November 2, 2009 Subject:
Pioneer work on invasive plants
South Australia was the first State to enact legislation to control invasive plants (1852), and also the first with a Flora of introduced species. Black's 192-page book was the precursor to his complete Flora of South Australia in 4 volumes completed in 1929. After careers as a farmer and journalist, Black retired at 47 and spent his remaining 49 years as an amateur botanist. He obtained specimens from all over the settled parts of SA, but his Naturalised Flora reflects the Adelaide area in particular.
Black's neat, simple illustrations were engraved from the more detailed pencil drawings that he added to his herbarium sheets; many of them were re-used in the Flora of SA, down to the 4th edition in 1986.