Discovering and Growing Native Australian Plants
A group of horticulture experts lead by John Mason, the author of “Growing Australian Natives,” a book available from Kangaroo Press/Simon & Schuster, created this course.
- lays the groundwork for working with Australian plants in nurseries, landscaping, gardening, rehabilitating land, breeding plants, environmental evaluation, etc.
- Learn to recognise hundreds of different species, gain superior growing skills, expand your network of contacts in business, and uncover a wealth of opportunities to work with these incredible plants more.
One of the oldest and broadest plant species can be found in Australia. Natives of Australia originate from tropical regions, cold, temperate regions with snow-capped mountains, and interior deserts and lush, fruitful rain forests. Improve your capacity to recognise, choose, nurture, and create a management strategy for suitable Australian native plant species under a variety of conditions. Any region of Australia can benefit from this training, as can the majority of other nations.
Nurserymen, landscapers, gardeners, and horticulturists may have more business or employment prospects if they have a more wide and in-depth understanding of plants.
There are 9 lessons in this course:
- Scope and Nature of Native Plants
- Taxonomy: Botanical and Horticultural Nomenclature
- Binomial System
- Levels of Division
- Plant Families
- Species, Hybrids, Varieties and Cultivars
- Botanical Keys and their Use
- Origins of Australian Plants
- Continental Drift
- Resources for More Information
- Sources for Seed Information
- Cultural Techniques
- Things that can Go Wrong: Pests, Diseases, Environmental Problems, Nutrition
- Improving Soil Structure
- Soil Water Management
- No Dig Growing Techniques
- Feeding Natives
- Planting, Staking, Mulching
- Special Planting Techniques
- Natives for Shade
- Controlling Weeds
- Propagation; seed, cuttings, etc
- Stock Plants
- Types of Eucalypts; gums, stringybarks, boxes, ironbarks, yates, peppermints, etc.
- Hybrid Eucalypts
- Eucalypt Cultural Requirements
- Review of Important Eucalypt Species
- Native Trees
- Casuarina; Casuarina and Allocasuarina, Gymnostoma and Ceuthostoma
- Casuarina Culture
- Review of Casuarina and Allocasuarina species
- Australian Conifers: Overview
- Cupressaceae: Actinostrobus, Calitris, Diselma
- Araucariaceae; Araucaria
- Podocarpaceae; Dacrydium, Microcachrys, Microstrobos, Phyllocladus, Podocarpus
- Introduction to Legumes; Papilionoideae, Caesalpinioideae and Mimosoideae
- Overview of Acacia
- Acacia Cultural Requirements
- Review of Important Acacia species
- Elements of drawing a Landscape Plan
- Landscape Design Procedure
- Myrtaceous Australian Plants
- Review of the Myrtaceae Family
- Callistemon overview
- Callistemon Culture
- Important Callistemon cultivars and species
- Leptospermum overview and Culture
- Important Leptospermum Species
- Grevillea Overview
- Types of flower: Erect Cluster, Toothbrush, Pendant, Cylinder
- McGilvery’s Classification into eleven main groups
- Flower and Leaf Terminology
- Review of Low Growing Grevilleas
- Banksia Type Hybrids
- Hybrid Parents from tropics and sub tropics
- Poorinda Hybrids
- Review of many Important Species
- Related Proteaceae Natives: Dryandra, Hakea, Banksia, Telopea
- Ground Cover and Small Shrubs
- Overview of Fabaceae (Egg and Bacon) Plants
- Boronia; overview and culture
- Boronia species
- Commercial Applications
- Fragrant Natives
- Uses for Eucalyptus
- Uses for Grevilleas
- Uses for Acacia: timber, tanning, cut flowers, food, etc
- Aboriginal Uses for Acacias
- Growing Natives in Containers
- Bush Tucker
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school’s tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- List the families of the most notable cultivated native plants.
- Establish cultural practises to keep native flora healthy.
- Describe the local eucalyptus identity and culture.
- Describe how to recognise and care for local trees.
- Describe the acacias in your area and their identification and culture.
- Describe how to recognise and grow native shrubs, such as the Acacia, Melaleuca, Callistemon, and
- Leptospermum species.
- With a focus on the genus Grevillea, describe how to identify and care for several native Proteaceous plants.
- Identify and describe the various Australian Native ground coverings and tiny shrubs.
- Identify which natural plants have uses that are commercially viable.
The Final Frontier for Botanists, Horticulturists, and Plant Collectors
Despite hundreds of years of exploration, selection, cultivation, and breeding of plants from Asia, Africa, Europe, and America, Australian species have mostly been ignored until very recently.
Australian native plants come in a huge range, from mountain species that can endure heavy winter snowfall to desert species that can withstand prolonged heat and dry conditions that might last for years at a time.
There are tens of thousands of unique indigenous plants in Australia, many of which have never been treated seriously as crops. Others, which have been commonly grown in Australian gardens, are just now becoming known outside of Australia.
Learn to Recognize a Wide Variety of Australian Plants
Growing your understanding of various plants is a major focus of this course. This is accomplished, among other things, by gathering a number of plant reviews that provide details on each of the numerous species of plants, such as:
- Common Name
- Plant Family, Genus & Species names
- Variety (if applicable)
- Soil requirements
- Environmental requirements
- Cultural procedures (eg. propagation and pruning)
- Pest and disease susceptibility
- John Mason, a board member of the Australian Garden Council, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture (UK), Fellow of the Australian Institute of Horticulture, and Fellow of Parks and Leisure Australia, heads an international team of recognised horticultural specialists. John is one of Australia’s most prolific gardening authors, as well as a former nurseryman, parks director, and editor of Home Grown Magazine. He is also the author of Growing Australian Plants, which was published by Simon & Schuster.
- An exceptional chance to interact with and learn from our diverse faculty, which includes Bob James (former Parks Manager, Brisbane City Council; Horticultural Consultant for 45 Years), Rosemary Davies (former Education Officer for Garden Organic, UK), Maggi Brown (former Education Officer for Garden Advisory Service, and Age Garden Writer, Melbourne), Gavin Cole (former Operations Manager for the Chelsea Gardener, London), and a host of other equally qualified professionals.
- See our faculty’s bios.
WHERE YOU COULD APPLY YOUR NEW KNOWLEDGE
Although native Australian plants are typically or traditionally found in natural form gardens, such as the conventional bush garden, increasing knowledge and appreciation of native species has led to a wider usage in landscaping. Many species have very straggly growth patterns by nature, but with careful pruning, positioning, positioning, training, and training, some species have also found their way into formal and other garden styles.
Several indigenous plants can now be used in unconventional contexts, such as formal settings, and are no longer just for bush gardens. Native plants can be used to achieve any effect, whether it be formal, informal, or in between.
While some native plants are cultivated for harvest, many others have enormous unrealized potential as food crops, fuel sources, or cut flowers.
This course provides a wonderful opportunity to expand on your knowledge of Australian plants, to discover new possibilities, to develop a love, and to create the groundwork for a lifetime of studying Australian plants.
The professional landscaper, nurseryman, or horticulture, as well as the fervent amateur plant collector, are the target audiences for this course.