- Evolutionary ecology research
- Horticultural research
- Plant diversity research
- Amalie Dietrich project
- Australian freshwater algae
- Australian mesic zone biota
- Cycad evolution and diversity
- Fern biodiversity of Australia
- Fern and gymnosperm research
- Lamiaceae & Loganiaceae
- Lamiaceae & Urticaceae
- Marine algae
- Myrtaceae - Biology
- Orchidaceae tribe Diurideae - phylogeny
- Orchids - DNA of ground orchids
- Pertusaria - key
- Phylogenetic biome conservatism
- Poales restiid clade
- Podocarpus elatus - Quaternary climate change
- Prostanthera - pollination studies
- Proteaceae - evolution
- Restionaceae - DNA studies
- Restionaceae - new species and phylogeny
- Rutaceae - Flora of Australia
- She-oaks - tough survivors
- Trees of Papua New Guinea
- Tristaniopsis in south-east Asia
- Urticaceae of Java
- Utricularia- phylogeny and new species
- Plant pathology research
- Herbarium & resources
- Scientific publications
Urticaceae of Java, Indonesia
A project funded by Friends of the Botanic Gardens Science Scholarship
Dr Barry Conn - Principal Research Scientist
Barry Conn has continued his research into the taxonomy and phylogeny of the Urticaceae (Stinging nettle family) with colleagues and students from Australia and Indonesia. The Friends of the Botanic Gardens in Sydney generously provided financial support in 2011 to enable comparative field studies of this family in Java.
Although the flora of Java has been extensively explored since the 1800s, the Urticaceae remains a plant family that is very inadequately represented in major herbarium collections. The lack of scientific interest in this plant group is curious, especially since many species are used as food, for example, Urtica and Pilea melastomoides - a common aromatic vegetable in Jawa Barat, Indonesia; for fibre – species of Boehmeria, Debregeasia, Urtica Girardinia; several are cultivated as ornamentals, particularly in SE Asia - Boehmeria, Elatostema, Pilea and Soleirolia). Species of Elatostema and Procris are used as a shampoo in Jawa and Bali (Indonesia) (pers. obs.).
The lack of scientific knowledge still remains a major impediment that continues to hinder the preparation of regional flora accounts of the Urticaceae. The only complete account of the Urticaceae occurring in Java was published in 1965, with minor corrections in 1968, with many of these species not re-collected since the early 1970s.
In conjunction with staff from Kebun Raya Indonesia a draft annotated census of the Urticaceae species occurring in Java is being prepared.
As part of the great global movement of plants in the 18th and 19th centuries, many valuable and commercial plants were sent from the Neotropics to Europe as seeds or as live specimens. Cecropia (Urticaceae) was in cultivation in England at least by 1789 and then introduced throughout the world, now an invasive plant in Jawa Barat. Samples of leaf material of naturalised species of Cecropia were collected from populations growing between Bogor and Jakarta so that the molecular diversity of these plants can be evaluated.