Charles Gardner (botanist)

From Wikipedia

Charles Gardner
Charles Austin Gardner

6 January 1896
Lancaster, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
Died24 February 1970; (aged 74)

Charles Austin Gardner (6 January 1896 – 24 February 1970) was an English-born Western Australian botanist.


Born in Lancaster, in England, on 6 January 1896, Gardner emigrated to Western Australia with his family in 1909, where they took possession of land at Yorkrakine. [1] [2]

Gardner showed an interest in art and botany from youth, becoming engrossed in his state museum's copy of Bentham's Flora Australiensis (London, 1863-78) and received encouragement from the government's botanist Desmond Herbert and botanical artist Emily Pelloe. [1] After a BSc in Biology, he was appointed a botanical collector for the Forests Department in 1920, and the following year was engaged as botanist on the Kimberley Exploration Expedition, resulting in his first publication, Botanical Notes, Kimberley Division of Western Australia, which gave descriptions for twenty new species. In 1924 he transferred to the Department of Agriculture, and following a departmental re-organisation in 1928 he was appointed Government Botanist and Curator of the State Herbarium. [3] [4]

During this time he also wrote on botanical topics in governmental and public Western Australian media, including the remote students educational publication Our Rural Magazine. His 'Wildflowers of Western Australia, published by The West Australian in the 1940s went to over twenty editions. [5]

Travels and publications

He travelled widely and published around 320 papers, [6] the most important of which were Contributions to the Flora of Western Australia in Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia (from 1923), Enumeratio Plantarum Australiae Occidentalis (1930), a census of the state's plants, and Flora of Western Australia Volume 1, Part 1, Gramineae (1952). He described eight genera and around 200 new species. In 1937 he became the first Australian Botanical Liaison Officer at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

His published works and contributions include,

  • (with H.W. Bennetts), (1956) The Toxic Plants of Western Australia, Perth, West Australian Newspapers.
  • Lane-Poole, C. E, A primer of forestry, with illustrations of the principal forest trees of Western Australia. 1922.


Gardner was awarded the Medal of the Royal Society of Western Australia in 1949, and the Clarke Medal of the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1961.

He retired in 1962, and died from diabetes at Subiaco, Western Australia, on 24 February 1970, aged 74. His personal botanical collection was bequeathed to the Benedictine Community at New Norcia, but was transferred to the State Herbarium in Perth in June 1970.


  • Hall, Norman (1978). Botanists of the Eucalypts. Australia: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. ISBN  0-643-00271-5.
  • "Gardner, Charles A. (1869 - 1970)". Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 4 August 2006.
  1. ^ a b Marchant, Neville G. Gardner, Charles Austin (1896–1970). Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Entry in NLA catalogue and Trove regarding variant titles and names as found in library catalogues".
  3. ^ "STATE BOTANIST". Western Mail. Perth. 24 January 1929. p. 27. Retrieved 29 March 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ "State botanist". The West Australian. Perth. 19 January 1929. p. 18. Retrieved 29 March 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ Gardner, C. A. (Charles Austin); Pelloe, Emily H; Western Australia. Government Tourist Bureau (1964), Wildflowers of Western Australia, Government Tourist Bureau, retrieved 28 August 2021
  6. ^ C.A. Gardner : bibliography 1923-67, Dept. of Agriculture, 1970, retrieved 29 March 2015
  7. ^ IPNI.  C.A.Gardner.

Further reading

Preceded by
Clarke Medal
Succeeded by