Each year a shortlist is chosen from more than 900 species of the ubiquitous Australian plants

As a teenager, Dean Nicolle dreamed of planting one of every eucalypt species in Australia. He took his parents to nurseries and requested that they buy “any eucalypt with a different name on it”. Nicolle, a self-described “gum nut” who is now a botanist and ecologist, has been fascinated by plants since he was eight.

On a plot of land at Currency Creek, an hour’s drive south of Adelaide, he set about creating his own arboretum. “The first plantings went in in 1992,” he recalls.

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