Workshop on plant identification for flora of the Wimmera

CWA Hall, 37 McPherson St, Horsham, Victoria
30th – 31st October 2013

The Australian Network for Plant Conservation (ANPC) delivered a workshop on Plant Identification for flora of the Wimmera
in Horsham, Victoria in October 2013. The workshop was supported by the Wimmera Catchment Management Authority and
Landcare Wimmera.

The workshop was attended by a range of stakeholders in plant conservation, with 23 participants and six presenters attending
the two day workshop.

Learning was through a combination of theory presentations, practicals and field-based activities.

Neville Walsh, of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne opened the workshop with an Introduction to the flora of the Wimmera.
This presentation was full of interesting information on the history, diversity and ecology of the flora of the Wimmera region.
Neville has kindly allowed us to make this presentation available online. To download a pdf of the presentation click on the
image above (please note that this is a 38 MB file).

An introduction to plant identification, including classification, nomenclature and the use of botanical keys was followed by
a hands-on session on how to use a hand lens properly. Participants then practiced their hand lens skill in a practical session
on identifying parts of a flower.

Participants then had an in-depth look at two common families: orchids (presented by Noushka Reiter, manager of the
Wimmera Orchid Conservation Program), and Fabaceae (Part 1: Acacia delivered by Daniel murphy, Royal Botanic Gardens
Melbourne and Part 2: Peas delivered by Neville Walsh).

A small group practical then gave participants an opportunity to practice using botanical keys and a dissecting microscope.
Day one ended with a presentation on interactive keys and other resources, followed by a demonstration using interactive keys.
Day two commenced with presentations on identifying three more common families: grasses (presented by Isobel Crawford,
Australian Botanical Surveys), lilies (Geoff Carr, Ecology Australia), and daisies (Neville Walsh). A second practical session on
using botanical keys followed, giving the students plenty of practice.

Graeme and Maree goods provided an overview of the flora of The Little Dessert and introduced their upcoming new book
on the flora and birds of this unique national park.

Participants then headed out to the Grampian National Park where Isobel Crawford gave a demonstration on how
to collect a herbarium specimen.

The final activity for the day was to practice recognising families by taking a close look for ‘giveaway characters’.
The ANPC would like to acknowledge and thank the support of the Wimmera Catchment Authority, Landcare Wimmera,
and the generous workshop presenters including: Neville Walsh, Isobel Crawford, Noushka Reiter, Daniel Murphy,
and Geoff Carr.

More information

Workshop program
Workshop flyer
Additional workshop images

Would you like a plant identification workshop similar to this in your region? Contact the ANPC National Office to discuss opportunities.