African garden

Story Title: African garden
TX Date: 6th October 2018
Presenter: Nigel Ruck

The Southern African garden at The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is a beautiful new addition to the grounds, its perfect for a stroll around to relax and get some garden inspiration.

  • The garden was built with recycled natural and worked sandstone to create this brand-new terraced garden that displays some of the amazing flora of southern Africa.
  • Southern Africa is a global hotspot for cycads, these ancient non-flowering plants date back to the time of the dinosaurs. Of the 65-cycad species that occur in Africa, a great number of these are threatened in the wild.
  • You will find plantings of two genera in this new garden; Encephalartos which has coarse, often spiny fronds and under the shelter of a large fig tree, Stangeria, which has soft lime green leaves. Nearby are some examples of Encephalartos, these older specimens demonstrate the trunk or caudex that forms with age, as well as displaying the large cones which occur on separate male and female plants.
  • The garden features some of the magnificent bulbs endemic to southern Africa including Scadoxus, Boophone and Haemanthus. The flowers of these deciduous bulbs have to be seen to be believed. These plantings will be surrounded by flowering annuals and examples of southern African shrubs in the protea family.
  • If you look closely at some of these colourful shrubs you may be reminded of local plants like Waratahs, Banksias and Grevilleas. This is because they are all in the Proteaceae family, which provides evidence that Australia and southern Africa were once joined as part of the Gondwanan supercontinent millions of years ago.