Tag: botany

The peak of cold resistance
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The peak of cold resistance

Australia is hot and dry. Ask any tourist on sun-drenched Bondi Beach and they will affirm this well-known paradigm. Yet although much of our flora has adapted to thrive in our baking interior and dry open woodlands, many unique plants have evolved in a very different setting: the frigid landscape of the Australian High Country....

The changing climate of waterwise gardening
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The changing climate of waterwise gardening

It’s common for unexperienced gardeners to bemoan the fact that Australia doesn’t offer the most ideal climate for sustaining heavily water-dependent gardens. Often, though, this is because some Australian garden enthusiasts still find themselves deeply entrenched in European gardening traditions. It might be how their parents gardened, or it might just be the kind of...

A fervour for eucalypts: an interview with Dean Nicolle
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A fervour for eucalypts: an interview with Dean Nicolle

Hailing from South Australia, Dr Dean Nicolle seems to have long held an interest in botany. From early beginnings studying horticulture in secondary school, to science at the University of Adelaide, and finally a PhD in plant systematics at Flinders University, it’s safe to say that Dean has a well established passion for plants. Not...

You call that a tree? THIS is a tree!
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You call that a tree? THIS is a tree!

On a family holiday in New Zealand, we were driving to the beach when we passed a small, brown sign that read ‘BIG TREE’. My dad skidded to a halt, reversed back, and turned down the dirt road the sign had indicated. If there was anything that could draw the Kelly-family-holiday crowd, it was a...

I propose a mistle-toast
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I propose a mistle-toast

You may have heard about mistletoe because of its place in Christmas festivities. The tradition goes that you are able to kiss anyone who happens to stand under a sprig of mistletoe adorning doorways, ceilings, or rafters. But there are better reasons to heap praise on mistletoe than simply its ability to allow you a...

A different way to leave
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A different way to leave

I work in a university biological sciences department that has a large number of international staff and students. Shortly after the arrival of new international members to the department, once they have ventured out into the Australian bush a few times, I often hear the following summation about our landscape from them: ‘The Australian bush...

The ancient Xanthorrhoea: uncovering grass trees in Bailieston
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The ancient Xanthorrhoea: uncovering grass trees in Bailieston

The state forest around Bailieston in Central Victoria consists of acres of Box-ironbark and other Eucalyptus trees. Their leafy canopies offer shelter from wind and rain to resting birds. With strong competition for water and sun, young trees produce a narrow trunk reaching towards the sunlight. Older, established trees have broader trunks and far-reaching branches,...