Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia

Plant collections

Plant collections and horticultural expertise can be used directly to help conserve plants.  They also help us to inform and inspire people about the role of plants on our planet and the importance of conserving species and their habitats.

The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust's living collections provide not only a tranquil environment for visitors but are also an important resource for community education about plants and for serious botanical research.  Theme plantings of particular relevance to conservation include:

  • the Rare and Threatened Plants Garden at the Royal Botanic Garden and the Australian Botanic Garden
  • the Cadi Jam Ora - First Encounters exhibit at the Royal Botanic Garden
  • the Gondwana Walk at the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden
  • Wollemi Pine plantings at all three of our Gardens.

Horticultural research and commercialisation programs at the Australian Botanic Garden have included rare and threatened species with horticultural potential, including flannel flowers, waratahs, and the Wollemi Pine. Development of tested horticultural lines of these plants helps to reduce wild harvesting and conserve native populations.

The three Gardens are also a living example of environmentally sensitive land management. We use peat-free soil mixes, have natural-area conservation zones at the Australian Botanic Garden and the Bue Mountains Botanic Garden, and periodically conduct public classes or static displays on environmentally safe forms of pest control and composting for the home gardener.

The one million preserved plant collections of the NSW Herbarium (National Herbarium of NSW) are a valuable source of information on native and introduced species. They are used for:

  • working out the past and present distributions of plant species and communities
  • describing new species and subspecies, including many of conservation significance
  • identifying many of the characteristics of rare and threatened plants
  • a reference base to identify plants in poorly documented groups
  • a database that includes 200 years worth of field observations on their ecology
  • a guide to revegetation in degraded areas by looking at what used to be there.

Some of the useful information from these collections can be accessed through our database PlantNET.

Data derived from these collections also links to that from other Australian herbaria project via the Australia's Virtual Herbarium to form a nation-wide resource.

The NSW Seedbank, located at our the Australian Botanic Garden near Campbelltown, contain 7000 ‘accessions’ (lots) of seed from more than 4000 species.

The Seedbank is the main repository for seeds of threatened species in NSW and is part of the ‘safety net’ approach in case the preferable option - conservation in the native habitat - fails. These seed collections are tested regularly for their viability, and research is conducted on the best ways or storing and germinating them.

The Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust's Library is one of the most comprehensive collections of botanical and horticultural literature in Australia. The Trust's photographic collections contain many thousands of images of Australian and exotic plant species and their habitats.

Australian Botanic Garden

Australian Botanic Garden

Australian Botanic Garden