Australian Rainforest Seeds

A Guide to Collecting, Processing and Propagation

September 2020
More details
  • Publisher
    CSIRO Publishing
  • Published
    24th September 2020
  • ISBN 9781486311507
  • Language English
  • Pages 216 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  • Images 335 color photos

Have you ever wondered how to grow your own rainforest trees? Is there a beautiful tree from which you have always wanted to collect and propagate the seed? Are you in the business of ecological restoration, rainforest propagation or environmental education?

This long-awaited guide to rainforest seed propagation unlocks the secrets to growing 300 rainforest species. Providing specific information on how to sustainably collect, process and germinate seeds, this user-friendly book supports a growing movement of rainforest restoration.

With invaluable information based on 30 years of research in northern New South Wales, users will find even difficult rainforest species delightfully easy to grow. Seeing a seed germinate, caring for the seedling and eventually planting the tree is deeply satisfying. And, in this time of widespread deforestation, millions of trees are needed for restoration and every tree counts. Whether you are growing one or one hundred thousand, why not start today?


  • An A-Z guide with instructions for collecting, storing and propagating the seeds of 300 subtropical rainforest species
  • 300 color photographs provided for easy fruit identification and seed collection
  • Detailed techniques for preparing seeds for successful germination
  • An easy-to-understand guide to fruit types and seed biology
  • Propagation instructions to suit nurseries from the backyard to commercial

About the authors
About the photographer
1. Introduction
2. Biology and ecology
3. Collecting
4. Processing
5. Storage
6. Propagation
7. A-Z species guide
Index of common names
Index of scientific names

Mark Dunphy

Mark Dunphy has worked in rainforest restoration for 35 years. He has worked as a rainforest regenerator, ecological restoration consultant and nursery owner of Firewheel Rainforest Nursery on the North Coast of NSW. He has worked on over 100 projects and grown over 1 million trees. A regular presenter at rainforest restoration field days, workshops and conferences, his work has appeared in the Australian Journal of Ecological Management and in the book Subtropical Rainforest Restoration: A Practical Manual and Data Source for Landcare Groups, Land Managers and Rainforest Regenerators.

Steve McAlpin

Steve McAlpin has extensive expertise in both rainforest and arid zone ecology and has an MSc in conservation ecology. He has worked as a botanic garden curator, plant propagator and ABC talkback gardener, as well as leading numerous flora and fauna surveys. Steve’s research has been widely published in Australian and international journals and he has written a "recovery plan" for the nationally Vulnerable Great Desert Skink and co-authored a book on central Australian threatened species. Steve is currently using skills developed across more than 15 years of living in the NSW subtropics to collect seed and propagate plants for Firewheel Rainforest Nursery.

Paul Nelson

Paul Nelson has been a professional rainforest seed collector and propagator for 20 years. Paul’s knowledge of rainforest botany and ecology has made him a recognized leader in the field of rainforest seed collection and propagation. Many of the breakthroughs in propagation at Firewheel Rainforest Nursery have been due to Paul’s work in this field. Paul is a regular speaker at field days and conferences and runs workshops and training modules.

Michelle Chapman

Michelle Chapman is a consultant for ActivatED and has been developing programs and facilitating workshops around the world for 15 years. Most recently, as Education and Sustainability Manager for Greenpop (South Africa), she co-managed the Cape Town Urban Greening Program and developed and facilitated tree planting workshops for Trees for Zambia: Conference of Action and two South African reforestation festivals. Michelle is passionate about inspiring and facilitating the community protection and restoration of subtropical rainforest.

Hugh Nicholson

Hugh Nicholson established Terania Rainforest Nursery with his partner Nan in the 1970s. His photographs are included in their Australian Rainforest Plants books (volumes I-VI). He has also supplied photographs to Australian and international magazines and books, and national parks and tourist information displays. In 2006, Hugh was appointed as the Federal Government conservation representative on the Community Advisory Committee for the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Most recently, he has supplied most of the 12,000 photographs for the interactive rainforest plant identification key Rainforest Plants of Australia: Rockhampton to Victoria.