Gardner showed an interest in art and botany from youth, and was appointed a botanical collector for the Forests Department in 1920. The following year he was appointed botanist to the Kimberley Exploration Expedition, resulting in his first botanical publication, Botanical Notes, Kimberley Division of Western Australia, in which twenty new species were described. In 1924 he transferred to the Department of Agriculture, and following a departmental re-organisation in 1928 he was appointed Government Botanist and Curator of the State Herbarium. During this time he also wrote about botanical topics in the local Western Australian media including Our Rural Magazine.
Travels and publications
He travelled widely and published around 320 papers, the most important of which were in which were Contributions to the Flora of Western Australia in Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia (from 1923), Enumeratio Plantarum Australiae Occidentalis (1930) and Flora of Western Australia Volume 1, Part 1, Gramineae (1952). He described eight genera and about 200 new species. In 1937 he became the first Australian Botanical Liaison Officer at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
He retired in 1962, and died from diabetes at Subiaco, Western Australia, on 24 February 1970, aged 74. His personal botanical collection was bequeathed to the Benedictine Community at New Norcia, but was transferred to the State Herbarium in Perth in June 1970.
- Marchant, Neville G. "Gardner, Charles Austin (1896–1970)". Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- "Entry in NLA catalogue and Trove regarding variant titles and names as found in library catalogues".
- "STATE BOTANIST.". Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954). Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 24 January 1929. p. 27. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- "STATE BOTANIST.". The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879 - 1954). Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 19 January 1929. p. 18. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- C.A. Gardner : bibliography 1923-67, Dept. of Agriculture, 1970, retrieved 29 March 2015
- IPNI. C.A.Gardner.
- Hall, Norman (1978). Botanists of the Eucalypts. Australia: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. ISBN 0-643-00271-5.
- "Gardner, Charles A. (1869 - 1970)". Australian National Botanic Gardens. Retrieved 4 August 2006.
- (with H.W. Bennetts), (1956) The Toxic Plants of Western Australia, Perth, West Australian Newspapers.
- (1996) Description of botanist's work (Gardner, C. A.) Wildflower Society of Western Australia newsletter, Vol 34, no. 4, p. 15-18
Austin Burton Edwards