North Shore Group


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2015 Valette Williams Scholarship results announced!

This year’s recipient is Jonathon Pankhurst

Jon is a Bachelor of Science student, University of Wollongong, undertaking his Honours year.

about the scholarship.



June 12th
Sharon Bowen
‘Gymea Lilies’

Sharon is a mother of three teenagers and Vegetation Ecologist. She is currently employed as a Senior Environmental Scientist in the Water and Wetlands Team of Science Division of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage where she works on the restoration ecology of wetlands in western NSW. This work helps to guide the use of water delivered to the Environment in NSW under the NSW Water Management Act 2000.
She is also currently doing a PhD (part time) on aspects related to this work.
In 1996 she did a Masters of Science at the University of Technology Sydney, on the Ecology of Doryanthes excelsa in the Sydney Region. The talk she will give is a synopsis of that work in which she looked at the environmental niche of the Gymea lily in the Sydney Region. Researchers had long recognised that there was a distinct lack of this species occurring naturally between Port Jackson and Port Hacking – why was this so?
Her research pioneered many techniques that have since become mainstream, like bioclimatic modelling. Find out more about this fascinating species.

Diagram of a Gymea Lily Flower


Walks and Talks program at Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

More information

Down load a one page brochure (pdf) of the 2015 program.

May 25th

Leader: Alec Fisher
Topic: 'Plants, You & Climate Change’

Histogram of the number of hot days per year

Number of days that Australian area-average mean temperatures were in the warmest 1 per cent of records. From: Bureau of Meteorology State of the Climate -2014. This is a great general reference on all aspects of climate change.
Climate has changed in Australia, as it has worldwide, here for example with increasing number of hot days. It is confidently forecast that average temperatures will rise and rainfall will decrease over eastern and southern Australia, the degree of which is dependent on the degree of carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere.
Alec will detail these latest findings together with the observed and future potential impacts of climate change on native plants. After his presentation and morning tea there will be an open discussion for attendees based on the themes below, led by a moderator.
Themes for discussion
With the premise that climate change will influence native plant communities should we –
1. Let nature take its course in plants adapting to a new climate scenario or should we be proactive in influencing outcomes by local initiatives?
2. If we want to be proactive how can this be put into practice – through modified bush regen practices – through individual garden practice – through influence on local government practice in communal plantings and private landscaping requirements?
3. Should we draw up guidelines based on current knowledge to inform proactive decisions?
4. As some degree of climate change is already evident and the degree of future change is dependent on the level of CO2 emission, how can we individually aid in suppressing emissions?

June 1st

Leader: Sue Bowen
Topic: ‘Ferns ’

juivenial Fern fronds

The Fern House at Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden is a sheltered spot planted with a very wide variety of ferns, cycads and epiphytic orchids. In her lecture, Sue will outline the structure and evolution of ferns and allied plants and describe some of the ferns growing in the KWG. On the walk we will view various ground ferns and cycads and explore the Fern House near Lamberts Clearing. Join with Sue on this behind-the-scenes look into primitive plants.


 Face book link

Last up-dated 21st. May 2015

We are affiliated with Australian Plants Society NSW Ltd which is part of the national body the Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) inc. (ANPSA).