Alice Springs Desert Park plant labeling

CASE STUDY: Botanical display interpretation

An important and often very obvious part of every botanic garden is its plant labels.  However, for most botanic gardens, this labeling caters primarily for those visitors that have a good understanding of botanical names and gives little to the majority of visitors.

During my time at the Alice Springs Desert Park (ASDP) an effort was made to provide labeling that catered to a much bigger audience.  Instead of highlighting the botanical name, the local common name has been made the most obvious part of the label and it is included in a short sentence giving a brief storyline about the plant.  In addition, the botanical name and the local indigenous name with pronunciation are given along with a logo that is common across a particular habitat.  This form of label has been well received at the ASDP and labels based on this design have been successfully trialed in botanic gardens in South Africa.

(Mark Richardson)