Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born on 24 November 1933; died on 13 July 2019 in Queensland
Merv and his wife Olwy met in the last years of their school life. Both were athletes. Merv and his sister were exceptional sprinters. Merv got to carry the Olympic flame in 1956 as it passed through Brisbane.
By 1979, he had become the leader of the Grevillea Study Group of the Society for Growing Australian Plants (SGAP), but his enthusiasm outweighed the time needed. He was already undertaking several roles in SGAP which he had joined after a time growing exotics.
At that time he had been experimenting with plant breeding and had just crossed Grevillea bipinnatifida with G. banksii, and was excited by the first flowering progeny, Grevillea 'Superb' and Grevillea 'Coconut Ice'.
He was also renowned for his grafting of Grevilleas. Merv was introduced to grafting by Harvey Shaw but took it on, experimented and used it on the plants he produced in the little home nursery that he started after retiring from a technician's career working on telephone exchanges and their supervision.
He also grafted brachychitons, pimeleas, eremophilas and chamelauciums.
The Hodges participated in several Open Gardens and their magnificent garden at Logan Reserve, Queensland, replete with a huge Grevillea collection of new introductions, was featured on 'Burkes Backyard' TV Programme in 2002 and in the local papers.
His flower photography was inspirational. He was the driving force behind the Horticultural Guide to Australian Plants, information leaflets issued by the Queensland Region, both as author and photographer.
He died unexpectedly after suffering a blackout and driving into a tree near his home.
Grevillea hodgei was named in his honour.
Source: Extracted from obituary by Peter Olde: http://anpsa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/grev114.pdf
Portrait Photo: print supplied by Hodge to ABRS in 1988.
Data from 78 specimens