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The definitive guide to South West plant life

News Article Date: 
Wednesday, 24 March 2021

A third edition of Plants of the Great South West, the definitive guide to indigenous plants of our region, has been released.

The book is predominantly the work of Warrnambool author and member of the Warrnambool region group of the Australian Plants Society, Kevin Sparrow.

The new edition features 122 additional plants, updated species names, an updated map, commentary on plants which were traditional foods for Aboriginal people and a foreword by Kirrae Whurrong man Brett Clarke.

Among the most intriguing of the plants included in the new edition is the Elbow Orchid, the flower of which is bent at right angles and which attracts a particular species of wasp.

It is a great companion for those who are regular visitors to nature reserves in the South West and who may be wanting to know a little more about the plant life around them.

For gardeners and those who help care for reserves there is a chapter on weeds and plants are conveniently grouped according to their habit including large trees, small trees and large shrubs, small shrubs, climbers, herbs and wildflowers, sedges, grasses, aquatic plants and ferns.

Mr Sparrow praised the work of editor Jodie Honan who was heavily involved in the revised edition.

“There is hardly a page in this Jodie has not had some influence on,” he said.

Of the 1032 species described in the book, 165 are considered endangered.

The book, a handy companion for those walking through South West nature reserves or looking to add indigenous plants to household gardens, is available at local bookshops.

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