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.
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.