The State Herbarium of SA produces a variety of professional publications; The Flora of South Australia, the Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens and a variety of other books and scientific papers.
You can now access our publications online:
Staff of the State Herbarium of South Australia have contributed to many of publications on plants, algae and fungi. Results of their research is usually published in specialised scientific journals, such as the Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. Floras and handbooks assess and compile the basic knowledge on plants and provide descriptions, illustrations and a means to identify them. In turn, they form the foundation for many other works, for example illustrated books, field guides or fact sheets. Increasingly this information is disseminated online.
Until 1996 most scientific and technical publications were issued by the Flora and Fauna of South Australia Handbooks Committee and published by the Government printer. More recently these books have been published by the Board of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium and independent publishers. The board now holds the copyright to botanical publications of the Handbooks Committee.
Scientific publications by the board include technical books on Australian plants and popular works, such as Plants of the Adelaide Plains and Hills (2005, 3rd edition), Pruning for fruit (2008) or Nature Revealed (2009). Reference works on the vascular flora of South Australia produced by State Herbarium staff are the four volume Flora of South Australia (1986) and the Census of South Australian Vascular Plants (2005).
Handbooks on the South Australian plants that the herbarium has contributed to cover: larger fungi (1997), acacias (1992), orchids (1990), mosses (1980) and lichens (1979). Support was also provided in the preparation of the five volume Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia (1984–2003).
The preparation of a new Flora of South Australia is a major current project of the State Herbarium. This 5th edition will describe every flowering plant, conifer and fern native to or naturalised in the state and provide a means to identify them. Most species will be illustrated with line-drawings or photographs. While the previous edition (1986) covered over 3,600 different plants, this number has now risen to 4,800 — more than 1,200 new plants now recognised in the state since the 1986 edition.
Herbarium botanists contribute broadly to Australian taxonomic works, including the Flora of Australia series produced by the Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. They publish the results of their research in a variety of Australian and international scientific journals. The board also publishes its own Journal of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.
In recent years the State Herbarium has been conducting active field surveillance, in partnership with South Australia's NRM regions and Biosecurity SA, on weedy plants in South Australia. Weeds have traditionally been underrepresented in herbaria as they get 'overlooked' by collectors. Targeted collection of weeds has resulted in over 50 new weed records listed in the Census for South Australia in the last three years. A recent publication, Review of recent plant naturalisations in South Australia and initial screening for weed risk, documents some of the work the State Herbarium is undertaking.