Born 28 August 1922, died 16 October 1977.
Shy and reclusive by nature, botanist Magda Wittwer made an enormous contribution to Western Australian conservation through the survey and mapping work she carried out as assistant to then Director of Kings Park, J.S. Beard, in the 1960s.
But perhaps her greatest gift to the State was through her voluntary work in training people to propagate native plants and helping schools to set up native plant nurseries. Her quiet dedication and determination were inspiring to all who met her. Many credit her with introducing and establishing in Western Australia the novel concept that there is value in cultivating native plants in their own environment, and appreciating their intrinsic rather than their exotic value.
Fittingly, her name is commemorated in a beautiful Western Australian plant, Darwinia wittwerorum. It was on a field trip to the Stirling Range to continue work with her husband, collecting, studying and identifying the remarkable Darwinia species, that Magda suffered an untimely and fatal aneurysm.
Source: Extracted from: Landscope, Winter 1999, p.44, CALM
Portrait photo: Extracted from: Landscope, Winter 1999, p.44, CALM, photographer Brian Moss