North Shore Group

Walks & Talks
Coming events


Friday Night Meetings

Meetings are held at 8.00 p.m. on the second Friday of the month
Plant sales from 7.45 p.m.

  At the: "Willow Park Community Centre"
25 Edgeworth David Ave.
NSW Australia

Speakers and Topics for 2013

February 8th

Speaker: Peter Olde
Topic: ‘ Grevilleas & Hakeas: what’s DNA doing to our plants?’

Peter Olde is leader of the ANPSA Grevillea Study Group and an honorary research assistant specialising in Grevilleas with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. Peter’s talk will delve into the relationships between Grevilleas and Hakeas and the approaches used to determine these relationships. Peter is best known to us as co-author of the three-volume series The Grevillea Book. In April last year our group visited his extensive living collection of Grevilleas and other plants at his property Silky Oaks in Oakdale.

March 8th
(Two Speakers)

Speaker: Berin Mackenzie
Topic: ‘Dormancy in Boronia’

Boronia serrulata and Boronia ledifolia (Rutaceae) are icons of the Sydney flora. Berin is part-way into PhD studies on dormancy in Boronia, following a fieldwork sequence of seed collection, seed burial, seed retrieval and germination trials . His research will use local Boronia species to consider the questions:

  What type of dormancy do these species have?
Do the fire cues heat and smoke promote germination?
Is there a seasonal component to germination?

Berin’s research could have practical implications for fire management regimes and for commercial propagation of Boronia species.

Speaker: Diane Warman
Topic: ‘Grevillea shiressii’

Distribution of the threatened plant species, Grevillea shiressii Blakely (Proteaceae) is restricted to two tributaries of the Hawkesbury River on the Central Coast of NSW.
Although G. shiressii is considered rare in nature, it has been cultivated in home gardens and is grown extensively along the east coast of Australia.

  So what is the natural habitat of Grevillea shiressii?

Diane will present us with a picture of Grevillea shiressii in its natural habitat, provide a closer look at its interesting morphology and reveal some of the methods and interesting results from her research during her Honours year in 2012.

April 12th

Speaker: Markus Riegler
Topic: ‘Why are so many trees dying in Western Sydney?’

Eucalyptus moluccana, the Grey Box of eastern NSW, is a significant component of the Cumberland Plain Woodlands of western Sydney. These trees are under threat by a larger than usual infestation of sap-sucking psyllids. The psyllids hide under a waxy shield or lerp and during feeding inject their saliva into leaves; this results in leaf necrosis, and eventually leads to defoliation.

Dr Markus Riegler, Senior Lecturer, and his team at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, are currently studying this areawide defoliation event of unprecedented nature. More in general, Dr Riegler's team is studying insect-plant and insect-microbe interactions of Australian insects. He has held a long-standing interest in insect symbiosis with microbes and how these may facilitate insect development, reproduction and ecological interactions.

Markus will up-date us on the battle between the psyllids and the Grey Box on the Cumberland Plain in the light of what has been observed during the course of this outbreak.

May 10th

Karlo Taliana
‘Growing Western Flora in the East’

Karlo has a garden which is specifically designed and
constructed to grow Western Australian plants. It is a beautiful garden,
which features many plants from Western Australia, most of which would not
normally grow in Sydney.
Karlo will share details on how he has constructed his garden, plus tips on
how to successfully grow a range of the spectacular Western flora.

June 14th

Speaker: Peter Abell
Topic: ‘Potting mixes’

Peter has been working with Australian Native Plants for his
entire career. He has been extensively involved in plant production &
breeding and has trained many horticulture professionals through his
teaching work.
This talk will look at one of the basic items needed to successfully produce
plants - Propagating & Potting mixes. It will be a "hand on" talk that will
cover what goes into making a good potting mix, and what to avoid as it can
make for a poor potting mix. Many commonly held beliefs & myths about
potting & propagating mixes will be challenged.

July 12th

Speaker: Jeremy Smith
Topic: ‘Floristry with Native Plants’

Jeremy is a teacher of Urban Horticulture at the Ryde Campus of
the Northern Sydney Institute, TAFE NSW. Jeremy's other extensive experience
is with growing Australian native plants for the cut flower trade at the
Wildflower Farm in Somersby. Put these two passions together and we will
have an evening designed to inspire everyone in time for our spring
Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Festival. A hands-on demonstration is planned for the
evening to accompany Jeremy's talk.

August 9th

Speaker: Louisa Murray
Topic: ‘‘The Science behind PlantNET - Why a herbarium?’

NSW Flora Online presents Data derived from the printed Flora of
New South Wales series, published by the UNSW Press, augmented with data
from electronic sources maintained by the RBG National Herbarium of New
South Wales. This information is used extensively by NSG members and our
Walks & Talks notes contain links to these plant descriptions and Glossary.
Louisa is the Flora Botanist responsible for overseeing the updating of
PlantNET and Louisa will demonstrate how to exploit its features to obtain

September 13th

Speaker: Bob Salt
Topic: ‘Berowra Valley National Park’

The Berowra Valley, its fauna and flora have for a long time
been greatly valued by people of Sydney and its treasures are set out in the
comprehensive publication Guide to Berowra Valley Regional Park. Bob has
been a staunch advocate of national park status for this area and this was
achieved in November 2012. To quote Bob: "Please appreciate the Berowra
Valley National Park and care for it, as the traditional custodians have
cared for country for many thousands of years. Bob Salt OAM"

October 4th

Speaker: Mark Abell
Topic: Western Victorian Flora - including The Grampians, Mt Arapiles, & The
Little Desert’

Western Victoria has a range of botanically diverse habitats
that hold an equally diverse range of plants. This talk will take a look at
some of these areas in Western Victoria and present an overview of the flora
that can be found in these areas.

November 8th

Speaker: Haydn Washington
Topic: ‘Human dependence on nature’

Haydn is an environmental scientist with extensive experience in
plant ecology/surveys, has worked with CSIRO and is currently a visiting
fellow at UNSW and a board member of Colong Foundation for Wilderness. Over
35 years he has campaigned to establish and protect the Wollemi National
Park, the Daintree, the Franklin River and Gardens of Stone National Park.
In Human Dependence on Nature, Haydn questions why we deny our relationship
with nature and what we can do differently to help solve the environmental
crisis that the world now faces.

December 13th
  Christmas Party at the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Down load 2013 speakers programme

Past speakers