2.1.4 Evolutionary and biogeographic themes


Consideration of the Australian flora's origins and relations is important to an understanding of the flora as it currently exists. The evolution and biogeography of the Australian flora has long been accepted as a distinct aspect of the thematic charter of the Gardens. Material on the evolution and biogeography of the flora has largely been limited to interpretive signs and brochures. A major interpretive display dealing with the origins and relations of Australian plants would be timely in the development of the Gardens.

Properly developed and interpreted, such an evolutionary and biogeographic display will be unique, highly interesting and attractive to visitors, and educationally very valuable. The Development Planning Guide proposed the development of this display in the undeveloped southern section of the Gardens in Canberra and at Jervis Bay, but the development will require large-scale funding.

Management prescriptions


The objective is to plan a major interpretive display of plants that illustrate the evolution and biogeography of the Australian flora.


This development will involve large new areas in the undeveloped southern part of the Gardens in Canberra and implementation will be subject to the acquisition of additional funding and staff resources. The specific area for development will be the lowland areas, particularly the north-eastern part, where woody weeds have had a serious impact on the vegetation. Some penetration uphill in the gullies is appropriate but account must be taken of the natural vegetation and other proposals for development. A landscape master plan will be prepared, setting out the envisaged development of the entire area. Detailed planning and collecting will commence as soon as resources to permit the development have been secured.

Collection of plant material for this development will initially involve an assessment of the availability of the non-Australian species in cultivation in Australia and their acquisition for stock production. An assessment of the requirement for overseas collecting will also be necessary, together with an examination of ways to gather the necessary material.