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Australian National Botanic Gardens

Australian National Botanic Gardens

Overview

The Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) are located in Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

 and are administered by the Australian Government's Department of the Environment and Heritage
Department of the Environment and Heritage (Australia)
The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities , formerly the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts , is a department of the Australian federal government and was established on 14 September 2010.The stated aims of the department is to achieve...

.

The botanic gardens
Botanical garden
A botanical garden The terms botanic and botanical, and garden or gardens are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word botanic is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is a well-tended area displaying a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names...

 are the largest living collection of native Australian flora, the mission of the ANBG is to study and promote Australia's flora. The gardens maintains a wide variety of botanical resources for researchers and cultivates native plants threatened in the wild.

When Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

 was being planned in the 1930s, the establishment of the gardens was recommended in a report in 1933 by the Advisory Council of Federal Capital Territory.
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The Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) are located in Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

 and are administered by the Australian Government's Department of the Environment and Heritage
Department of the Environment and Heritage (Australia)
The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities , formerly the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts , is a department of the Australian federal government and was established on 14 September 2010.The stated aims of the department is to achieve...

.

The botanic gardens
Botanical garden
A botanical garden The terms botanic and botanical, and garden or gardens are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word botanic is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is a well-tended area displaying a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names...

 are the largest living collection of native Australian flora, the mission of the ANBG is to study and promote Australia's flora. The gardens maintains a wide variety of botanical resources for researchers and cultivates native plants threatened in the wild.

History of the Gardens


When Canberra
Canberra
Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory , south-west of Sydney, and north-east of Melbourne...

 was being planned in the 1930s, the establishment of the gardens was recommended in a report in 1933 by the Advisory Council of Federal Capital Territory. In 1935, The Dickson Report set forth a framework for their development. A large site for the gardens was set aside on Black Mountain
Black Mountain (Australian Capital Territory)
Black Mountain is situated close to the central business district of Australia's capital city Canberra. Like all major hills in Canberra it is protected from development by the Canberra Nature Park. It is covered in native bushland and is a haven to native wildlife.With its peak at 811.987m AHD,...

. In September 1949, the Ceremonial planting of first tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

s by Prime Minister Ben Chifley
Ben Chifley
Joseph Benedict Chifley , Australian politician, was the 16th Prime Minister of Australia. He took over the Australian Labor Party leadership and Prime Ministership after the death of John Curtin in 1945, and went on to retain government at the 1946 election, before being defeated at the 1949...

 and Director of Kew Gardens
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, usually referred to as Kew Gardens, is 121 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses between Richmond and Kew in southwest London, England. "The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" and the brand name "Kew" are also used as umbrella terms for the institution that runs...

, Sir Edward Salisbury took place. Development of the site, facilities and collection progressed and the Gardens were officially opened in October 1970 by Prime Minister John Gorton
John Gorton
Sir John Grey Gorton, GCMG, AC, CH , Australian politician, was the 19th Prime Minister of Australia.-Early life:...

.

The Gardens has tenure over 90 hectare
Hectare
The hectare is a metric unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres , and primarily used in the measurement of land. In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as being 100 square metres and the hectare was thus 100 ares or 1/100 km2...

s on Black Mountain. About 40 hectares are currently developed as the Botanic Gardens. Plans for the development of the remaining land are on hold until funds are available.

The collection


The gardens is organised in thematic sections, plants are grouped by shared taxonomy
Taxonomy
Taxonomy is the science of identifying and naming species, and arranging them into a classification. The field of taxonomy, sometimes referred to as "biological taxonomy", revolves around the description and use of taxonomic units, known as taxa...

 or are presented in ecological groupings that exist in nature. More than 5,500 species are cultivated. Displays include:
  • Rainforest
    Rainforest
    Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm...

     Gully, featuring plants for the rainforests of Eastern Australia.
  • Rock Garden, a display of plants which occur in habitats from the desert to alpine areas.
  • Sydney Region Flora, a display of the divers flora endemic to the sandstone formations of the Sydney
    Sydney
    Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

     basin.
  • Mallee
    Mallee (habit)
    Mallee is the growth habit of certain eucalypt species that grow with multiple stems springing from an underground lignotuber, usually to a height of no more than ten metres...

     Plants, the mallees is the name given to multi-stemmed eucalypts and the shrubs and grasses associated with them.
  • Banksia
    Banksia
    Banksia is a genus of around 170 species in the plant family Proteaceae. These Australian wildflowers and popular garden plants are easily recognised by their characteristic flower spikes and fruiting "cones" and heads. When it comes to size, banksias range from prostrate woody shrubs to trees up...

    s, waratah
    Waratah
    Waratah is a genus of five species of large shrubs or small trees in the Proteaceae, native to the southeastern parts of Australia...

    s and grevillea
    Grevillea
    Grevillea is a diverse genus of about 360 species of evergreen flowering plants in the protea family Proteaceae, native to Australia, New Guinea, New Caledonia, and Sulawesi. It was named in honour of Charles Francis Greville. The species range from prostrate shrubs less than 0.5 m tall to trees...

    s (family Proteaceae
    Proteaceae
    Proteaceae is a family of flowering plants distributed in the Southern Hemisphere. The family comprises about 80 genera with about 1600 species. Together with the Platanaceae and Nelumbonaceae they make up the order Proteales. Well known genera include Protea, Banksia, Embothrium, Grevillea,...

    )
  • Callistemon, Leptospermum
    Leptospermum
    Leptospermum is a genus of about 80-86 species of plants in the myrtle family Myrtaceae. Most species are endemic to Australia, with the greatest diversity in the south of the continent; but one species extends to New Zealand, another to Malaysia, and L. recurvum is endemic to Malaysia.They...

    and Melaleuca
    Melaleuca
    Melaleuca is a genus of plants in the myrtle family Myrtaceae known for its natural soothing and cleansing properties. There are well over 200 recognised species, most of which are endemic to Australia...

    (family Myrtaceae
    Myrtaceae
    The Myrtaceae or Myrtle family are a family of dicotyledon plants, placed within the order Myrtales. Myrtle, clove, guava, feijoa, allspice, and eucalyptus belong here. All species are woody, with essential oils, and flower parts in multiples of four or five...

    )
  • The Eucalypt
    Eucalypt
    Eucalypts are woody plants belonging to three closely related genera:Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophora.In 1995 new evidence, largely genetic, indicated that some prominent Eucalyptus species were actually more closely related to Angophora than to the other eucalypts; they were split off into the...

     Lawn, features about one fifth of Australian eucalypt species.
  • Wattles (Genus Acacia
    Acacia
    Acacia is a genus of shrubs and trees belonging to the subfamily Mimosoideae of the family Fabaceae, first described in Africa by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1773. Many non-Australian species tend to be thorny, whereas the majority of Australian acacias are not...

    )

Research at the Gardens


The Australian National Herbarium
Herbarium
In botany, a herbarium – sometimes known by the Anglicized term herbar – is a collection of preserved plant specimens. These specimens may be whole plants or plant parts: these will usually be in a dried form, mounted on a sheet, but depending upon the material may also be kept in...

 is held on site at the National Botanic Gardens. The Herbarium houses the largest collection of pressed, dried plant specimens in Australia. The Herbarium is operated jointly with the CSIRO as part of a joint research facility, the Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research. It is not open to the public. The Australian National Herbarium is participating in the creation of Australia's Virtual Herbarium (AVH), a web based record of botanical information, including six million specimen records displaying geographic distribution, images, descriptive text and identification tools.

The Gardens manages several large plant database
Database
A database is an organized collection of data for one or more purposes, usually in digital form. The data are typically organized to model relevant aspects of reality , in a way that supports processes requiring this information...

s, including What's its Name? is a simple point of access to the more complex 'Australian Plant Name Index' APNI listing all the scientific names ever used for Australia's plants. A large collection of photograph
Photograph
A photograph is an image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic imager such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are created using a camera, which uses a lens to focus the scene's visible wavelengths of light into a reproduction of...

s is also available.

The Gardens' library has significant collections of botanical books, journals, CD-ROMs and maps. The library is open to students and the public by appointment.

Its principle research scientist is Lyndley Craven
Lyndley Craven
Lyndley Alan Craven is a botanist. He is the Principal Research Scientist of the Australian National Herbarium.-Published works:*"Physiological, anatomical and biochemical characterisation of photosynthetic types in genus Cleome ". Functional Plant Biology. Volume 34, Number 4. 2007.*"Callistemon...

.

External links