Kangaroo Paws – The Victa Mower Versus Ink disease. Australian Plants 16 (128): 174–178.
Oliver, Keith, R. 1992 “Kangaroo paws – Pests and Diseases.” Australian Plants 17 (133): 23–26.
Anderson, Richard 1992. “‘Bush Gem’ Kangaroo Paws.” Australian Plants 17 (133): 27–29.
Scarvelis, John 2003. ‘Australia’s Kangaroo Paws.’ Australian Plants 22(176): 107–114.
Baeckea virgata ‘Howie’s Feathertips’and ‘Howie’s Sweet Midget’ are seedling variants.
Banksia from the Waite Agricultural Research Institute of the University of Adelaide. ‘Waite Crimson’, ‘Waite Flame’.WM Molyneux Austraflora ‘Birthday Candles’ seedling selection. Banksia canei ‘Celia Rosser’ the specific epithet commemorating Bill Cane is a chance seedling.
Sedgley, Margaret 1999. New Banksia released (inc. Research reports (with Mary Rieger, and Banksia as a Cut-flower and for General Horticulture). Australian Plants 20 (158): 43–55.
B. rubioides double flowers
B. thujona – double flowers. B. megastigma ‘Chandleri’ commemorates the Chandler family who lived in the township of Boronia in the foothills of the Dandenongs where they had a nursery (Chandlers Nursery) and grew Boronia for the cut flower industry.
Hybrids e.g. Boronia heterophylla x B. megastigma ‘Purple Jared’ have been produced by the University of WA.
Bert Chandler & Son 1963. ‘The Brown Boronia and its Forms.’ Australian Plants 2: 144-45.
Australian Cultivar Registration Authority (1982). ‘Australian Plant Cultivars.’ Australian Plants 11(90): 263
Plant Growers Australia of Wonga Park have made selections of Brachyscome using controlled and open pollination and selection. Brachyscome ‘Toucan Tango’ was raised in Germany by Innova Plant GmbH & Co KG.
Cultivars are either wild selections or the result of controlled pollination and propagation of selections by vegetative tip cuttings as at Redlands Nursery also by Rodger and Gwen Elliot.
Bracteantha bracteata ‘Diamond Head’ AP 1977 9: 204 (comment p. 205); 1990 (124): 342.
Bracteantha bracteata ‘Barleythorpe’ AP 1990 15 (124): 341.
Bracteantha bracteata ‘Cockatoo’ AP 1990 15 (124): 341
Bracteantha bracteata ‘Dargan Hill Monarch’ AP 1990 15 (124): 341
Bracteantha bracteata ‘Golden Bowerbird’ AP 1990 15 (124): 342
Bracteantha bracteata ‘Hastings Gold’ AP 1990 15 (124): 342
Bracteantha bracteata ‘Princess of Wales’ AP 1990 15 (124): 343
Gorst, Janet R. & O’Brien, Lin 2002. ‘Bracteantha Micropropagation.’ Australian Plants 21(171): 307.
Over 300 cultivars of callistemon have been named, only 23 of which have been submitted to ACRA for registration, but there is considerable confusion over their identity and, as many in fact may be the same, perhaps the total number is fewer. Most callistemon cultivars have been selected for flower colour or habit. Callistemon viminalis especially has been the selection of habit variations taken from its wide natural distribution range. These habit variants have been the source of some nomenclatural confusion. Queensland pioneer grower, field botanist, and nurseryman George Trapnell introduced many cultivars selected from the wild often assisted by photographer and naturalist Keith Williams. The first cultivar submitted for PBR was Callistemon salignus ‘Great Balls of Fire’. The work of Wrigley and Fagg (1993) in preparing a description of callistem cultivars and attempting to sort out the associated nomenclatural confusion were assisted by the work and collections of Harry Infield, for many years the leader of the Callistemon Study Group of the SGAP and his callistemon arboretum at Demesne Park on the mid-north coast of New South Wales (he also raised many new selections) also by Brisbane nurseryman Ted Knight who ran a callistemon nursery in the school grounds of the Redlands Special School in Thornlands and was assisted by Brisbane grower Colin Cornford.
Most cultivars have been selected for the colour of their stamen filaments, essentially a range of whites, yellows and cream on the one hand and violets, pinks and reds on the other. Considering the subtle variations that can occur in these two colour groups, and that the filament colour can vary with age, it is not surprising that the RHS colour chart has been used to indicate colour using flowers that are mature but freshly “opened”.
Outstanding cultivars include ‘Harkness’, purchased in 1937 and used for cuttings in 1948 … C. citrinus ‘Splendens’ is listed by the ?New RHS Dictionary of Gardening as the “finest of the genus”. ‘King’s Park Special’. ‘Lilacinus’ is the earliest known cultivar of Callitemon, the seed collected near Como in NSW and raised in Berlin in 1913. (Wrigley & Fagg, 1993, p. 100). ‘Little John’ was awarded a Gold Medal by the Tree and Shrub growers Group of the NIAA in 1986.
Recent breeding has recently been based on the controlled pollination of ‘Captain Cook’(seed) and ‘Little John’ (pollen), crossed again, then selection and cuttings
Infield, Harry. 1990. ‘Callistemon the Bottlebrush Colour Parade.’ Australian Plants 16 (125): 3–9.
Payne, William H.. 1990. “Australia’s Bottlebrushes.” Australian Plants 16 (125): 19–22. (with list of cultivars)
Cornford, Colin1992. ‘More Callistemon Cultivars.’ Australian Plants 17 (134): 62. (list of names compiled by Callistemon Study Group)
Williams, Byron 2007. ‘Callistemon Magic.’ Australian Plants 24(190): 12–18.
Anon. 1966. ’Callistemon ‘Harkness’’. Australian Plants 3: 349.
Callistemon ‘Harkness’ AP 1978 10: 23.
Callistemon ‘Mauve Mist’ AP 1978 10: 23–24.
Callistemon ‘Reeve’s Pink’ AP 1978 10: 24.
Callistemon ‘Wollumbin’ AP 1978 10: 24-25.
Callistemon ‘Burgundy’ AP 1978 10: 25.
Callitris ‘Golden Zero’ AP 1977 9: 205.
Allocasuarina littoralis ‘Matuka Silver’ white variegation
Ceratopetalum ‘Festival’ was selected by Yellow Rock Nursery.
Ceratopetalum gummiferum ‘Christmas Snow’ AP 1977 9: 82.
Ceratopetalum gummiferum ‘White Christmas’ AP 1977 9: 205.
Over the period 1980-2000 Chamelaucium has become one of the biggest flower crops in the world in terms of both value and volume of production and in 1998 there were 31 cul;tivars registered with ACRA of which 17 were protected by PBR and and probably over 100 unregistered (Dawson, 1999 p. 110). This genus is the most widely explored Australian cultivar as it has proved a profitable item in the floristry industry, mostly by selection of seedlings of open pollinated plants and propagation by cuttings. Breeding and selection ahs been performed by the NSW Dept. Ag. & Fish and their NSW agent Vantree Pty Ltd; Australian Wax Farms of Westy Perth, WA; Greg Lamont NSW Ag & Horticulture Station, Gosford and Redlands Nursery. Some cultivars have been produced by hand pollination and embryo extraction and hybrids include: C. uncinatum x C. axillare, C. megalopetalum x C. uncinatum and even the intergeneric cross C. uncinatum x Verticordia plumosa.
Citrus australasica var. sanguinea was raised by Erika Birmingham, Byron bay Native Produce, Bangalow, NSW. (Erika Birmingham) by open pollination and seedling selection.
Payne, Bill 2001. ‘Correa cultivars’. Australian Plants 21(169): 190–193.
Hitchcock, Maria 2003. ‘Description of Species, Varieties and Cultivars.’ Australian Plants 22(174): 15–38.
Carmen, Paul 2003 ‘Grafting Correa’. Australian Plants 22(174): 39–42.
Gibson, Robert 2003. ‘Artificially Crossed Crinums’. Australian Plants 22(174): 105–106.
Cooper, Rene 1982. “Crowea ‘Festival’ a Hybrid of Crowea exalata x C. saligna.” Australian Plants 11 (92): 375.
Landscape plantings have been explored through seedling selection, vegetative division and micropropagation of Dianella revoluta.
Most variants are seedling selections e.g. Philotheca myoporoides ‘Lime Delight’. There are several double-flowerd variants of E. verrucosus (ellis,
Anon. 1963. “Eriostemon Garden Cultivars.” Australian Plants 2:71. (includes 4 Clearview selections)
Ellis, Peter N 1968. “Double Waxflowers”. Australian Plants 4(36): 4-6.
Flower colour and size e.g. red and pink forms of E. leucoxylon, E. sideroxylon, E. melliodora, E. largiflorens, C. ficifolia, C. calophylla. Large flowers E. caesia, E. leucoxylon f. macrocarpa
Eucalyptus ST Henry, Glasshouse Mts, Qld ‘Summer Beauty and ’’Summer Red’ produced by controlled pollination and selection with propagation by grafting. Hybridisation has been explored (Beardsell et al., 1978). The hybrid Corymbia ptychocarpa x C. ficifolia has produced ‘Summer Snow’ by controlled pollination and propagated by grafts. C. ficifolia colour variants by recurrent phenotypic selection, then by seed.
Corymbia ficifolia and C. calophylla have long been suspected of producing putative hybrids and there are many colour variants that have at times been given both botanical and cultivar names. With C. calophylla ‘Rosea’ supposedly originating from a selection made by Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, William Guilfoyle, in 1893 (see Spencer, 2002).
Eucalyptus caesia ‘Silver Princess’ Australian Plants 1977 9: 80.
Delaporte, Kate L. & Sedgley, Margaret Ornamental Eucalypts. Species for Cut bud and Flower Production. Australian Plants 20 (164): 354–358.
Purse, John 2005 ‘Eucalyptus pulverulenta ‘Baby blue’ – A Genetic Mystery.’ Australian Plants 23(185): 153–155.
Glocke, P. et al. 2006. ‘Eucalyptus erythronema X E. stricklandii.’ Australian Plants 23(188): 301–305.
Eucryphia lucida ‘Leatherwood Cream’ AP 1977 9: 82.
Native species are bred and selected for their agricultural use, mostly a fodder. Glycine latifolia as a forage plant CSIRO Div Trop Crops & Pastures, St Lucia, Qld.
A popular subject for selection because of the variety of growth habits, foliage forms and colours, and flower colours and forms; also because the genus can be propagated by cuttings and there is the potential for hybridization. A few cultivars have been raised by deliberate hybridization but most have arisen as chance seedlings. The early selection of grevilleas was mostly by Leo Hodge on the property ‘Poorinda’ in the 1950s and 60s (Tully, 1977) moving to Mount Lookout near Bairnsdale in 1971 but retaining the name ‘Poorinda’. He registered 39 Grevillea cultivars up to 1985 many of doubtful value but with exceptions. ‘Royal Mantle’ must be one of the most successful of all native cultivars.
G. alpina, with many geographic forms, is the source of many Poorinda and Austraflora cultivars.
G. aquifolia has many leaf forms and variants
G. ‘Audrey’ original plant still existed at the Nindethana Nursery site in 1985.
An account of the history of Grevillea cultivation and the personalities and nurseries involved, as well as background to the SGAP Grevillea Study Group, is given in Olde & Marriott (1994, pp.109–119).
Media personality Don Burke raised a number of Grevillea cultivars named as popular drinks including ‘Cherry Brandy’ (1980), ‘White Wine’ (1982), ‘Pink Champagne’.
George Lullfitz has crossed Grevillea filifolia x G. preissii and Austraflora has produced crosses of Grevillea juniperina. Peter Zoller of Redlands nursery has used controlled pollination techniques. There are also a range of tropical hybrids (Costin, R. & S., 1988).
Clark, Tony 1986. ‘Grevillea ‘Winpara Gem’ Grevillea olivacea, Grevillea thelemanniana. The Development of a Cultivar.’ Australian Plants 13 (106): 279–280.
Gordon, David N. 1974. ‘Grevillea ‘Robyn Gordon’’. Australian Plants 7: 303–305.
Verdon, D. 1974. ‘Grevillea juniperina ‘Molongolo’.’ Australian Plants 7: 302.
Costin, Russell & Costin, Sharon. 1988. ‘Tropical Grevillea Hybrids.’ Australian Plants 14 (116): 335–343.
Hodge, Merv 2002. ‘Popular Hybrids: Grevillea.’ Australian Plants 21(170): 235–243.
Hodge, Merv 2002. ‘Robyn Gordon Grevillea Complex.’ Australian Plants 21(173): 383–385.
Payne, Bill H. 2002. ‘Grevillea Cutivars’. Australian Plants 21(170): 272.
Doig, Ross 2007. ‘Hardenbergias for the Garden.’ Australian Plants 24(190): 37.
Seedling selections have been made by Austraflora and other nurseries including Hardenbergia ‘Bushy Blue’ released by R Weidner in California.
Wall, Rosemary 2007. ‘Hardenbergia ‘Allyn sugar Plum’.’ Australian Plants 24(190): 31.
Hockings, David 2008. “Hibiscus Cultivars”. Australian Plants 24: 351-2.
Only one cultivar, Kunzea ‘Badja Carpet’, is known from this genus: it is a selection from an undescribed wild species growing on Mt Badja in south-east New South Wales and listed botanically under the phrase name Kunzea sp. (Wadbilliga). Both names will be subsumed by the new species name when the plant is given a formal botanical description.
Work has been done on Lechenaultia by the Lullfitz Nursery. Lechenaultia controlled pollination breeding has been done at Kings Park between L. laricina x L. floribunda.
Lechenaultia ‘White Flush’ AP 1976 8: 328.
Although there are many Tea tree cultivars on the market most of these are derived from the New Zealand L. scoparium. Wrigley and Fagg (1993, p. 183) note that there is potential for breeding between a number of species in the genus although the genus is prone to attack by a number of pests and diseases. Most of the selections are for dwarf or prostrate habit, perhaps the most notable being L. polygalifolium ‘Pacific Beauty’, but there are also a few selections which have bronze leaves or unusual flower colour. Of the few Australian cultivars these occur in L. brevipes, L. continentale, L. flavescens, L. laevigatum. Peter Ollerenshaw of Bywong Nsy, Bungendore, NSW has used controlled pollination for cultivar crosses. Austraflora has produced seedling selections of L. liversidgei and L. laevigatum.
This genus has proved very popular for landscaping through the late 90.s and 2010. Most cultivars vave been produced by the open pollination and seedling selection of Lomandra longifolia.
Lophostemon ‘Billy Bunter’ Western Flora Nursery
First cultivated commercially in Honolulu, Hawaii after the first introduction of trees in 1882. In Australia the industry really began in the 1970s with plantations in Queensland. Hawaian selections and hybrids between M. integrifolia and M. tetraphylla are grown in Australia as well as Australian Queensland selections which include ‘Hinde’ and ‘Own Choice’. Also a ‘Hidden valley’ series protected by PBR taken out by Hidden Valley Plantations, Beerwah, Qld.
Cultivars are recorded by the Australian Macadamia Society, Department of Agriculture and the PBR Office.
For such a large genus, and one so closely related to the cultivar-prolific Callistemon, there are remarkably few cultivars. M. bracteata cultivars have red and gold foliage and variable habits; M. fulgens various subspecies of M. fulgens form natural hybrids with M. radula. Several of these purple flowered offspring have been given cultivar names; M. incana has a number of different cultivars with grey or yellow foliage and variable compact or weeping habits; M. linariifolia has a dwarf form and M. thymifolia has white and pink flowered cultivars and forms with compact habits.
Melaleuca bracteata ‘Golden Gem’ AP 1976 8: 328.
Cook, Graham & Esther 1998. Riceflower Ozothamnus diosmifolius, an Everlasting Daisy as Commercial Cutflowers. Australian Plants 19 (155): 304–313.
George Lullfitz of Lullfitz Nursery, Wanneroo, WA has selected Pimelea ‘Bonne Petite’.
Prostanthera cuneata ‘Alpine Gold’ 1977 AP 9: 82.
Cultivars few e.g. P. obovatus ‘Cobtus’ is a PBR application accepted in 2000 produced by seedling selection and propagated by cuttings.
These are grown mostly as habit or flower colour selections from the wild or seedling selections.
Pultenaea pedunculata ‘Pyalong Gold’ AP 1989 15 (119): 15.
Pultenaea pedunculata ‘Pyalong Pink’ AP 1989 15 (119): 15.
Pultenaea villosa ‘Wallum Gold’ AP 1989 15 (119): 15.
Beng Tan 2001. ‘Pink Everlasting Daisy’. Australian Plants 21(167): 110–114.
Variants of S. aemula have ben produced by controlled pollination.
From the 1980s the enormous ornamental foliage potential of “Lilly Pilly” cultivars (cultivars of Acmena smithii, Syzygium australe, Syzygium luehmannii and Syzygium paniculatum) was explored (Logan, 1999). The brother and sister Costin team has worked on Syzygium luehmannii and S. paniculatum dwarf forms and compact forms of S. australe over the period 1997-2000 using open pollination & selection: also controlled breeding S. wilsonii x S. luehmannii and the use of S. francisii. Syzygium ‘Undercover’ Also mainly from Western Flora Nursery, Coorow, WA trading through Multiplant Pty Ltd using controlled pollination, selection and propagation by tissue culture.
Logan, Richard 1999. “Lilly Pilly Cultivars”. Australian Plants 20 (159): 106–107.
The stunning form of Telopea flowers attracted early breeding trials an in 1962 it was researched by botanist and arborist Dr Robert Boden (Robert William Boden, 1935–2009, Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens 1979–1989). Further development by Richard Powell led to the cultivar T. ‘Braidwood Brilliant’ registered in 1975. T. speciosissima ‘Wirrimbirra White’ was the first cultivar in the genus, a white flowered variant named after the Environmental Centre near Bargo, New South Wales, and managed by Thistle Y. Stead (formerly Thistle Yolette Harris (1902–1990)) an early author of a “new breed” of writers promoting the growth of native plants, notably Wildflowers of Australia (1938) and Australian Plants for the Garden (1953) (Webb, 1998). Other work has been done by the Agronomy Unit of the University of Sydney with open pollinated seedling selection for ’Sunburst’ and ‘Sunflare’ and the work of Cathy Offord, P Nixon & PB Goodwin.
Boden, Robert W. & Powell, R.H. 1973. A Waratah Hybrid. (T. x) Australian Plants 7: 168–170.
Nixon, Paul & Payne, William H. 1986. “Waratahs, the New Breed to the Year 2000.” Australian Plants 18 (147): 303–311.
Yellow Rock Nursery 1986. “How To Grow New Generation Waratahs” Australian Plants 18 (147): 323.
Tristania conferta ‘Variegata’ AP 1977 9: 80.
Tristania conferta ‘Perth Gold’ AP 1977 9: 80.
Xanthostemon chrysanthus ‘Expo Gold’ was used to launch World Expo 1988.
Sankowsky, G. & Payne, W. H. 1988.”’Expo Gold’ Xanthostemon chrysanthus.” Australian Plants 15 (117): 10.
Like all organizations ACRA must make sure its activities and goals are relevant to contemporary needs. The organization must be clear about its benefits and ensure that these benefits are communicated to its stakeholders and valued by the general community.
There are several ways in which ACRA can give practical assistance to native plant growers of the future:
• By continuing to provide an accurate listing of names that have been used for Australian native plants, whether or not the names are synonyms or apply to plants that are no longer in existence. This would include information origins, originator, dates of origination and commercial introduction as well as diagnostic features, a herbarium specimen and coloured image(s)
• By publishing this data as a formal register/check-list in a form that complies with recommendations of the International Commission on the Nomenclature of Cultivated Plants
• By encouraging the recording of native plant cultivars that are currently in cultivation By providing identification aids to extant cultivars. So, with sufficient funds it might be possible to establish cultivar Groups for those genera like Grevillea and Callistemon which contain numerous cultivars. Dichotomous “keys” could be developed to distinguish the different cultivars within the cultivar Groups. Keys and information could be regularly updated by enthusiasts in the plant Groups, supervised by ACRA, and these keys could make allowance for new introductions and loss of plants from cultivation. Though rather imprecise and capable of error, this would be a considerable improvement on the current situation.