AUSTRALIAN NATIVES II

Course CodeBHT225
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn all about native plants and wildflowers and develop your passion

This course focuses on smaller growing Australian plants

Develop your ability to identify, select, cultivate and explain commercial applications for appropriate varieties of low growing Australian native flowering plants in a variety of situations.

While the plants of Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas have been explored and cultivated for many hundreds of years; Australian indigenous plants are relatively, recent discoveries. As such, there's still a lot to be explored and discovered about these unique plants. Breeding and commercial development of Australian plants is still in it's early stages.

For landscapers, nurserymen, flower growers and horticulturists; this is a great area of study.

  • Explore the world of Australian plants in greater depth than you have before.
  • Grow your ability to identify and understand a wider range of plants
  • Expand your awareness of potential uses for Australian plants in gardens, as cut flowers, edibles and beyond.

 

 

 

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Scope and Nature
    • Review of the system of plant identification
    • Resources, sources for further information contacts (ie: nurseries, seed, clubs, etc.)
  2. Growing Conditions
    • Plant Relationships
    • Understanding Environmental Zones across Australia
    • Soils; composition, colloids, peds, texture, chemical properties, pH and nutrient availability
    • Improving Soils
    • Natives on Low Fertility Soils
    • Diagnosis of Nutritional Problems
    • Inspecting Plants and diagnosing health issues
    • Preventing Problems
    • Pests and Diseases on Natives
    • Planting, staking, mulching, watering
    • Planting; different tequniques for plant establishment
    • Pruning Australian Native Plants
    • Water Management -review
    • Propagation Technique -review
  3. The Heaths and Similar Plants
    • Scope and Nature of Heaths
    • Heath habitats
    • Epacridaceae; the Epacris Family
    • Proteaceae, Myrtaceae, Thymeleaceae, Dilleniaceae
    • Glossary of botanical terms used to describe plants
    • Introductory Plant Morphology
    • Review of plant genera and many of their species:
    • Grevillea
    • Hakea
    • Hibbertia
    • Hypocalymma
    • Isopogon
    • Leptospermum
    • Melaleuca
    • Micromyrtus
    • Pimelia
    • Richea
    • Telopea
    • Thryptomene
    • Verticordia
    • Acronidium
  4. The Daisy Family
    • Characteristics of Asteraceae
    • Floral Structure of Asteraceae
    • Review of culture and distinguishing characteristics of various Asteraceae genera, including:
    • Heichrysum and Bracteantha
    • Helipterum
    • Olearia
    • Orthronathus
    • Rhodanthe
  5. The Legumes
    • Common characteristics of all legumes
    • Distinguishing Fabaceae, Caesalpinacea and Mimosaceae
    • Acacia
    • Albizzia
    • Eutaxia
    • Goodia
    • Hardenbergia
    • Hovea
    • Indigofera
    • Kennedya
    • Pultenea
  6. Other common groups
    • Alogyne
    • Bauera
    • Burseria
    • Clematis
    • Correa
    • Crowea
    • Dampiera
    • Hibbertia
    • Hibiscus
    • Lobelia
    • Leschenaultia
    • Pandorea
    • Pittosporum
    • Pratia
    • Prostanthera
    • Rhagodia
    • Sollya
    • Viola
    • Westringia, etc.
    • Basic Landscape Design; Design Procedure, Drawing a plan
    • Native Plants for Specific Situations; long flowering species, climbing species, etc
  7. The Monocotyledons
    • Blandfordia
    • Bulbine
    • Caesia
    • Calectasia
    • Calostemma
    • Carex
    • Cordyline
    • Dianella
    • Lomandra
    • Danthonia
    • Patersonia
    • Stypandra
    • Anigozanthus
    • Xanthorrhea, etc.
  8. Commercial Applications: Growing Native Cut Flowers
    • Production Plan for Cut Flowers
    • Selection Criteria for Plants

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.

Aims

  • Distinguish between different types of native wildflowers.
  • Determine reliable information about the identification and culture of Australian wildflowers.
  • Specify general cultural practices, including propagation, for different families of Australian native wildflowers.
  • Explain the characteristics, including identification and culture, of heath like native wildflowers; with reference to both proteaceous and myrtaceous plants.
  • Explain the characteristics, including their identification, culture and use, of wildflowers in the Asteraceae (ie. Daisy) family.
  • Explain the characteristics, including identification, culture and use, of different legume wildflower genera.
  • Explain the characteristics, including identification, culture and use, of different Australian native monocotyledons (ie. narrow-leaved plants).
  • Prepare a planting design featuring Australian wildflowers.
  • Develop a cut flower production plan, for a selected Australian wildflower.

What You Will Do

  • Distinguish, using illustrations and minimum but adequate comments, between twenty different plant families within which Australian native wildflowers are commonly found,including the following: Asteraceae, Caesalpiniaceae, Dilleniaceae, Epacridaceae, Ericaceae, Fabaceae, Poaceae, Haemodoraceae, Iridaceae, Lamiaceae, Liliaceae, Mimosaceae, Myrtaceae, Orchidaceae, Proteaceae, Rutaceae and Thymelaceae.
  • Prepare a collection of illustrations or specimens of wildflowers
  • Compile a resource file of sources of information on native ildflowers.
  • Develop criteria for distinguishing the accuracy of information, relating to native wildflowers.
  • Determine four reliable sources, of accurately named Australian plant material, including both seed and plants.
  • Develop a procedure for researching cultural information on an unfamiliar species of Australian wildflower
  • Explain different ways to plant different wildflower plants
  • Compare the use of different types of mulches around wildflowers.
  • Explain appropriate techniques for watering wildflowers, in a specified garden.
  • Compare the pruning of two specified wildflowers, from two different taxonomic families.
  • Explain why different wildflower plants have different preferences in soils.
  • Compare the use of different types of fertiliser on wildflower plants.
  • Propagate wildflower plants using a variety of techniques, including seed and cuttings.
  • Identify pests and diseases afflicting different wildflowers.
  • Discuss the culture of different wildflower plants.
  • Distinguish, using illustrations and minimum but adequate comments, between genera which include heath-like native plants, including:
    • Epacris
    • Micromyrtus
    • Thryptomene
    • Verticordia
    • Grevillea
    • Isopogon
    • Melaleuca
    • Pimelia.

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT AUSTRALIAN WILDFLOWERS?

Many Australian wildflowers are still top be discovered by the world at large. The diversity and quantity of species that exist, is quite staggering; and for anyone who cares to look beyond the relatively small proportion of species that are cultivated, there is a world of opportunity for gardening, cut flower growing and even crop production.   

  

Heath like native wildflowers

Native heath-like vegetation is characterised by a dense, low cover of shrubs usually no more than 2.0m high with a few species occurring as small trees. Most Australian heaths belong to the related Epacridacae and Ericaceae families (although the Epacridaceae is much more developed in Australia then the Ericaceae). However heath communities (of plants) include species within genera from other plant families such as Proteaceae, Myrtaceae, Dilleniaceae, Thymelaceae and so on. Genera that have species of heath-like plants include: Hakea, Grevillea, Hibbertia, Hypocalymma, Isopogon, Melaleuca, Micromyrtus, Pimelea and many more.

Habitat

Heath plants are found in a range of habitats including, open forest, woodland, coastal and alpine areas but are more commonly associated with low growing, exposed vegetation called heath-land. They are not usually found in arid areas or rain-forests. They grow on poorly drained or shallow soils low in nutrients.

General Description

Heath-like plants have leaves that are often stiff and sharply pointed and have narrowly palmate veins. The leaf arrangement sometimes sheaths around the stems, but is usually alternate or spirally arranged. The flowers occur in spikes, racemes or are occasionally solitary; they are usually cup-shaped or tubular having four (or five) spreading lobes. Stamen numbers usually correspond with the amount of lobes however some species have male and female flowers occurring on separate plants. In most cases flowers are small but some such as Epacris have showy flowers. The fruit of heath-like plants is in the form of a drupe (a fleshy fruit with a hard stone enclosing the seed) or as a capsule that splits to release the seed.

 

The Epacris family - Epacridaceae-

Plants in the Epacridaceae family are mostly attractive, small, woody shrubs that usually grow from 50 nd like plants in Australia. In Europe heath-land plants are known as heathers and the major family for these plants there and world-wide is Ericaceae. In Australia plants in the Ericaceae family are poorly represented this family comprises plants such as Erica, Rhododendron, Kalmia. Pieris etc.   

The Epacridaceae family comprises about 34 genera distributed in Australia, South-east Asia, the Pacific Islands and South America.

Leaves are usually small, pointed, tough, short stalked or sessile; venation is almost parallel
flowers are regular with the perianth in 5’s; Sepals often grade into bracts and the petals are fused into a tube; They have 5 stamens with each of the anthers opening by a single slit; the ovary is superior.

This family is often difficult to propagate with low germination rates and cutting strike rates are variable. Current research suggests that mychorrizae taken from soil around which established plants are growing and added to the propagating mix - may have a beneficial effect on the strike rate.

 

The Protea Family - Proteaceae

The Proteaceae family is made up of approximately 75 genera 45 of which are native to Australia (the rest are from South Africa and South America - however no genera are common to all three countries. Plants have superficial similarities only in plant morphology to those found in South Africa. The name Proteaceae comes from the South African plant genus Protea. In Australia the Proteaceae family include genera such as Banksia, Grevillea, Hakea, Lomatia, Telopea and Stenocarpus.

The Proteaceae family comprise small shrubs to small trees. Leaves are stiff and leathery and often terete and pungent they are usually simple, but also often lobed or deeply divided. The flowers are often characteristically irregular; perianth 4’s in a single whorl; stamens 4; ovary superior. Fruit often a woody or leathery follicle, sometimes aggregated in cones.

Generally plants in this family require well-drained soils and commonly suffer from iron deficiency and phosphorus toxicity in cultivation. Some rainforest genera, including Macadamia, are an exception. They require more phosphorus than other genera in the family. Root rot is also a common problem. Propagation is commonly from seed for most species, with the exception of notable exception of grevilleas, which are grown from cuttings. Many species from other genera have, however, been successfully grown by cuttings or grafting.

 

The Myrtle Family - Myrtaceae

The family Myrtaceae has more then 3000 species within around 150 genera. They have a wide distribution in tropical and warm-temperate regions of the world such as South East Asia, Central and South America, the Mediterranean region (where the genus Myrtus comes from) and South Africa. Genera found in Australia include: Eucalyptus, Corymbia, Angophora, Leptospermum, Melaleuca, Callistemon, Chamaelaucium, Syzygium, Eugenia etc.

All species in the Myrtaceae family are evergreen, woody plants with essential oils. The flowers are in multiples of 4 or 5. A very notable characteristic of this family is that the phloem is located on both sides of the xylem not just outside as is the case in most other plants.

Leaves are usually simple, usually entire, and alternate to mostly opposite or occasionally whorled. The surface of the leaves is commonly dotted with noticeable oil glands.

Inflorescences are variable according to genera and may be solitary flowers, or umbel-like or raceme-like. Flowers are bi-sexual usually have a base number of 5 petals; petals are very tiny or absent in some genera. Sepals are usually 4 or 5 and often reduced to lobes. The stamens are numerous, brightly coloured and very conspicuous. The ovary is simple and usually half-inferior, from almost inferior to almost superior, 1- to multi-locular; The fruit a loculicidal capsule, nut or berry, rarely a schizocarp or drupe.

Members of this family are generally hardy and adaptable to a wide range of conditions. Most can be readily propagated from seed, and many of the smaller shrub types are often also propagated by cuttings.

Differences between some genera:

  • Eucalyptus - the flower has a fused perianth (the outer envelope of a flower, consisting of either the calyx or the corolla, or both). At maturity they become a deciduous operculum (a cap-like structure which protects the stamens in the bud and is shed when the flower opens). The stamens are many and conspicuous,

  • Melaleuca - the stamens are arranged in five bundles and are the conspicuous part of the flower; woody capsules are sessile and clustered around the stem,

  • Callistemon - have similar flowers and fruit to Melaleuca however the stamens are not clustered into bundles.

  • Leptospermum - the petals are the showy part of the flower; stamens are relatively short and the capsules are usually solitary.
     

WHERE THIS COURSE MIGHT LEAD YOU

Emerging from this course, you will know more plants, understand how to grow them and recognise opportunities to use them, which may not have even occurred to you previously.

Graduates may already be heavily involved with native plants by the time they finish the course. It may be their passion, or perhaps their work (maybe both).

You may use this course to kick start a small business, perhaps a backyard nursery or growing native cut flowers to sell at a local market or to florists. The course may give you the knowledge to impress an employer and get a job (or promotion) as a gardener or nurseryman.

If you work in garden design and want to concentrate on native varieties -  this course will expand your knowledge and help you to choose the right plant for the right place. It will help you to produce stunning native gardens.

If you are already working in horticulture, this course can be a valuable professional development program building and expanding on the knowledge and experience you already have.

This course is also very useful for those working, volunteering or wanting to work in rehabilitation programs for native parks - or in specialist native nurseries.

Meet some of our academics

Adriana Fraser Adriana has worked in horticulture since the 1980's. She has lived what she preaches - developing large gardens and growing her own fruit, vegetables and herbs and making her own preserves. In 1992 she formalised her training by graduating with a certificate in horticulture and a few years later, completed a Advanced Diploma in Horticulture amongst other qualifications. Adriana has worked across a broad spectrum of the horticulture industry and has developed a strong network of contacts in horticulture around Australia and beyond. She has written and contributed to many books and magazine articles. She has a passion for plant knowledge and sustainability and a natural understanding of how people learn about horticulture and has taught in various institutions and organistions as well as ACS. Adriana has been a tutor with ACS since the mid 90's and based on the feedback from past students has been an overwhelming success in helping people develop their skills and further careers in horticulture.
Bob James Bob has over 50 years of experience in horticulture across both production sectors (Crops and nursery) and amenity sectors of the industry. He holds a Diploma in Agriculture and Degree in Horticulture from the University of Queensland; as well as a Masters Degree in Environmental Science. He has worked a Grounds Manager at a major university; and a manager in a municipal parks department. Over recent years he has been helping younger horticulturists as a writer, teacher and consultant; and in that capacity, brings a diverse and unique set of experiences to benefit our students.
John Mason Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Rosemary Davies Rosemary trained in Horticulture at Melbourne Universities Burnley campus; studying all aspects of horticulture -vegetable and fruit production, landscaping, amenity, turf, aboriculture and the horticultural sciences. Initially she worked with the Department of Agriculture in Victoria providing advice to the public. Over the years she has taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer. She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing


Check out our eBooks

Landscaping with Australian PlantsDiscover more about Landscaping with Australian Plants with this ebook, add a different design element in your garden by using beautiful and highly practical Australian Native plants. Attract wildlife, save water by using plants that are suitable for your area. Perfect for passionate gardeners, students and gardening professionals.
Growing Australian Nativesby John Mason (Printed book) published by Kangaroo Press
Banksias62 pages, 38 colour photos
Growing & Knowing GrevilleasGet to know more about Grevilleas with the "Growing and Knowing Grevilleas" ebook. Written by John Mason and the staff of ACS Distance Education, this ebook is 134 pages of colour pictures and information on grevillea varieties, propagation, landscaping and ideal growing conditions. Given the diverse varieties, there are so many uses for this attractive plant within a garden.

 

 

It's Easy to Enrol

Select a Learning Method

 

I am studying from...



Enable Javascript to automatically update prices.


All prices in Australian Dollars.

Payment plans available.

Courses can be started at any time from anywhere in the world!