Australian Natives I

Learn about Australian indigenous plants, their identification and culture - trees, acacias, grevilleas, mytaceous plants, ground covers and more; as well as commercial uses - elearning course.

Course Code: BHT113
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn to Identify and Grow Australian Native Plants

This course was developed by a team of Horticulture Experts led by John Mason, author of "Growing Australian Natives" published by Kangaroo Press/Simon & Schuster

  • Provides a foundation for working with Australian plants in nurseries, landscaping, gardens management, land rehabilitation, plant breeding, environmental assessment, etc.
  • Learn to identify hundreds of different species, know how to grow them better, build your contacts with industry, discover an abundance of opportunities to work more with these amazing plants.

Australia has one of the oldest and most diverse varieties of plants of an country. Australian natives come from tropical areas to cold temperate snow covered mountains, and from inland deserts to fertile wet rain forests. Develop your ability to identify, select, cultivate and plan a management program, for appropriate varieties of Australian native plants, in a wide variety of situations. This course is relevant to any part of Australia, and equally to most other parts of the world.

A more extensive and in-depth knowledge of plants can open greater opportunities in business or careers for Nurserymen, Landscapers, Gardeners and Horticulturists.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Scope and Nature of Native Plants
    • Taxonomy: Botanical and Horticultural Nomenclature
    • Binomial System
    • Levels of Division
    • Plant Families
    • Species, Hybrids, Varieties and Cultivars
    • Botanical Keys and their Use
    • Origins of Australian Plants
    • Continental Drift
    • Resources for More Information
    • Sources for Seed Information
  2. Cultural Techniques
    • Cultivation
    • Things that can Go Wrong: Pests, Diseases, Environmental Problems, Nutrition
    • Soils
    • Improving Soil Structure
    • Soil Water Management
    • Compost
    • No Dig Growing Techniques
    • Feeding Natives
    • Pruning
    • Temperature
    • Planting, Staking, Mulching
    • Special Planting Techniques
    • Natives for Shade
    • Controlling Weeds
    • Propagation; seed, cuttings, etc
    • Stock Plants
  3. Eucalypts
    • Introduction
    • Types of Eucalypts; gums, stringybarks, boxes, ironbarks, yates, peppermints, etc.
    • Hybrid Eucalypts
    • Eucalypt Cultural Requirements
    • Review of Important Eucalypt Species
  4. Native Trees
    • Casuarina; Casuarina and Allocasuarina, Gymnostoma and Ceuthostoma
    • Casuarina Culture
    • Review of Casuarina and Allocasuarina species
    • Australian Conifers: Overview
    • Cupressaceae: Actinostrobus, Calitris, Diselma
    • Araucariaceae; Araucaria
    • Podocarpaceae; Dacrydium, Microcachrys, Microstrobos, Phyllocladus, Podocarpus
    • Taxodiaceae:
    • Macadamias
    • Brachychiton
    • Angophora
    • Lophostemon
  5. Acacias
    • Introduction to Legumes; Papilionoideae, Caesalpiniodeae and Mimosoideae
    • Overview of Acacia
    • Acacia Cultural Requirements
    • Review of Important Acacia species
    • Elements of drawing a Landscape Plan
    • Landscape Design Procedure
  6. Myrtaceous Australian Plants
    • Review of the Myrtaceae Family
    • Callistemon overview
    • Callistemon Culture
    • Important Callistemon cultivars and species
    • Leptospermum overview and Culture
    • Important Leptospermum Species
    • Baeckea
    • Calothamnus
    • Calytrix
    • Eugenia
    • Homoranthus
    • Kunzea
    • Melaleuca
    • Micromyrtus
    • Scholtzia
    • Syzygium
    • Verticordia
    • Thryptomene
  7. Grevilleas
    • Grevillea Overview
    • Types of flower: Erect Cluster, Toothbrush, Pendant, Cylinder
    • McCilveray’s Classification into eleven main groups
    • Flower and Leaf Terminology
    • Review of Low Growing Grevilleas
    • Banksia Type Hybrids
    • Hybrid Parents from tropics and sub tropics
    • Poorinda Hybrids
    • Review of many Important Species
    • Culture
    • Related Proteaceae Natives: Dryandra, Hakea, Banksia, Telopea
  8. Ground Cover and Small Shrubs
    • Overview of Fabaceae (Egg and Bacon) Plants
    • Brachyzema
    • Castenospermum
    • Clianthus
    • Gastrolobium
    • Gompholobium
    • Goodenia
    • Hardenbergia
    • Hovea
    • Jacksonia
    • Kennedya
    • Oxylobium
    • Swainsonia
    • Viminaria
    • Boronia; overview and culture
    • Boronia species
    • Prostanthera
  9. Commercial Applications
    • Fragrant Natives
    • Uses for Eucalyptus
    • Uses for Grevilleas
    • Uses for Acacia: timber, tanning, cut flowers, food, etc
    • Aboriginal Uses for Acacias
    • Growing Natives in Containers
    • Bush Tucker

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.

What You Will Do

  • Classify most significant cultivated native plants, to the family level.
  • Determine cultural practices to maintain healthy native plants.
  • Explain the identification and culture of eucalypts in your locality.
  • Explain the identification and culture of native trees.
  • Explain the identification and culture of acacias in your locality.
  • Explain the identification and culture of native shrubs, including species of Acacia, Melaleuca, Callistemon and Leptospermum
  • Explain the identification and culture of different Proteaceous native plants, with particular emphasis on the genus Grevillea.
  • Explain the identification and culture of a range of Australian Native ground covers and small shrubs.
  • Determine commercially viable applications for different native plants.

The Last Frontier for Plant Collectors, Botanists and Horticulturists

While plants from Asia, Africa, Europe and America have been explored, selected, cultivated and bred for hundreds of years; until relatively recent times; Australian plants have been largely neglected.

Australia has a very broad variety of indigenous plants, ranging from alpine species that survive under deep winter snow cover to desert plants that persist through extended periods of hot and dry conditions, which sometimes last for years at a time.

There are tens of thousands of different Australian indigenous plants, many of which have never been seriously cultivated. Others which have been grown widely in Australian gardens are only just now being discovered by the outside world.

Learn to Identify Lots of Different Australian Plants

This course places a strong emphasis upon building your knowledge of different plants. This is done, among other things, by compiling a series of plant reviews with information on each of many different plant varieties, such as:

  • Common Name
  • Plant Family, Genus & Species names
  • Variety (if applicable)
  • Height
  • Width
  • Soil requirements
  • Environmental requirements
  • Cultural procedures (eg. propagation and pruning)
  • Pest and disease susceptibility

 Eucalyptus macrocarpa

 
 

OUR TUTORS

  • Learn from an international team or renowned horticultural experts led by John Mason, board member of the Australian Garden Council, Fellow Chartered Institute of Horticulture (UK), Fellow Australian Institute of Horticulture, Fellow Parks and Leisure Australia.  John is also a former nurseryman, parks director, and is one of the most prolific gardening authors from Australia -author of Growing Australian Plants published by Simon and Schuster; and editor of Home Grown Magazine.
  • A unique opportunity to connect and learn from our international faculty that includes Rosemary Davies (formerly Garden Advisory Service, and Age Garden Writer, Melbourne),  Maggi Brown (former Education officer for Garden Organic, UK), Gavin Cole (former Operations Manager for the Chelsea Gardener, London), and Bob James (former Parks Manager, Brisbane City Council; Horticultural consultant for 45 years); and a host of other equally qualified professionals.
  • See profiles of our faculty.

 

 

WHERE YOUR NEW FOUND KNOWLEDGE MIGHT BE USED

Whilst Australian native plants are more usually, or traditionally, found in natural style gardens such as the typical bush garden, growing awareness and appreciation of native species has led to broader usage in landscaping. Although many species are naturally quite straggly in their growth habits, careful pruning and positioning along with pruning and training means that some species have also found their way into formal and other garden styles.

Many native plants are no longer restricted to bush gardens, they can equally be used in non-traditional ways, such as in a formal setting. You can find a native plant to create any effect you want - formal or informal, or somewhere in between.

Some natives are grown to harvest, and many others have massive untapped potential; some as food plants, some for timber or fuel and others as cut flowers.

This course offers a great opportunity to build on what you already do (or do not) know about Australian Plants, to develop a passion, explore unseen possibilities and lay a strong foundation for a lifelong experience, learning more about the plants of Australia
 
It is a course designed for the professional landscaper,nurseryman or horticulturist; or the passionate amateur plant collector. 
 

 

 
Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.


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More information is here

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Adriana Fraser (Horticulturist)

Over 30 years working in horticulture, as a gardener, propagator, landscape designer
, teacher and consultant. Adriana has spent much of her life living on large properties, developing and maintaining her own gardens, and living a semi self sufficient li

John Mason (Horticulturist)

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.

Jacinda Cole (Horticulturist)

B.Sc., Cert.Garden Design. Landscape Designer, Operations Manager, Consultant, Garden Writer.
She was operations manager for a highly reputable British Landscape firm (The Chelsea Gardener) before starting up her own landscaping firm. She spent three ye





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Yvonne Sharpe

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

Jan Kelly

Jan has around 50 years experience in horticulture, including over 20 years as owner/manager of a wholesale / retail nursery. She has worked in both Australia and New Guinea, in many different capacities, including as a horticultural consultant and landscape designer for domestic and development projects, with considerable experience in Conservation & Land Management. Jan has been a trainer of Amenity Horticulture and Landscape Design for 10 years.

Megan Cox

Megan has completed a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Conservation) with Honours from Writtle University College, as well as a Master of Science Degree in Countryside Management from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Her experience includes working as a Botanist, Ecologist, Head Gardener, Market Gardener and a Farming and Conservation Officer.

She has worked in various roles in Horticulture, Agriculture and Ecology since 2005. Megan has worked for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Centre for Environment and Rural Affairs among other organisations in the UK, as well as in Australia and Cambodia.

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