2019 Programme

Daytime Meetings 10am


Evening Meetings 7pm


The Canterbury HERB Society Meet monthly at the Avice Hill Craft Centre

Craft Room, Avice Hill Craft Centre, 395 Memorial Avenue
parking available

Daytime Meetings are 10am-12pm on the 4th Thursday in even months

Evening Meetings are at 7pm on the 4th Thursday in odd months

The Library is open on the 2nd Thursday of every month 12 – 2pm and half an hour before each meeting

Display Garden: maintained by members – open to the public

Subscriptions to the Herb Society are $15 ( due February)
Visitors Welcome: $2 per meeting


Herb of the Month – Ginkgo Biloba

This beautiful Autumn golden deciduous tree is the one remaining species of the Ginkgoaceae family and was around before the dinosaurs, when there were ferns but no true flowering plants. Charles Darwin referred to it as “A living fossil”.

Herb of the Month – Red Henna

Many of us know henna as a colour long used in art, tattoos, hair dye, paints, textiles, silk, leather and rug dyes. But, have we thought about what it is? The Herb Society was privileged to have a guest speaker from Iran to tell us.

Herb of the Month – Five Season Herb

Five Season Herb Plectranthus (Coleus) ambionicus  – family lamiaceae (mint) A member of the well known, ornamental Coleus, widely grown as a decorative garden plant for its attractive variegated red leaves. Cream bordered This plant is becoming popular and sought after. There have recently been several enquiries about it. There are two varieties now available in Christchurch, one has plain green leaves, the other is exactly the same but has leaves with an attractive cream border. Being tender, it will not grow outside here and even in Summer does better indoors where it makes an aromatic year-round pot plant. I brought it down from North Auckland many years ago and have it still. It is easy […]

Herbs for Pest & Disease Control

from Canterbury Herb Society Try chives and/or garlic and banana skin mulch around roses. Put a ring of garlic around fruit tree trunks and foxgloves as a growth stimulant. Use garlic and nasturtiums as soil disinfectants. Visit the Canterbury Herb Society Facebook page

Herb of the Month – Briar Rose Rosa rubiginosa

Common names –Sweet Briar, Eglantine Rose The species is native to Europe, Western Asia and South America. It is a deciduous, thorny, woody, hardy shrub. It is branched from the ground to 3 – 4 metres and does well in arid conditions. It was brought to New Zealand early on as a deciduous ornamental for its single pink, highly perfumed flowers and red hips. The long-lived seeds inside the hips ripen over summer and are readily dispersed by birds. The plant also spreads rapidly by suckers and is now regarded as a major scrub weed in the South Island, especially in Central Otago and inland Canterbury. It invades open drought prone areas, river flats, and prevents the growth of native species. […]

Herb of the Month – Rosemary

ROSEMARY Rosmarinus officinalis “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance” – Shakespeare, (Hamlet) This had to be the herb for the 50th Anniversary of the Canterbury Herb Society. Native to the Mediterranean and Asia, the Latin name Rosmarinus translates as “dew of the sea” due not only to its native habitat but the dew like blossoms seen at a distance. It is a very hardy, fragrant, evergreen perennial smallish shrub either upright or sprawling and will grow almost anywhere surviving droughts and colder climates with its stiff needle-like leaves. It does not like wet swampy conditions. Many varieties have been cultivated/crossed and today flower colours range through shades of blue, purple, pinks and white. Foliage comes from green through variegated […]

Herb of the Month – Frankincense

What is Frankincense? Frankincense is the aromatic resin used in incense and perfume obtained from five trees in the genus Boswellia. The Frankincense or Olibanum trees have a papery bark, sparse branches, paired leaves and white flowers with yellow or red centres. They are native to the arid stony dry lands of the Arabian Peninsula – Omen and Yemen, and to N.E. Africa – Somalia. When these scraggy hardy trees are 8 to 10 years old, all species are tapped three times a year to bleed drops of resin. The third tapping of each year produces the best quality. One species even grows in rock and has a bulbous disk-like swollen trunk which stops the tree […]

Herb of the Month – Puarangi – Native Hibiscus Hibiscus trionum

Puarangi – Native Hibiscus Hibiscus trionum Puarangi, a short lived perennial, was considered to be a native plant but more recently considered to be of African origin, possible brought here by the Maori. Here in the cool South Island it is better treated as an annual. H. trionum grows to 50 – 80 cms high and has bright green, slightly bristly green deeply serrated leaves. The hibiscus type flowers last only for a day and vary from cream to soft yellow with maroon-purple centres. The bubble-like seed pods have resulted in a common name “bladder plant”. It grows from seeds or cuttings taken in Summer. H. diversifolius resembles H. trionum but has prickly stems and grows […]


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