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Jennie Larucci's front garden. Photo courtesy of Edwina Wain

On this Resources page we show
1. Some interesting articles
2. Some old format Tropica magazines. (Members should log in to the members area to see the most recent issues of Tropica)
3. A list of recent speakers

1. Some interesting articles

A brief review of the palms in Singapore

By Garry Daly

Click on the photo to read this interesting article with photos about some of the palms and gardens in Singapore

A brief look at the plants around Perth and the South West of Western Australia

by Garry Daly

Learn about the plants around Perth and the South West of Western Australia.  Click on the photo to access his article and photos

Tropical and Subtropical Plants for the Southern Sydney Basin

by Garry Daly

Learn about the plants Garry is successfully growing in Nowra.  Click on the photo to access his article and photos

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2. Past issues of Tropica Magazine

Tropica magazine is normally published three times a year and contains information on a wide range of tropical plants being grown in Sydney as well as items of interest to members about gardens visited elsewhere or plants growing in habitat. Selected items from past issues are presented on this page.

Note! Members can login ( at the top right hand corner of page) to go to the Members area to view the most recent copies of Tropica.

Tropica No. 14  -  July 2008              Growing Bamboos in Sydney by Norma Edwards ......4-6

                                                          Experiences growing Bamboos by Anthony Hillin, Greg Jones, Alan Collins, Helen & Neil Curran .......6-9,19

                                                          Cycads, the forgotten garden feature by Colin Wilson .......10-17

                                                          Experiences growing small Cycads by Alan Collins, Fred Moody, Norma & Ian Edwards ....... 17-18

Tropica No. 15  -  November 2008     Ground covers by Fred Moody, Norma Edwards ...... 5-9

                                                           Small Cycads by Colin Wilson ......10-14

                                                           Beautiful rare Dypsis by Bill Beattie ...... 15

                                                           The gardens of Bali by Brian Kennedy...... 16-18

                                                           Cycas media on Hayman Island by Jennie Larucci ...... 19

Tropica No. 16  -  March 2009            Aechmeas by Greg Jones ...... 4-6

                                                            Experience growing Aechmeas by Norma Edwards ...... 6-8

                                                            New Caledonian palm name changes by Ian Edwards .....9

                                                            Arenga palms for Sydney by Ian Edwards ...... 10-14

                                                            Experiences growing Arengas by Greg Smith, Paul Anderson, Alan Collins ..... 15-17

                                                            Scadoxus multiflora by Norma Edwards...... 17

                                                            Our  Open Garden weekend by Brian and Jann Kennedy ..... 19-20

Tropica No. 17  -  July 2009               To the caldera by Fred Moody .....4-7

                                                           Marantaceae, the Maranta family  by Ian Edwards ..... 12-17

                                                           Circestis mirabilis  by Ian Edwards ..... 18

                                                           Ancient palm seeds  ..... 19

3.Recent Speakers

26 March 2024 Steve Falcioni from OCP Organic Crop Protectants gave a talk on Organic gardening which focused on the various eco products the company has on the market, giving information about their uses and benefits.

27 February 2024 due to a late withdrawal of our scheduled speaker Judith Watson's talk "Tropical Collection of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" was moved forward from April and given this night. The talk focused on plants in the Palm House, Waterlily House, Princess of Wales Conservatory and the Temperate House.

23 January 2024 Fred Moody gave a talk called " A Tour of USA Gardens" showing plants from a number of botanic gardens such as Missouri and Fairchild as well as some private gardens in the south.


24 October 2023 James Clugston gave a very informative talk entitled "An introduction to the Cycads" and discussed conservation and some of the latest research into them.


26 September 2023 Peter Hey from Just Clivias and Rare Things gave a talk on the Development of Green Clivias which included discussion of hybridisation methods, a live pollination demonstration and examples of Clivias in flower.

22 August 2023 Stefan Burger gave a presentation on the "Bromeliads of Chile and Mexico". This also showed a number of endangered species of bromeliads as well as cactus and other unusual plants growing in habitat.


25 July 2023 Jacqui Maxwell, our President, presented a talk entitled "A Tiki Tour of Taranaki Open Gardens".


27 June 2023 Stephen Bartlett gave a presentation entitled ‘Titan Arum, the world’s largest inflorescence, my experiences and interesting facts’

This was based on his work at The Royal Botanic gardens Sydney flowering the Amorphophallus titanum for only the second time in Australia.


23 May 2023 Jeff Williams gave a talk called  "Successful Growing and Propagation Of Nepenthes ( Tropical Pitcher Plants) in Sydney". He brought examples of plants growing outdoors in his garden and spoke about taking cuttings and growing media.


25 April 2023 Libby Cameron gave a presentation entitled  ‘A Floral Ride Through India’ which featured the many ways flowers are used through India  as decorations and offerings and some wonderful gardens.


28 March 2023 Jennie Larrucci spoke on the topic "75 Years of Gardening with a Pinch of History" about her gardens, memorable people, experiences and her lifetime love of plants.


28 February2023 Gil Teague, past owner of the Florilegium Bookshop, spoke on the topic  “My Favourite Plant Books”.


24 January 2023 Jeremy Critchley from The Green Gallery discussed  "Growing tropical plants in a commercial wholesale setting."


25 October 2022 Tammy Huynh, horticulturalist and TV presenter, gave a talk about the basics of indoor plant care entitled "Indoor Plants 101". Tammy can be contacted through her website


​27 September 2022 Stuart Read, co-chair of the Australian Garden History Society, gave a talk about the father and son Michael and William Guilfoyle and their influence on early gardens of Sydney and beyond. The title was Pre-Victoria: Double Bay, Cudgen & jobs north of the Murray - Guilfoyle in NSW.

23 July 2022 Troy Donovan spoke on the topic The Sub Tropical Look at 42 Degrees South. He shared his experience of establishing a beautiful palm filled garden in Hobart.


26 July 2022 Judith Watson gave a presentation entitled Exploring Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay. Judith shared photos taken during several visits to the gardens focussing on the amazing variety of plants and wildlife to be found there in different areas.

28 June 2022 Ruth Donnelly gave a talk titled Everything you need to know about Epiphyllums, Selenicereus and other related plants.

 Ruth Donnelly  shared her growing expertise to help viewers have a flourishing collection of these amazing plants based on 40 years of experience propagating and growing a wide range of both indoor and outdoor plants for the nursery industry.  For further information see the website


24 May 2022 Peter Hey from Just Cliveas and Rare Things gave a talk on Veltheimia - Forest Lily. Care and Cultivation. You can learn more about Peter's nursery at


26 April 2022 Edwina Wain gave a talk titled Uncommon Bromeliad Genera, of which there are more than 70  plus a number of Bigenerics. Edwina and her husband Steve, have been growing and collecting Bromeliads for over 20 years. Edwina is an accredited Bromeliad Judge and regularly judges at the Bromeliad Society of Australia and the Illawarra Bromeliad Society shows.

22 March 2022 Tony Matson from CutAbove Tools gave a talk about appropriate selection of tools for pruning and demonstrated methods of sharpening and maintenance. You can learn more about these tools at the website:

22 February 2022 Marlon Maclean from the Australasian Carnivorous Plants Society gave a presentation which explored the many varieties of carnivorous plants and the ways they trap their prey. It had the title The Wild World of Carnivorous Plants

25 January 2022 (Zoom Online Meeting) Colin Wilson, in a talk entitled A Palm Journey, showed the amazing work he has done to create or rebuild palm gardens in the botanic gardens of Tenerife, Sydney and Wollongong as well as at his own home.


23 November 2021(Zoom Online Meeting) Alistair MacDougall discussed the  tropical fruit trees he has in his Eastern Suburbs garden during his presentation  Tropical Fruit in Sydney: You’ll be amazed at what you can grow!



26 October  2021 (Zoom Online Meeting) Ted Shaw's talk' Native Orchids in my Garden' showed specimens from his collection of Dendrobiums and some other natives.Ted demonstrated his technique of attaching clumps of Dendrobum speciosum to rock outcrops in his garden.


28 September 2021 (Online Zoom Meeting) Ross Bolwell gave a talk on 'All About Begonias'. Ross Bolwell is the owner of Bloomin' Greenery Nursery at Annangrove, growing a large range of shade plants and breeding Begonias. He was also the head teacher of Horticulture at Ryde TAFE for many years.

24 August 2021 (Zoom Online meeting) Erik Van Zuilekom from UnitedNatures Design gave a talk entitled Growing Aroids: Habitat to our homes. The presentation showed some very informative photos of how plants congregate in habitat and stressed how we can look to these conditions when growing plants in home situations.

27 July 2021 (Zoom Online Meeting) Our president, Jacqui Maxwell gave a talk on 'Nepenthes in my Central Coast Garden'


22 June 2021 (Zoom Online Meeting) Kylie Stocks from Verdigris Fern Nursery gave a talk entitled Growing Ferns. She also suggested learning more about this topic by visiting her husband's website


25 May 2021 Jim Brydie presented a talk on orchids with the title Growing Phalaenopsis as a houseplant. Members can see information sheets associated with Jim's talk by logging in to this website's Member Area.


26 April 2021 Annual General Meeting and presentation by Fred Moody entitled an Introduction to Aroids. Fred brought a large selection of Anthuriums, Philodendrons and other aroids in pots and some huge leaves. He also discussed many more specimens via a slide show.

23 March 2021 Presentation by Graham Nunn  - Beekeeping as a retirement hobby.

Graham spoke about his practical four year experience of keeping both European honey bees and native bees and  discussed equipment, work involved and the rewards.

23 February, 2021 (Zoom Online Meeting)

Bruce Dunstan gave a fascinating presentation  entitled “Plants of the Western Range in Colombia”. The talk showed photos of the large number of species encountered during his expeditions to Colombia focussing largely on the genus Heliconia but also Anthuriums, Philodendrons other aroids and the bromeliads Pitcarnea and Guzmania. Many were species that have not as yet been named.

26 January, 2021 ( Zoom Online Meeting)

Judith Watson gave a presentation on her trip to the NSW Northern Rivers, showing photos of plants and wildlife. The presentation focused on lesser-known areas of rainforest and coastline that were visited as well as a few locations that may be more familiar.


24 November, 2020 ( Zoom Online Meeting)

Wayne Lyons from subTropical Exotics gave a very detailed presentation on his private collection of Aroids entitled "The family of Araceae. Members are colloquially known as Aroids". See Wayne's website at


27 October, 2020 ( Zoom Online Meeting)

Designer Peter Nixon showed us many features of interest in making Cool Subtropics Gardens including greenwalls, mirrors and plants for rich textural and foliage contrasts year round. Peter Nixon has the following websites,,  See also Instagram: paradisus_sea_changer Facebook: Paradisus Garden Design


22 September 2020 (Zoom Online Meeting)

​Robert King gave a presentation entitled 'Why plant names are sometimes altered - explanation and justification'.

28 July 2020 (Zoom Online Meeting)

​Peter Hey from Just Cliveas and Rare Things gave a talk on ‘Symbiotic relationships’ about the hidden plant/microflora nutritional exchange. Peter is stallholder at both the at the Collectors’ Plant Fair and Plant Lovers Fair. His website address is: You can also follow him on Instagram: or visit him at Rozelle Collectors Market.

March, April & May 2020

​These meetings were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

​25 February 2020

​Gordon Cheers gave a presentation on Carnivorous Plants

​28 January 2020

Ray Henderson gave a talk entitled - 'How the Paradox garden has evolved over the last decade. A warts-and-all exposé using the best images'.  

26 November 2019

Judith Watson spoke on a recent visit to the Eden Project in Cornwall.

22 October 2019

​Dr Dale Dixon spoke on Tillandsia species, cultivars and their cultivation.

24 September 2019

​TGSS 40th Anniversary Event - Tropical Garden Society Sydney turns 40 this year. To celebrate, we are having a 40th Anniversary Event. It will include a couple of short talks from some of our long standing members.

23 July 2019

Peter Hey from Just Cliveas and Rare Things gave a talk on ‘Clivias and Rare Plants’. Peter will discuss the latest developments in hybridising, pollination techniques, growing media and care of C. miniata and the Sub-family/Tribe Hyacinthoides. Peter's website address is: You can also follow him on Instagram:


29 May 2019

Our member, Joan Joachim, gave a talk on Tropical Sri Lanka


26 March 2019 

Robert King gave a talk entitled 'Mangroves - tropical plants with a difference'.

We only have two mangrove species in the Sydney region, but in northern Australia there is a rich and varied collection of species all coping with an environment that appears unfriendly to flowering plants.

26 February 2019 

Amanda Henderson spoke on "Zoning your garden. Working with the elements nature and your garden provides."

23 January 2019 

Edwina and Steve Wain gave a talk on their adventure in Colombia with The International Palm Society Biennial.


27 November 2018 

Dr Dale Dixon gave a presentation on his recent travels through Mexico and Cuba.

23 October 2018 

Colin Johnson, a horticulturist and plant collector from Queensland with 20 years experience in the nursery and garden industry, spoke about soil and media conditioning with Earthlife products to improve mineral balance and plant health.

25 September 2018

Paul Kirkpatrick from Gardenacious gave a talk on the Weird and Wonderful World of Plant Collectors with stories  about the Hookers, the Tradescants and much more.

24 July 2018

Our new member Robert King gave a talk entitled 'Le Jardin Majorelle, Morocco. This famous garden is in Marrakesh. It was developed by the French painter Jacques Majorelle over a period of forty years and later restored by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge'. It is built in a Moorish-Spanish style and features the use of bright colour, water features and lattice pavilions.

22 May 2018

Fred Moody showed us some very interesting Anthuriums and discussed their culture.

27 March 2018 

Gordon Cheers gave a presentation on his recent North Coast trip including the Coffs Harbour Botanical Garden and Bellingen markets. In addition, Werner Raff gave some tips on growing Bromeliads.

27 February 2018 

Judith Watson gave a presentation on the Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery which she visited recently in Hong  Kong. This is a traditional Chinese landscape garden built in the Tang Dynasty style. It incorporates pavilions, water features, hillocks and sculptured trees.

22 January 2018

Mary Matthews  looked at eradicating weeds from a bush carers point of view. Narelle Smith also  talked about pests, diseases and nutrients.

28 November 2017

Ted Shaw took us on a hike in Lamington National Park in search of Sarcochilus orchids, and  Suzanne Gilkes spoke about growing tropical plants in a mini courtyard.

24 October 2017

Ross Bolwell  gave a talk about his visit to an oceanfront botanical garden on the Big Island of Hawaii with waterfalls and lava flows.

26 September 2017

Jim Brydie gave a presentation on Dendrobium kingianum orchids with information on where they come from, growing  them and different varieties.

25 July 2017  

Andrew Rosiak gave a presentation on Calatheas and other indoor plants and their propagation by tissue culture.


23 May 2017

Edwina Caruana and Steve Wain gave a presentation featuring  the private gardens of  three well  known palm collectors, Bill Austin, Timothy Brian and Dean Ouer, on the Big Island of Hawaii.


28 March 2017 

Kim Hamilton from Hamilton's Cacti gave a talk on Cacti and Succulents. See

28 February 2017

Fred Moody gave a presentation about gardens visited during the 2016 International Palm Society Biennial, held in Sarawak and Singapore

24nd January 2017 

Stuart and Joy Reiss from Sydney Frangipani gave a talk about all things frangipani including a live grafting

demonstration. See

22nd November 2016

Alan Collins  gave a presentation on Hoyas.

25th October 2016 

Greg Lamont from Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens gave a talk about propagation of tropical plants.

27th September 2016

Judith Watson gave a presentation on Bromeliads of Machu Picchu and the sacred Valley of Peru.


26th July 2016 

Brian Kennedy gave a presentation about designing a tropical garden for Sydney and introducing suitable microclimates.


24th May 2016

"Bring a Friend Night" with 4 short member talks on Bromeliads, Growing Orchids on Trees, Heliconias and our Website.

22nd March 2016

Les Brandon gave a presentation on Heliconias and establishing a subtropical garden in Sydney.


23rd February 2016

Dale Dixon (President) talked about Cycads with a focus on those from South America.


26th January 2016 

Jill Richardson from A Taste of the Bush gave a talk on and tasting of Australian native foods.

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