Albany wildflower exhibition in full bloom to keep herbarium thriving

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Albany Herbarium volunteers Eileen Rodgers and Lynda Strahn collect specimens from the native garden of Hilary Thorn, middle.
Camera IconAlbany Herbarium volunteers Eileen Rodgers and Lynda Strahn collect specimens from the native garden of Hilary Thorn, middle. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

Hundreds of wildflower specimens from across the Albany region will be on display on York Street next week as part of an exhibition that has been delighting botanists and budding plant enthusiasts for more than 50 years.

The Wildflower Society of WA Albany Branch’s Wildflower Exhibition will be open from September 22 to 25 at St John’s Hall, showcasing vases filled with wildflowers collected from Wellstead to Walpole.

Nearly 500 wildflower specimens will be on display at the Wildflower Society of WA Albany Branch Wildflower Exhibition.
Camera IconNearly 500 wildflower specimens will be on display at the Wildflower Society of WA Albany Branch Wildflower Exhibition. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

Members have been gathering specimens for the exhibition from the bush and gardens, including the garden of 91-year-old Hilary Thorn who has been growing native plants for more than 60 years.

The exhibition, which has a $5 entry fee, is the biggest fund-raiser of the year to maintain the Albany Herbarium.

Volunteers have been growing the herbarium for decades, which preserves more than 19,000 specimens and 3500 species of plants from across the region for botanists and the community to explore.

The exhibition is the key fundraiser for the Albany Herbarium.
Camera IconThe exhibition is the key fundraiser for the Albany Herbarium. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

Wildflower Society of WA Albany branch vice-president Sandra Swain said the exhibition was an opportunity to discover the hidden varieties in bloom around Albany and inspire locals to protect precious native endemic species.

“It is the time when all the stuff we learn or work on during the rest of the year comes together,” she said.

“It gives you a chance to do a little bit of study, plus it just smells beautiful and looks beautiful.

“We obviously hope that it encourages people to enjoy the flowers because if people enjoy the flowers they will learn more about them and they will take better care of them.”

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