Fern Collector

Rod Pattison has collected native ferns for the past 16 years. He now has an enviable collection of ferns and variegated plants in which two botanic gardens have shown great interest.

Rod is a licensed plant collector who has collected ferns and other plants from private land and state forests. He has found a number of new plant specimens during his forays. When he collects on state forest land any plant collected must be submitted to the herbarium for inspection and identification. (See note below).

When on a collecting expedition, Rod searches in grids. He marks an area and then walks back and forth over the grid. It may be time consuming, he says, but the search needs to be methodical to unearth new plants.

One of Rod’s specialities is finding variegated specimens. Rod’s unusual variegated plants collection includes:

  • variegated cordylines, bromeliads and dracaena
  • variegated casuarina
  • variegated native frangipanis (Hymenosporum sp.)
  • variegated macaranga
  • Euodia elleryana
  • Dianella caerulea
  • Alpinia coerulea (variegated form of native ginger)
  • Rhapis excelsa (variegated form)
  • Cryptocarya laevigata var. bowiei (variegated form)

Note: It is illegal to collect ferns and other plants from the bush without a collector’s licence, such as the Permit to Collect Forest Products which Rod Pattison has obtained from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources.

Native plants collected in the wild and sold in nurseries should also be labelled as having been collected by a licensed specialist collector.

Open Garden

Rod Pattison opens his garden through Australia’s Open Garden Scheme. The next open day will be 13-14 February, 1999 from 10am-4pm. An admission fee applies. Phone the Open Garden Scheme Information Service on 1900 155 064 closer to the opening date for information regarding the admission fee or other gardens to visit in the area. This garden is also listed in Australia’s Open Garden Scheme Guidebook 98/99 edition which will be available from the end of July.

Rod Pattison
447 Miles Platting Road
Rochedale, QLD, 4123

Further information

For further information about plant collecting and native ferns, contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service in your state.

Your local botanic gardens can provide information regarding unusual plants and ferns.

Fern societies

If you are interested in collecting ferns, contact the following societies:

NSW & QLDThe Secretary
Fern Study Group
Society for Growing Australian Plants
3 Currawang Place
Como West, NSW, 2226

Barry White, Secretary,
Fern Society of Victoria
PO Box 45
Heidelberg West, 3081
Phone: (03) 9337 9793

The Secretary
Fern Society of South Australia
GPO Box 7111
Adelaide, 5001

Jean Freind, Secretary
WA Fern Society Inc
210 Kent Street
Rockingham, 6168


The following nurseries have a wide range of different ferns:

Kanerley Nursery
204 Hinton Road
Osterley,NSW, 2324
(near Raymond Terrace)
Open 10am-4pm. Closed Thursdays and Saturdays.
Please phone the nursery prior to visiting: (02) 4987 2781. 

Fletcher’s Fern Nursery
62 Walker Road
Seville, VIC, 3139
Phone: (03) 5964 4680 The nursery is open 9am-5pm seven days a week, except for Tuesdays when it is closed until 1pm.