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Biographical entry Browne, James Howard (1919 - 2004)


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
31 March 2004
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Botanist and Botanical collector


Howard Browne worked as a gardener for the Mildura Shire Council and became a well-respected and prolific plant collector and photographer. In 1939 he joined the army (Permanent Military Forces) where he served in Darwin (and continued to garden and study plants). He then served with the Australian Imperial Force in New Guinea and Bougainville and was blinded in one eye. Browne returned from war duties and set up a vineyard at Willra Station in New South Wales, but by the late 1950s was back in Red Cliffs. There he took up his post with the Mildura Shire Council and set about landscaping the streets of Red Cliff with native trees and plants. He also collected over 1000 plants for La Trobe University and the National Herbarium and discovered at least 17 new plant species in Victoria. These included Calandrinia volubilis (1974) - not recorded in Australia since 1863, Halosarcia syncarpa - not recorded in Victorian since 1897, and Sarcozona praecox which was presumed extinct in Victoria. Browne's keen interest in flora began at an early age having grown up on an orchard in Red Cliffs. Over the years he taught himself botany and became an expert in the region's local flora. Howard Browne was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in January 1991 and an honorary Masters of Science Degree from La Trobe University in April 1992 in recognition for his contribution to teaching and research.



1939 - c. 1946
Career position - War service in Darwin, New Guinea and Bougainville
c. 1947 - 1950s
Career position - Grew grape vines in New South Wales
1950s - s
Career position - Gardner with the Mildura Shire Council
Award - Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) received
Award - Honorary Master of Science (MSc) received from La Trobe University

Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Parsons, Bob and Allen, Geoff, 'Obituary: James Howard Browne', Vic Naturalist, 121 (2004). Details


Resource Sections

Digital resources

James Howard Browne


Ailie Smith