Royal Botanic Garden celebrates 200th Birthday with New Exhibition Centre

15 Jun 16

Blog - Generic - Sydney Botanic Gardens [HD] Blog - Generic - Sydney Botanic Gardens [HD]

To mark the 200th birthday of the Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney, a permanent exhibition space has just been opened. Named The Calyx, the centre cost $17 million dollars and will showcase different exhibits every nine months or so. Home to the southern hemisphere's largest living green wall, the birthday gift is a celebration of science, beauty and people.

Environment Minister Mark Speakman said the new exhibition centre is "a celebration of this beautiful location here on Sydney Harbour with tens of thousands of plants."

Mr Speakman said the garden is also a celebration of vital science and conservation work that is carried out in the Royal Botanic Gardens. This all important work includes research on plant diseases, climate change and bio security. Aside from being one of the top Sydney attractions, the garden is also a place of ongoing horticultural conservation and discovery, with 60 new species of plants discovered by scientists in this year alone.

The garden houses an archive of over 1.2 million plant specimens including 600 to 700 species that were collected by Daniel Solander and Joseph Banks during their exploration voyages in the 18th century. There are also hundreds of Banksia specimens which were collected in 1770 by Banks that incredibly, survived the Endeavour shipwreck.

Botanic Garden director of science and conservation Dr Brett Summerell said that scientists believe they have discovered approximately 85 per cent of Australia's plants so far. Experts are always working to discover more and the idea that there are 15 per cent of the nation's plants still yet to be discovered is an exciting one that the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens hopes to assist in.

It's thought that this knowledge helps decision makers when it comes to threatened species, the location of national parks and the impact climate change has on plants.