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Greg Keighery on My Botanical Life and Bush Tomatoes
April 10 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm$2.00
As part of the Perth Branch’s theme for 2018, speakers are asked to include their ‘wildflower journey’ in their talk – how they became involved with wildflowers! Greg Keighery will include this in his talk, including – somehow – bush tomatoes !
Finding in 2017 a healthy population of a plant that was considered extinct in the wild is part of the story that Subiaco botanist Greg Keighery will share with the Perth Branch of the Wildflower Society on Tuesday 10th April.
The journey began in Victoria in 1950 and spans: a childhood in Bunbury : university including post graduate studies in genetics in Perth; 10 years working in Kings Park on the biology of native plants; and more than 30 years with Fisheries and Wildlife (now part of Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions) as a survey botanist. On his trips working in near and remote bushland in Western Australia Greg has, collected and preserved for history, more than with 30,000 plant specimens, and has been recognized as one of the great modern day plant collectors in the world. Greg’s studies have focused on many native plant groups. He has named nearly 100 plants and had seven plants named for him. Another interest has been bushland weeds, being the first botanist to list the weeds of WA and, with others, write a sell-out book on the weeds of WA.
After this lifetime of studying aspects of the life of our wonderful plants Greg will focus on the Native Tomatoes family (Solanaceae) to illustrate aspects of his career. This old and very useful family includes chilies, tomatoes and potatoes. It was an endangered member of this group that Greg found on 2017. In Australia Solanaceae has a diverse lineage Australia of over 200 species, including: native plants used by Aboriginal people as tobacco, medicines and food. Today Solanaceae species continue to be investigated as a known source of drugs and potential food plants for arid agriculture. The Solanum genus has diversified in the arid regions of WA. Many would also make colourful additions to our gardens.
Meetings of the Perth Branch of the Society are held on the second Tuesday of each month in the Subiaco Community Centre across the road from Crossways Shopping centre in Bagot Road. Doors open at 7.45pm and the meeting begins at 8pm. Supper is served after the talk and everyone is eligible for the night’s door prize. You do not need to be a member of the Society to attend, entry requiring a $2 door donation.