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Sprinter and Sprummer hits the shelves

Australia’s use of the traditional European four-season model is set for a shake-up thanks to a new book by Professor Tim Entwisle, Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.

Released today, Sprinter and Sprummer: Australia’s Changing Seasons argues the case for a new five-season approach that recognises Australia’s unique biodiversity.

Professor Entwisle reviews seasonal systems from all over the world, including the 2-7 seasons recognised by Aboriginal people in Australia for tens of thousands of years. In devising his new system, Professor Entwisle draws on specific examples of Australian flora that don’t subscribe to the traditional seasonal markers.

The launch of Professor Entwisle’s book coincides with the first day of ‘traditional’ spring and National Wattle Day. According to his new system, Wattle Day would shift to when more wattles are in bloom, on 1 August, and this would be the first day of our Australian spring, which Tim calls ‘sprinter’. The arrival of ‘sprummer’ (1 October to 30 November) is heralded by the blooming of jacaranda trees up north and in Tim’s system, is followed by a four-month summer (1 December to 1 April), two-month autumn (1 April to 31 May) and two-month winter (1 June to 30 July).

Sprinter and Sprummer: Australia’s Changing Seasons (RRP $29.95) is published by CSIRO Publishing and available now at The Gardens Shop and all good bookstores. Proceeds from the sale of this book will assist the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne to advance the knowledge, conservation and enjoyment of plants.