Guava – tropical or temperate?

Acca sellowiana (Image: Karen Smith)

By Clive Larkman

The word guava tends to lean toward tropical fruits along with pineapples, mangos and paw-paws but are they really tropical? They are usually grown in the tropics and when we visit a resort or restaurant in those regions, we can be sure to find them on the menu.Continue reading

Galangal – hard to say easy to eat

galangal Root

By Clive Larkman

As a botanist with a passion for correct plant nomenclature and growing the right plant, the difference between regular garden plants and the edible/medicinal sectors is huge. Although the nursery industry isn’t known for accuracy in naming and growing correctly identified plants, it does try to get it right.… Continue reading

Bottlebrush beauty

Label: Callistemon citrinus ‘Demesne Rowena’

ACRA Registration 330 (October 1989)

Family: Rutaceae

Origin: Callistemon ‘Demesne Rowena’ is a manipulated cross between Callistemon ‘Splendens’ and Callistemon ‘White Anzac’. These are both forms of Callistemon citrinus. The cross was performed by Mr.… Continue reading

The Belle of the garden

Correa ‘Federation Belle’ flower (Image: ANBG)

Label: Correa ‘Federation Belle ‘

ACRA Registration 815 (May 2000)

Family: Rutaceae

Origin: A chance seedling in the garden of Sarah Caldwell, Mole River Station which is in the Torrington area in northern NSW. It is thought to be a hybrid between Correa ‘Marion’s Marvel’ and perhaps a form of Correa reflexa var.… Continue reading

Edible and ornamental

Chrysanthemum tea

By Clive Larkman

Edible and ornamental plants are usually divided into different categories, however this has not always been the case. We use the term ‘Cottage Garden’ to refer to an ornamental flowering garden of herbaceous and shrubby perennials. In reality, it comes from the small gardens created in the front, behind and along the side of small inner-city cottages that were mostly lived in by working families. Continue reading

Essential oil – a rapidly growing market

By Clive Larkman

The essential oil market is huge and growing rapidly, with an expected value of $US10 billion by 2025.  Some reports are even predicting that it could be in excess of $US20 billion by 2027. This increase has its roots in a range of reasons, one of which is COVID-19, but overall, the whole sector is expanding.Continue reading

Pretty in pink

Brachychiton 'Griffith Pink'

Label: Brachychiton ‘Griffith Pink’

ACRA Registration 268 (October 1986)

Family: Malvaceae

Origin: Brachychiton ‘Griffith Pink’ is a hybrid between B. discolor and B. populneus. It is thought that this cultivar originated in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area. The actual place of origin of this cultivar is obscure, as checking with herbaria in Queensland and NSW revealed a collection at Condong, NSW (near Tweed River) on alluvial flats.… Continue reading

Wax flower puts on a show

Chamelaucium_uncinatum 'University'

Label: Chamelaucium uncinatum ‘University’

ACRA Registration 143 (November 1982)

Family: Myrtaceae

Origin: Chamelaucium uncinatum ‘University’ is a form of Chamelaucium uncinatum originally selected from plants growing at the University of Western Australia by the late Oliver J Dowell. It has been grown commonly in cultivation since the early 1960’s.… Continue reading

Forager’s delight attracts birds and butterflies

The Native Mulberry Pipturus argenteus

By Bruce Thompson

Common Name: Native Mulberry, White Nettle, False Stinger, Queensland Grass-Cloth Plant, Koomeroo-Koomeroo, Kongangn, Thil-la-wo

Genus: Pipturus

Species: argenteus

Family: Urticaceae

Origin: Occurs in coastal range lowland rainforests, on the edges of riverine communities and regrowth with occasional inundation, damp gullies and coral cays from Lismore to Papua New Guinea.… Continue reading

Are essential oils essential?

By Clive Larkman

2021 and it seems we are living in a crazy world. Without looking at COVID-19 and its maddening repercussions, we need only to look at the ever-evolving world of medicine, herbs and therapies to really be confused.

On the positive side, there is a greater acceptance of non-traditional Western therapies, however, an understanding is far from simple.… Continue reading