An over-subscribed workshop. Non-members lining up to become members so they could attend at member’s prices. This shows how popular this workshop was – and how successful. With a fantastic presenter (Dr Kevin Thiele – former Curator of the WA Herbarium) and 5 assistants for 20 registrants, each with their own binocular microscope, this was a supermassive learning experience. Even the presenters and assistants learnt as the on–line database keys used to identify locally collected plants in flower required experienced botanists to interpret. Only a little botanical experience was required as Kevin went through the basics of what the plant parts are – describing them with the actual plants that everyone had in their hand, drawing little pictures or using our new digital microscope to demonstrate. Everyone took home a scalpel and pair of tweezers so they could undertake their own dissecting at home in future – all they need is their own microscope or hand lens.
The afternoon field trip to Kensington bushland was equally instructive as Mike Hislop and Rob Davis assisted everyone in applying their knowledge in identifying and recognising plants in flower – and then amazed everyone by identifying plants that weren’t in flower – including such cryptic plants as Lomandras, Alexgeorgias and Amphipogons.
And if you don’t know what they are, better look out for the next Plant ID Workshop coming soon to a place near you.
Dr Eddy Wajon