Australian National Botanic Gardens

CASE STUDY: Living collection development

The Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG) was the first botanic garden in the world to develop an extensive living collection of Australian plants.  Established in 1949 it has been an important world leader in terms of encouraging the development of indigenous collections and played a vital role in the 1980s and 1990s to widely promote the importance of plant conservation in Australia.

In the position of Curator of Living Collections at the Australian National Botanic Gardens from 1985 to 1995 I was responsible for the ongoing development of the botanic garden’s plant collection.  This included the extensive development of the conservation collections from throughout Australia, the development of a broad collection of Tasmanian plants and broadening of the collections from the Canberra region.  This work involved not only the selection of appropriate species and their field collection but also the development of landscapes to accommodate them.  In the case of the threatened plants the development of collecting and recording systems to heighten their conservation value was also carried out.