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Kwa-Zulu Natal Botanical Gardens

Listed under Botanical Gardens in Pretoria, South Africa.

  • Photo of Kwa-Zulu Natal Botanical Gardens
  • Photo of Kwa-Zulu Natal Botanical Gardens
  • Photo of Kwa-Zulu Natal Botanical Gardens
  • Photo of Kwa-Zulu Natal Botanical Gardens
  • Photo of Kwa-Zulu Natal Botanical Gardens
  • Photo of Kwa-Zulu Natal Botanical Gardens
Photo of Kwa-Zulu Natal Botanical Gardens
Photo by Donna Dawson
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Kwa-Zulu Natal Botanical Gardens is where we learned about the role plants play in the lives of the Zulus.

"An ideal Botanical Garden: the Pride of Natal - and of Kew" - Sir Frederick Keeble in the 1930s

The beautiful and tranquil KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden specializes in the conservation of plants from the eastern region of South Africa and of rare and endangered species from elsewhere.

On the 3rd of March, 1874, the Pietermaritzburg Botanical Garden was founded. It was run by the newly formed Pietermaritzburg Botanical Society until 1969, when it was taken over by the National Botanic Gardens of South Africa. In 1991, the Botanical Research Institute and the National Botanical Gardens combined to form the National Botanical Institute. The NBI is now the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) - the present custodians of the Garden.

The Garden's Victorian past is evident in its magnificent specimens of northern hemisphere plants, such as the swamp cypress, tulip trees, camphor trees, plane trees, giant figs and magnolias. One of the finest features of the Garden is the avenue of London Plane trees, which has been stunning visitors since 1908.

The focus of the Garden is to collect, display and promote the conservation of plants of the eastern grasslands, in particular the genera Clivia, Gerbera, Kniphofia and Watsonia.

A section of the Garden is planted specifically to attract birds which, along with other diverse habitats, makes the Garden rich in bird life, with over 150 species recorded.

A special feature is the fascinating Useful Plants Garden, displaying plants used culturally by the Zulu people for medicine, crafts, food and other uses.

Written by  Donna Dawson.

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