Native Plants Queensland's Mackay Branch has been vigorously promoting the aims of our association ever since its formation in 1978. Thousands of plants have been propagated, publications have been produced, members have served as advisors to many government and non-government organisations and have volunteered for surveys and on-ground projects. None of this would be possible without the wealth of shared knowledge within the membership and expertise in fields such as nursery procedures, gardening under a variety of conditions, orchids, ferns, regional ecosystems, rare and threatened species, rehabilitation and even weed identification and control.
Attend a Meeting
Mackay branch meetings are held from 7.30pm on the first Thursday of each month at the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens (MRBG) meeting room, Lagoon St, Mackay.
There are presentations, either by guest speakers or members, which are diverse, educational and entertaining. The Show & Tell segment, where members share (and sometimes brag about) specimens from their gardens or properties is quite popular. The evening closes with supper and plant raffle. A comprehensive botanical library is also available for members to peruse and borrow from. Meetings are interesting and enjoyable and visitors are welcome!
Propagation Group Nursery sessions
These are usually held on the last Thursday morning of each month at the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens (MRBG) nursery off Alexandra Street. (COVID-safe and nursery hygiene procedures apply.) The main objective is to grow and promote native species suitable for local conditions for sale to members and the public, and for special projects - especially those in the MRBG. Members can purchase a selection of plants before most general meetings.
Excursions to collect propagating material are also held from time to time.
Many species have been introduced to horticulture through the efforts of the Propagation Group. The Branch emblem and logo, the Mount Blackwood Holly Graptophyllum ilicifolium a vulnerable local species, was first offered for sale to the public by the Mackay Branch in 1991.
Public plant sales
A selection of our plants are now available Monday to Friday throughout most of the year from the MRBG Administration Centre. COVID permitting, two public plant sales are held each year. The first is at the MRBG Open Day, usually the last Saturday in May and the second at the Mackay Orchid Extravaganza held at Queens Park, usually in September. As well as promoting the use of Australian native plants in local gardens, information relevant to local growing conditions is also provided to clients. A list of the plants on offer with growing notes is distributed via email prior to each sale. Contact the branch if you wish to be added to the distribution list.
Mackay Plant Sales
Mackay Branch and the MRBG
There has been a long-standing and ongoing commitment to support the development of the MRBG. Mackay Branch members planted thousands of plants during the first stages of the Regional Forests, prior to the gazettal of the MRBG. Branch members continue to help develop, maintain and interpret the Gardens through provision of plants, regular working bees, assistance with interpretative material and signage. Members also assist in whatever ways they can with information and advice. The branch’s commitment is formalised with a Memorandum of Understanding between both parties that provides benefits to both.
The Mackay Branch and MRBG also have an Understanding with the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG). There has been information exchange, and plants from Mackay have been provided to the ANBG for their Living Collection.
The herbarium team, led by a branch member and comprised of Branch and MRBG staff members, meets regularly to collect and process voucher and duplicate specimens from the Botanic Gardens living collection or voucher specimens collected during field excursions to collect propagating material for the Living Collection. The voucher specimens are sent to the Queensland Herbarium to be incorporated as permanent records of plants in the MRBG Living Collection.
Over the years these have included a rainforest planting at Central Queensland University; a revegetation plot on the Pioneer River; a rehabilitation project at the Lagoons funded by the Federal Government; a revegetation project on Newry Island and vegetation surveys on Newry and the Percy Isles.
In 2017, the Mackay Branch was substantially involved with the revamp of the much-loved Lamberts Beach Lookout, which had a whale viewing platform added to its clifftop. The branch suggested salvaging plants prior to any work beginning. Members surveyed the site, provided lists to Council, and worked in conjunction with the Mackay Regional Council’s Natural Environment Centre and Pioneer Catchment Landcare to collect plants and propagating material that were then grown in the Council’s nursery for later use in landscaping and revegetation. After the landscaping was completed, members helped with revegetation of the surrounding area. They also contributed text and photos for the interpretative signage.
Submissions, plant lists and information have been provided for numerous proposal and projects within the district. The branch has also been represented on many Local, State and Federal Government advisory groups.
Excursions and Social Activities
Excursions and social activities are held from time to time and are advertised in the newsletter. The Mackay Branch and Birdlife Mackay have a close association and the monthly Birdlife outings are open to our members. The Christmas celebration is usually a combined event.
Benefits of Mackay Branch Membership
For further information, contact the Secretary or find us on Facebook (links at the top of this page), and/or attend a meeting as a guest - just introduce yourself on arrival so that you can be welcomed.
We welcome visitors to our branch meetings—you'll find we're a friendly group!
An invitation to you
Are you are interested in learning more about Australian plants, and how to grow native plants suitable for your home garden or local community project? Would you like to support the conservation of our native plants and their habitats?
You are welcome to attend a meeting as a visitor and learn about Native Plants Queensland membership.