Coming events

Join BOTSOC KZN Coastal branch on our exciting outings and events programme. This year we have a more ecological slant - plants with birds, bats, butterflies… something for everyone- young and old, beginner or expert !

Attendance at any of our functions / outings is at your own risk and neither the Botanical Society nor this Branch can be held responsible for any injury or loss that may occur. You are required to sign an indemnity form for all outings.
Booking is essential, as arrangements may change at the last minute.
Non-members are most welcome and are asked to pay R20/pp. donation. Unless otherwise stated, please book /enquire /arrange lifts through the BotSoc branch office: email: Tel: 031 201 5111 (Mon and Thurs after 10:00) Cell: 071 8693 693

Disclaimer: The views expressed by contributors may not be those of BotSoc

One-day field courses in tree identification and forest ecology with Prof. Eugene Moll

Choose from:
Saturday, 22 February: Umdoni Park, Pennington
And/Or Sunday, 23 February: Burman Bush, Morningside
10h00 – 13h00 each day

Prof. Eugene Moll, author of many popular and scientific botanical books including the field guide, Trees of Natal, and What’s That Tree?, and editor of the Coates Palgrave tome, will teach in an easy-to-understand, interactive way, tree identification skills as well as the dynamics of our local forests.
Don’t miss this opportunity to learn in the field from one of SA’s top experts!
Please bring your own lunches and teas (optional at Umdoni: buy lunch at the restaurant -its proceeds go to the Pennington Conservancy)
Numbers limited. Booking essential.
Entrance each day: R245.00 for Members, R295.00 for Non-members, Students: R145.00. Fees pre-payable.

Illustrated Talk by Prof Eugene Moll: How Tree Book authors have failed the amateurs of today

Durban Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre
Monday, 24 February 17h30 for 18h00

Prof. Moll says: Over the decades it has become apparent to me that we authors have basically failed the majority of amateur tree enthusiasts. I have come to this very sad conclusion after some 60 years of working diligently with students and the interested general public.
Over the years I tried my best to assist amateurs and students alike - by spending many years compiling leaf keys (Forest Trees of Natal [1967], Trees of Natal [1981 &1992]), writing a couple of minor tree books (the latest in 2011), and even completing the massive task of editing the first edition Coates Palgrave’s Trees of Southern Africa (1977).
When I reflect back on my early days with the then Wildlife Society (now WESSA) and later BotSoc, and the many university students I had the great pleasure of interacting with, the limited success I have had was not assisted by any books - but rather was achieved by enthusiasm and the passion I shared with those of a similar ilk. The key to this success was fieldwork – walking in the bush! No books can replace seeing, touching, smelling and sometimes tasting trees “in the bush”. However, I am also aware that many people are more than capable of learning from books, and that there are a good few excellent tree-people who have acquired incredible knowledge with persistence. But two things trouble me:
1. I don’t see enough young people, representative of the SA diaspora, “getting into botany”.
2. Why have we failed when we have so many seemingly excellent books? And certainly an amazing tree flora.
In the last decade I have been working with others on a book on the trees to Kruger. The main author has forced me to identify exactly what is it that allows me to ID a particular tree species? He has asked this as he needs to photograph the key diagnostic features so that the reader can be as certain as possible of the identity of the species they have before them. I have found this very challenging for many species, and almost impossible for a handful! Searching for criteria has opened a whole range of “new” features that can be used to ID trees. BUT most importantly I have learned that a simple twig photograph is NOT ADEQUATE.
In my presentation I demonstrate what I have learned, and how and why we tree book authors have failed the amateurs. Finally, I give examples from six common and widespread tree species of how future books can be improved.
Entrance including teas at the start: R35 for Members, R55 for Non-members, R25 for students. No need to book. All welcome.

Nursery visit: Claremont Farm

Postponed until later in the year

Join us for a visit to this established indigenous nursery selling everything from bulbs and ground covers to good-sized trees. A brief guided tour will be followed by tea/coffee at at ‘The Place’ coffee shop for your own account. After that you will be at leisure to buy plants! To book, for catering purposes and in case of last -minute changes, please send your name and cell number to email: / Tel: 031 201 5111 / SMS: 0718693693