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Discovering Australian Flora: An Australian National Botanic Gardens Experience

Discovering Australian Flora: An Australian National Botanic Gardens Experience

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Discovering Australian Flora: An Australian National Botanic Gardens Experience

Length:
224 pages
36 minutes
Released:
May 1, 2017
ISBN:
9781486307838
Format:
Book

Description

Australia’s complex, beautiful and diverse flora is showcased in stunning botanic gardens across the continent. Through exquisite colour photographs taken at the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG), Fanny Karouta-Manasse celebrates the minute and intriguing details of these plants. Discovering Australian Flora explains how plants are displayed in the ANBG according to themes and provides clear and simple geographical, historical and botanical information. It also describes the unique features of Australian flora, including their reliance on fire and ability to survive in poor soil, and looks in detail at the two dominant genera in the Australian landscape – Eucalyptus and Acacia.

This fresh and intimate view of some of Australia’s native flora will serve not only as a companion to visitors to the ANBG but will also allow others to explore the wonders of Australia’s botanical treasures.

This book will appeal to both local and overseas readers wishing to become more familiar with Australian native flora. The striking photographs will appeal to anyone with an appreciation and passion for nature's beauty.

Released:
May 1, 2017
ISBN:
9781486307838
Format:
Book

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Inside the book

Top quotes

  • Acacia was described for the first time in 1773 by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus. Acacia comes from the Greek akis, tip, referring to the prickly tips of the phyllodes⁶ of certain species.

  • Some species – including many monocots⁷ like orchids and xanthorrhoeas – produce a mass flowering in the first flowering season after an intense fire, to replenish the depleted soil seed bank.

  • Eucalyptus⁵ is the tallest flowering tree in the world. It was a French magistrate, passionate about botany, Charles Louis L’Héritier de Brutelle (1746-1800), who gave it the name Eucalyptus.

  • French chemist F.S. Cloez (E. cloeziana carries his name) isolated a major oil component with medicinal and germicidal properties, the eucalyptol now known as cineole.

  • Above ground shoots require very thick or heat resistant bark to protect the shoot from temperatures of up to 400°C.

Book Preview

Discovering Australian Flora - Fanny Karouta-Manasse

DISCOVERING

AUSTRALIAN

FLORA

An Australian National Botanic Gardens Experience

FANNY KAROUTA-MANASSE

Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction

The different plant groupings in the Gardens

Taxonomic

Ecological

Horticultural

Ethnobotanical

Endangered species

The Australian flora: some characteristics and history

Two genera dominate the Australian landscape

Eucalyptus

Acacia

Many plants rely on fire to reproduce

There is a high percentage of endemism

Woody sclerophyllous plants dominate

Species-rich vegetation grows on very poor soil

Some residents and visitors to the Gardens

In conclusion

Photos of plants listed by family

References

List of photographed species

Flora

Fauna

About the author

Introduction

Nature plays an important role in people’s well-being. Its infinite source of inspiration is invaluable to anyone, artistically and scientifically. The beauty and uniqueness of the native Australian flora considered in this book help to enhance everyone’s sense of discovery.

The Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG), whose mission is to inspire, inform and connect people with nature, dealing only with Australian plants, is the ideal place to wander and learn how unique the Australian flora is. Botanic gardens increase public awareness of the importance of biological diversity¹ when changes including global warming threaten a large number of species whose requirements have not yet even been discovered.

Most of Black Mountain, on which the ANBG are established, was used by early European settlers to graze livestock. In 1948 the first trees for the Botanic Gardens were planted but it was not until 1970 that the Gardens were formally opened to the public. This extraordinary plant collection also provides habitats for many native animals, and is an especially rich place to observe and listen to birds. The variety of habitats may also offer a significant fauna refuge in a future dominated by climate change.

Australia had a long period of geological stability after it separated from Gondwana* and drifted alone towards the equator. In the stable centre of its continental plate it did not undergo any of the major physical traumas, such as continental collision and extensive volcanic activity, which are sources of mineral recycling and soil renewal. As a result of this Australia has a very low nutrient soil, the lowest of all continents. It contains half the average concentration of nitrates and phosphate of soils of the same type in other parts of the world. Having evolved in relative isolation, Australia has developed a strongly endemic flora (that is, plants that grow naturally nowhere else).

*Gondwana was the supercontinent composed of what is today called Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Antarctica, India, South America and Africa.

The ANBG is a 40 hectare site on the eastern side of Black Mountain. This aspect provides the ANBG with protection from the hot and dry westerly winds as well as allowing colder air to drain to lower areas below the Gardens. In addition, the development and establishment of a diverse collection of Australian plants on the site has created many unique micro climates that allow successful cultivation of plants which would

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