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Durban Botanic Gardens

Listed under Botanical Gardens in Durban, South Africa.

  • Photo of Durban Botanic Gardens
  • Photo of Durban Botanic Gardens
  • Photo of Durban Botanic Gardens
  • Photo of Durban Botanic Gardens
  • Photo of Durban Botanic Gardens
  • Photo of Durban Botanic Gardens
Photo of Durban Botanic Gardens
Photo by Donna Dawson
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On the lower slopes of Durban's Berea ridge lies the city's brightest jewel, the Durban Botanic Gardens. It is the city's oldest public institution and Africa's oldest surviving botanic garden. The Durban Botanic Gardens (DBG) traces its origins to colonial times, when it was founded in 1849 for the introduction and trial of potentially useful commercial crops. The gardens later developed collections of sub-tropical trees, palms and orchids.

The Durban Botanic Gardens remains a classic botanic gardens, reflecting the universality of the plant kingdom. It has, for over 100 years, had a fine mixed arboretum of African, Asian and American trees. The Gardens are a few minutes walk from the bustling Warwick Triangle, site of one of the largest retail medicinal plant markets in the country.

“Orchids, Palms and Cycads are the main collections of the Gardens, and the focus of present and forthcoming collection efforts. It is our intention to maintain the cosmopolitan flavour of our cycad collection, which is currently ranked among the top ten botanical garden cycad collections in the world http://www.bgci.org/worldwide/gspc/.  Palm and orchid collections will increasingly focus on documented accessions of African species. World-wide, botanic gardens are changing, as threats to plants and ecosystems become more grave. Ironically, this makes it an exciting time for botanic gardens, as their multiple possible roles in conservation and education are recognised by governments and international agencies. Fundamental to our participation in these new challenges, is the development of conservation-significant plant collections, and professional management of these collections. Unless our collections are curated comparably with those of the world's top gardens, then attempts to increase their educational and scientific value are diminished.”

Written by  Donna Dawson.

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