From little things, big things grow

From little things, big things grow

  • SEQ Catchments Healthy Land Healthy Water
  • SEQ Catchments RSS feed
  • SEQ Catchments facebook page
  • SEQ Catchments Twitter icon
  • social-youtube
Sign up to receive useful tips, stories and useful information in our monthly newsletter.

Or sign up to receive our media releases

Enter your email address:


Photo courtesy of Igor Makunin

With the start of Spring, flowers, colours and new scents have started filling up our native landscapes. 

And seeds will soon start to set, with some eventually turning into towering trees that form part of beautiful native forests, such as the endangered Lowland Subtropical Rainforest on the Gold Coast.

But sometimes conservation of certain species and ecosystems need a little bit of help and collecting seeds by hand and growing them in nurseries helps to support the survival of some of our most ancient rainforests.

That’s why on the Gold Coast recently, the community benefited from a workshop on native seed collection led by not-for-profit groups Greening Australia and SEQ Catchments. 

Mark Waddington and Karleen Gwinner from the Tallebudgera Valley have been collecting native seed for some time, as part of their vision to revegetate a watercourse running through their property.

Mark and Karleen’s property used to be an ex-Banana farm and is now part of the voluntary Land for Wildlife program.

“The workshop was a great opportunity to learn about the correct methods of collecting and storing different types of seeds,” said Mark.

“We have a rare rainforest plant known as Black Walnut that grows along the waterway that runs through our property, but we haven’t had much luck germinating it so far. In the wild it germinates fairly reliably on its own when the fruit falls from the tree.”
“We learnt that these are most likely what are known as recalcitrant seeds.”

Recalcitrant seeds do not survive drying and freezing conditions when collected, whereas Orthodox seeds are able to survive drying and/or freezing conditions.

“This year we’ve decided to collect the fruit as it falls, remove the fleshy covering, soak in water overnight and plant the next day. Hopefully this will gives us a better germination rate.”

Mark and Karleen have also signed up to Greening Australia’s seed collection program, which will allow Greening Australia staff and volunteers to collect seed from their property to support regeneration work around the region.
Other key points emphasised at the workshop included identification and correct labelling of seeds, ensuring a good level of genetic diversity and remembering that species available in nurseries can also differ to those found naturally in the wild.

If you missed this workshop there will also be another opportunity to attend a second workshop on September 28th, 9.30 – 3.30pm. Visit

Greening Australia and SEQ Catchments have been working with local communities to collect local native seed to support ongoing revegetation and restoration works on the Gold Coast.

Comment on this story

Related stories

$2,000 research bursary in river restoration awarded to Griffith University student $2,000 research bursary in river restoration awarded to Griffith University student
$2,000 research bursary in river restoration awarded to Griffith University student

SEQ Catchments awards a $2,000 research bursary in river restoration once a year to Honours students through the Austral.. Read more…