Fronds newsletter

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The Friends newsletter Fronds is published three times a year in April, August and December. All members receive a free copy by post. A website version appears soon after publication.

Regular content includes:

  • Articles about plants and gardens and the people who work with them, primarily on the development, collections and scientific research at the ANBG
  • Garden Shorts – an update on projects in the ANBG
  • Friends Briefs – all the news on Friends events, projects and people
  • Regular updates on the work of Growing Friends and their plant sales, Botanic Art Groups and their exhibitions, the Guides and the Botanical Resource Centre, all illustrated with photos from the Photographic Group
  • Book reviews
  • ‘What’s On’ – a comprehensive listing of Thursday talks and other events organised by the Friends and the Gardens for the next four months.


Contributed articles and photos for inclusion in Fronds are always welcome. See the inside cover of each edition for details. Email for information or to discuss requirements for contributions.

In the latest issue

Fronds 104 August 2023 (PDF format 1.3 MB)

  • Kakadu to Canberra: Preparing for the new Conservatory
  • Mario Russo: The man behind the sign
  • Ferns – a journey of wonder and discovery
  • Conserving Australia’s rarest Macadamia
  • Friendly Chatter:
    • Botanic Art Group
    • Growing Friends
    • Nature Journaling
    • Photographic Group
    • Plant Science Group
    • Volunteer Guides
  • Survive and Thrive
  • Friends Briefs:
    • Friends of ANBG Student Scholarships
    • Recent Scholarships
    • The Don Beer Memorial Scholarship
    • 2023 Annual General Meeting
    • More than a garden
    • Appointment of President and Patron of AAFBG
    • New look for Friends
  • Botanical Bookshop book reviews:
    • Australian nature from the heart. The paintings of Sally Elmer and Peter Slater
    • Dust makers.  Edited by Penny Jaye and RA Stephens
  • A continental bird
  • Gardens Shorts:
    • Executive Director's Report
    • Hidden no more: Digitising the cryptogam collections
    • Plant collecting in high elevation cloud forests
    • MEGAfauna: A walk through time!
  • What’s on at the Gardens
  • Thursday Talks: August to December 2023

Download previous issues

All archived issues are in PDF format.

Year Issue 1 Issue 2 Issue 3
2023 April August December
2022 April August December
2021 April August December
2020 April August December
2019 April August December
2018 April August December
2017 April August December
2016 April August December
2015 April August December
2014 ​April August December
2013 ​April August December
2012 April August December
2011 April August December
2010 April August December
2009 March August December
2008 March July November
2007 March July November
2006 March July November

View an expanded version that links to the table of contents of each issue.

Extracts from some earlier newsletters back to August 2000 are available.

What's in a Name? articles

The series What's in a Name? written by the late Bernard Fennessy appeared in the Friends newsletter up to 2006. The articles are gems of botanical writing that combine interesting research and lively humour.

In 2005 the Friends published the 25 articles about plant names as a single PDF file (2,105 KB).

Bernard also wrote four articles about people after whom ANBG buildings and facilities have been named:


The Bernard Fenessy What's in a Name? Award for botanical writing

Following Bernard's death in August 2006 the Friends instituted an annual award for a Newsletter article in the style of Bernard's What's in a Name? articles. The award ran between 2007 and 2010. Award winners were:

2007 winners Sue and Byron Serjeantson, Boronia molloyae (Tall Boronia)
  joint runners-up
June Foster, Eucalyptus flindersii
Edwin Rice, Acacia maidenii
2008 winner John Turnbull, Eucalyptus cloeziana (Gympie Messmate)
  runner-up Liz Baker, Swainsona formosa
joint winners
Peter Davidson, Backhousia citriodora
June Foster, Wilga (Geijera parviflora): Family Rutaceae
2010 winner John Turnbull, Eucalyptus globulus
Cover of Fronds number 104, August 2023
Cover of Fronds number 104, August 2023