Today, the 1st of August 2017, the online edition of the Wild Plants of the Castlemaine District is formally launched. This comprehensive guide contains details on the identification, locations, preferred habitats and history of hundreds of native and introduced plant species found in Castlemaine and surrounding areas. It can be viewed at the following stand-alone website location – https://www.castlemaineflora.org.au.
In November 2016, local natural historian – Ern Perkins – sadly passed away. Ern’s passion for the natural environment was matched by his passion for sharing his knowledge with others. A few months before his passing, he first launched this compendium of local plant species as a freely available resource via USB memory sticks. Ern had developed this guide based on information that he and others had collected and compiled over more than 40 years. With the support of Ern’s family since his passing, the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club has worked with a local IT graphics firm to make this guide available as an online resource, allowing it to reach a much wider audience. Financial support has also been received from the Friends of the Box Ironbark Forests (FOBIF) and Connecting Country. Each of these organisations will have a link to this flora guide from their websites. A permanent link to it has already been established from the CFNC website (https://castlemainefnc.wordpress.com/local-flora/).
It is intended to be a dynamic website, with updates made over time in response to taxonomic changes, new photographs and new findings. Field naturalists from Castlemaine, central Victoria and beyond will appreciate this valuable and easy-to-use resource.