Framed notes, signed by Sir Russell Grimwade, accompanying specimens of the Grimwade Plant Collection.

One of the four folios housing the Grimwade Plant Collection.

The Grimwade Plant Collection

In 1938 botanist Percival St John was commissioned by Sir Russell Grimwade to make a census of the flora of Mt Buffalo National Park in north-east Victoria.

St Johnís census included a collection of 136 herbarium specimens, representing 133 species, collected in November 1938 and January 1939.  These have been housed variously at the Mt Buffalo Chalet and at the Parks Victoria Office on Mt Buffalo. The specimens are mounted on paper with hand-written labels, including a sheet number, species name, common name and notes on distribution both on Mt Buffalo and nationally.  They are stored in four folios, in a four-drawer metal cabinet.

In 2006 The Miegunyah Foundation commissioned botanists from the University of Melbourne to move the original collection from the Chalet to the School of Botany herbarium at the University of Melbourne, where it could be properly conserved and databased for future reference. Following relocation the collection has been databased, photographed and repaired; some specimens had been badly damaged by decades of public use.  The identity of the plant species in the collection has also been verified/corrected using current taxonomy.

These web pages present a catalouge of the Grimwade Plant Collection made by Percival St John.  They include photographs of the specimens and, where possible, photos of the same species growing in the wild on Mt Buffalo.  There are notes on the common name, plant family, distribution and original identification of all species in the collection.  The main pages are arranged by species name and accessed through the alphabetical index at the top of each page.  Alternatively, you can view a list of specimens arranged by original sheet number, or download all specimen details  from the University of Melbourne Herbarium (MELU) database in Microsoft Excel format. 

 In 2006/2007 a new collection of plants from Mt Buffalo National Park, representing most of species in the original Grimwade Collection, was made by botanists from The University of Melbourne.  This new collection includes two sets of specimens.  One set is for Parks Victoria at Mt Buffalo, to be put on public display.  The other set is held at the herbarium of The University of Melbourne.  A DOWNLOADABLE REPORT (pdf, 1.4 MB) is available that includes a list of specimens in the new collection, together with an updated list of the vascular plants occuring in Mt Buffalo National Park.


This work on the Grimwade Plant Collection was carried out by Dr Alison Kellow, Dr Michael Bayly and Prof. Pauline Ladiges, School of Botany, The University of Melbourne.  They are grateful to The Miegunyah Foundation for providing funds to make this possible.  Staff of Parks Victoria and The Mt Buffalo Chalet assisted with re-location of the collection.  Staff of Parks Victoria were also very helpful at a difficult time, during the 2006/2007 fire season, when the new collection of replacement specimens was being made. Jeff Jeanes, Kevin Rule and especially Neville Walsh, of the National Herbarium of Victoria, provided much advice and assisted with plant identifications.  Members of the Mt Buffalo Field Naturalist Group, in particular Roger and Meredith  Briggs, and Clyde O'Donnell, provided a number of the plant photographs used here.  Members of the group also provided helpful advice and company in the field.