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«PROGRAMME General Meetings are held at EITHER at the Municipal Horticultural Centre, Jolimont Rd, Vermont. Mel 62 G4 OR the National Rhododendron ...»

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Under the heading Subgenus Vireya Dr Argent, op. cit. 19 elaborated that he proposed subgenus status for Vireya for two reasons “Firstly because it recognises the distinctness of the group (there are no intermediates or species that are doubtfully placed). Secondly it allows for more practical subdivisions given that the classification is very artificial”.

He referred to the, then, latest molecular work (Hall et al. 2006) casting doubt on the

monophyly of Vireya. However, in a recently published paper “Vireya Rhododendrons:

their monophyly and classification (Ericaceae, Rhododendron section Schistanthe)” Blumea 56, 2011 153-158, Lyn A Craven (Australian National Herbarium, Canberra, Australia), Frederic Danet (Herbier du Jardin Botanique de Lyon, Lyon, France), JeF Veldkamp (National Herbarium of the Netherlands, Leiden, The Netherlands), Loretta A Goetsch (Departments of Biology and Genome Sciences, University of Washington Seattle, WA, U.S.A.) and Benjamin D Hall (Departments of Biology and Genome Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, U.S.A.) assert that further investigation into the evolutionary relationships of the vireya group of Rhododendron, utilising nuclear DNA sequence data, has demonstrated that this group of species is monophyletic (meaning all members of the group have a common ancestor), and present a revised classification of them.

The same five authors in another recent paper “Rhododendron section Schistanthe, the Scientific Name for Vireya Rhododendrons (Ericaceae)”, Journal American Rhododendron Society 64, 190-192, assert that the name Rhododendron section Vireya is not able to be used for the group of plants to which it is applied as there are five, previously and validly published, sectional names that have priority. They propose that one of these five, R sect. Schistanthe be taken up as the correct name for the section.

This proposed nomenclature change assumes that the group of plants in question, that everyone commonly known as Vireyas, have section rank, and not subgenus rank, as Dr Argent asserted.

However the further recent paper of Goetsch, Craven and Hall, 2011, “Major Speciation accompanied the dispersal of Vireya Rhododendrons (Ericaceae, Rhododendron sect.

Schistanthe) through the Malayan archipelago: Evidence from nuclear gene sequences” Taxon 60(4) August 2011: 1015-1028 says that an analysis based on the combined sequences of three nuclear genes supports a phylogeny [an evolutionary history of development] that Rhododendron Schistanthe (less R santapaui) is monophylytic. In addition this paper identifies four well identified clades [all species in a clade have a common ancestor ie are monophyletic] within Schistanthe corresponding to subsections Euvireya, Malayovireya, Pseudovireya and Discovireya and it asserts clarification of the direction of dispersal of the subsection, namely it beginning in Asia. It also asserts close relationships with other sections of the genus Rhododendron. It asserts section rank rather than subgenus rank.

I profess no relevant expertise to do more than report these developments, to note that we live in interesting, and exciting, times and to hope that both nomenclature and classification will, sometime soon, cease to be controversial. Quite by coincidence, Marcia and I visited George Argent in Edinburgh, Frederic Danet in Lyon and Hortus Botanicus, Leiden on our very recent, month long trip to Europe. More of our travels separately.

Simon Begg




Mike Hammer, in his last President‟s Report [page 2], states that he will not serve another term as President and that our Society currently has * no vice presidents * no treasurer * many committee vacancies.

By law an incorporated association, as our Society is, MUST have a public officer and a committee. It has these so long as Michael Hare occupies the positions of secretary/ public officer and so long as some committee remain.

But our Society must also abide by its own rules, or change them. Relevantly:

* the committee shall meet at least 3 times in each year [rule 26(1)]- not too burdensome * any 6 members of committee constitute a quorum [rule 26(4)]. While Marcia and I were away this rule was only just observed * written notice of each committee meeting is required [rule 26(9)]. Newsletter suffices- but the Society should join the 21st century and provide for electronic service- a rule change required * rule 28 sets out our nonexistent treasurer‟s duties- Michael Hare and our bookkeeper address the substance of rule 28. Going forward, if a treasurer cannot be found, rule 28 should be rewritten to put the duties on Michael and regularise the bookkeeper * the Society must hold an Annual General Meeting each year * at the AGM 15 financial members personally present constitute a quorum [rule 10(5)]; that will be a very close call considering recent attendances. The Society only just made it last year. Sensibly the number should be reduced by a rule change and proxies should be allowed * at a general meeting other than an AGM the quorum for business [taking any decision] is 15 financial members personally present [rule 13(2)]. That makes it hard to take any decisions without careful attention to securing members‟ attendance. Number reduction and proxies seem a good idea.

* the rules and statement of purpose can only be altered in accordance with the Act [rule 32]. The Act, s 22, requires a special resolution. That means ¾ majority of members present [s 29(2)]; but it also means due notice of the resolution must be given. S 29(3) requires 21 days notice to all entitled members “in accordance with the rules”. Rule 12(1) allows notice by Newsletter- very expensive to send a notice by separate mail.

* rule changes must be approved by the Registrar and do not take effect until they are.


1 it is already too late to draft rule changes for this upcoming AGM 2 the first task is to see if a President will nominate at or before the AGM. If so I think the Society lives on and there is time enough to tidy up in the New Year with a new committee. If not I think the Society folds and there are required wind up procedures and decisions, chief among them what to do with the money. Time enough for that, too, in the New Year.


I believe, from the enquiries and discussions I have had, that a President will step up and will receive support from every side. That happening most, if not all, of last year‟s Committee will continue. Until a replacement is found I will continue Newsletter.

I believe, also, that next year‟s committee will abandon Nunawading and concentrate activities, including committee, at NRG.

Simon Begg Rh. lapponicum

–  –  –


GeorgeArgent, Tony Conlon and Simon Begg in the vireya glasshouse at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh Rh. Rosendahlii at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

–  –  –

The Annual General Meeting of the Australian Rhododendron Society, Victorian Branch Inc.

(A5896Z), will be held on Friday, November 18th 2011, at the Whitehorse Horticultural Centre, 84 Jolimont Road, Forest Hill (Melway Ref: 62 G4), commencing at 8.00pm.

The business of the meeting shall be:

o to confirm the Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting held on 19 th November 2010;

o to receive from the Committee, reports upon the transactions of the Branch during the last Financial year;

o to elect Officers of the Branch, and the Ordinary Members of the Committee;

o to receive and consider the Statements of Income and Expenditure and Assets and Liabilities for the last Financial Year;

o to elect an Auditor;

o to conduct such other business of which notice is given in accordance with the Branch Rules.

All positions of Officers of the Branch shall fall vacant under Rule 22 (3) and are to be filled by election.

The Officers are: President, Vice-President (1), Vice-President (2), Secretary and Treasurer.

Three positions, numbers 4, 5 and 6, of Ordinary Committee Member fall vacant by rotation, each for a three year term in accordance with Rule 23 (3). In addition, position 1 is vacant for a term of 1 year and positions 7 & 9 are vacant for terms of 2 years. Retiring Officers and Ordinary Members of Committee are eligible to stand for re-election.

Please note that ONLY financial members of the Branch are allowed to vote at elections ONE Vote per Membership.

Nominations of candidates for election shall be in writing, signed by two members of the Branch and accompanied by the written consent of the candidate, and shall be delivered to the Secretary of the Branch not less than seven (7) days before the Annual General Meeting. The Nominee, Proposer and Seconder must all be financial members of the Branch at the time of signing.

Nominations, which close at 5.00pm on Friday, November 11 th 2011, should be sent to the Secretary, A.R.S. - Victorian Branch (Inc.), P.O. Box 500, Brentford Square, 3131.

A copy of the “Statement of Purposes”, and the “Rules of the Australian Rhododendron Society - Victorian Branch Incorporated (A5896Z)” may be obtained on application to the Branch Secretary.

Example of suitable Nomination Form and Proxy Forms are included.

–  –  –

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: A grade one teacher thought she‟d find out how well her pupils could relate to everyday life by handing each of them a paper on which she had written the beginning of some well-known proverbs, then asking them to complete them in their own words. Most of the students were from a rural or farming background, and the results showed her just how their observations influenced their understanding. Here‟s fourteen of the best – and remember, these kids were five to six years old.

1. Don‟t change horses……………………………………until they stop running

2. Strike while the……………………………………………bug is close

3. It‟s always darkest before…………………………….daylight saving

4. Never underestimate the power of…………….termites

5. You can lead a horse to water but……………….how?

6. No news is…………………………………………………..impossible

7. A miss is as good as a…………………………………..Mr

8. You can‟t teach an old dog………………………….new math

9. If you lie down with dogs you‟ll…………………..stink in the morning

10. Love all, trust………………………………………………me

11. Don‟t bite the hand that……………………………..looks dirty

12. The pen is mightier than the……………………….pigs

13. An idle mind is…………………………………………….the best way to relax

14. Better late than…………………………………………..pregnant AND ANOTHER: An elderly man was stopped by the police around 2 a.m. and was asked where he was going at that time of night.

The man replied, "I'm on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body, as well as smoking and staying out late."

The officer then asked, "Really? Who's giving that lecture at this time of night?" The man replied, "That would be my wife."

Marcia Begg


Ian Wallace led the group with a valuable discussion on the importance of rhododendron foliage for a year round display. His examples demonstrated the wide variety of shape, colour, size and density, many having indumentum which helps protects the plants from

pests. Some of these were:

Rhododendron Speciestsangpoense – small clean dark green foliage, lindleyi – lanceolate leaf much smaller than nuttallii, elegantulum [ photo page 9]– best indumentum, though one of its hybrids, „Teddy Bear‟ with thick orange indumentum, is better than the parent.

tsariense – tiny leaf with orange indumentum eximium – cream indumentum campanulatum ssp. aeruginosum - new growth has a glaucous bloom yakushimanum – tomentosum and thick gold indumentum hodgsinii – large leaves orbiculare – lovely rounded leaves Hybrids – „Sabrina Adler‟- nice leaf but suffers from powdery mildew „Kimberley‟ – black buds are very attractive „Sappho‟ – tall and lanky but hardy „Saffron Queen‟ – peeling brown bark. Hardiest yellow Ian‟s favourite rhododendron is ciliicalyx –[ photo page 10] a garden worthy shrub, scented flowers, deep pink buds, will grow in the suburbs as it is relatively hardy. Needs care but worth it.


Class 1 – Vireya species less than 4cms. Simon Begg had all three places with yongii, tuba and womersleyi Class 2 – Vireya hybrid less than 4 cms. Simon again with „Sweet Mac‟ and „Penny Whistle‟.

Class 3 – Vireya species more than 4 cms. Mike Hare won with laetum and Simon with two more laetums.

Class 4 - Vireya hybrid more than 4 cms. Mike Hare won with „Café au Lait‟ and Simon with „Sunbird‟ and „Bonza‟.

Class 5 – One vireya plant in a container. Simon with „Orange Flambe‟.

Class 11 – Rhododendron species less than 4cms.Lepidotum from Simon.

Class 12 – Rhododendron hybrid less than 4cms. „Rose Elf‟ from Inge Hammer.

Class 14 – Rhododendron hybrid larger than 4cms. Simon with „Florence Man‟ and „My Snow White‟.

Class 15 – One rhododendron in a container. Inge had a veitchianum.

Marcia Begg


Marcia and I have travelled a lot this year. From the middle of August to the middle of September we visited our daughter based in Amsterdam and three grandsons there. But we made flying visits to Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to see Dr George Argent and RBGE‟s Vireya collection, Jardin Botanique, Lyon France to see Frederic Danet, Botanika, Rhododendron Park, Bremen to see Dr Hartwig Schepker and the Bremen Vireya collection and Hortus Botanica, Leiden to see the famous Botanic Garden there.

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