Book Reviews

Common Native Plants of the Coorong Region

commonnativeplantscoorongCommon Native Plants of the Coorong Region

by Neville Bonney

Published by Australian Plants Society (SA Region) Inc.

Soft cover, full colour, 103 pages

Reviewed by Jan Sked

The Coorong area of South Australia has sustained many species, year after year, endured season after season, for how long no one really knows. For many centuries the aboriginal people lived on its resources. The Coorong, in its many moods, has been an inspiration for many people - artists, photographers, bird watchers, plant enthusiasts.

At the western end of the Coorong are Lakes Albert and Alexandrina, where the waters of the mighty Murray River spill out into the Great Southern Ocean. From there the Coorong extends south east as a 150 kilometre long narrow waterway. In 1972 a major area of the Coorong was declared a National Park.

In this new book Neville Bonney shows us some of the most common plants of this fascinating region. Combinations of features and characteristics have been chosen to aid in the identification of 70 species found in the Coorong. Colour photographs are used throughout to illustrate the plants with several photos per plant showing the most distinctive features.

Plants are grouped according to height or habit in the following order: Herbs, Grasses and Reeds, Creepers and Climbers, Small Shrubs, Medium and Tall Shrubs, Trees. Plants are arranged alphabetically by botanical name within their group, with common names provided where known and the plant family to which each belongs. As well, Neville has included the meaning of each botanical name.

The locality and/or type of plant association where each plant occurs are given. Descriptions cover habit of growth, flowers, fruit, etc. Seed collecting and propagation methods are also discussed, and historical uses by aboriginal people and early settlers are included. Characteristics which help differentiate between similar plants are also recorded.

This richly illustrated small book captures the natural beauty of the Coorong. Whether you use it is as a guide to explore the region or as a reminder after a visit or just to dream about a place far away, it evokes the spirit of this wonderful place.

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