Dr Phillip Kodela ‘Wattle we do with Acacia’

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Thursday, 5 September 2019 - 12:30pm

Philip, from the Department of Environment and Energy, will discuss interesting facts and figures about this genus and related taxa, including recent taxonomic debates and developments in the Flora of Australia and the plant identification tool WATTLE.


Acacia is the largest genus of vascular plants in Australia with over 1,000 species. They are a prominent part of the Australian flora, growing in a wide range of plant communities and habitats, from coastal to subalpine, tropical to arid. Wattles are readily recognised in the native bushland by their hues of yellow flowers, and they feature in much of our culture. Acacia is represented in the Australian floral emblem (Golden Wattle, Acacia pycnantha), Coat of Arms (cf. Acacia buxifolia), currency, stamps, literature, the arts, craft and design. Over tens of thousands of years indigenous cultures developed a detailed knowledge about Acaciasand their wide range of uses. Acacias are used for their wood, tannin and oil; as stock fodder, cut flowers and a source of human food; and in horticulture, land rehabilitation and soil stabilisation. There are many ornamentals favoured by gardeners. This talk will discuss interesting facts and figures about the genus and related taxa, including recent taxonomic debates, and developments in the Flora of Australia and the plant identification tool WATTLE.

Useful websites: World Wide Wattle http://worldwidewattle.com/;
Flora of Australia https://profiles.ala.org.au/opus/foa;
WATTLE Acaciasof Australia – via http://www.environment.gov.au/science/abrs/publications/keys/wattle


Dr Phillip Kodela: Flora botanist and scientific editor, Australian Biological Resources Study, Parks Australia Division, Department of the Environment and Energy.

For nearly 40 years Phillip has worked in the fields of botany, biogeography, ecology, palynology, science communication and education.  Particular areas of research and work have included wetlands, rainforest, rare flora, environmental assessment, management and conservation, weeds, forensics, horticultural botany, plant taxonomy, plant identification and botanical information resources including floras, databases and the curation of herbarium specimen and living collections.  Phillip started researching Acacia,including taxonomic studies, in 1990 when he began a long association with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney where he was based till 2017.  He has been involved with a number of majorAcaciaprojects, including flora treatments for the Flora of New South Wales, WattleWeb, PlantNET New South Wales FloraOnline, Flora of Australiaand the various incarnations of WATTLE, as well as assessing rare taxa, curating collections, maintaining databases, and producing numerous reports and papers, including the publication of new species.  Phillip has also worked on the Australasian Virtual Herbarium, Australian Plant Census, Australian Plant Name Index, Global Plants Type Digitisation Project, Weeds in Australia, Blue Mountains World Heritage Assessment, Next Generation Australian Banknotes, counter-terrorism forensics, N.S.W. Vegetation Classification and Assessment project and numerous vegetation surveys.