Take a winding tour through the WA Botanic Garden to see the most distinctive and special trees scattered throughout its 17 hectares.
Our journey begins at the Western Australian Botanic Garden entry, framed by a cluster of Silver Princess trees (Eucalyptus caesia). Known for their metallic, powdery branches and vibrant pink blooms, the Silver Princess is pollinated by birds and hails from granite outcrops in WA’s harsh Wheatbelt. It is rarely found in the wild.
Moving along, you’ll be instantly taken with the Giant Boab near the Forrest Carpark (Adansonia gregorii) – a bulb-shaped beauty painstakingly transported from the alluvial plains of the East Kimberley in 2008. A generous gift from the area’s Gija people, the tree is more than 750 years old and would have been traditionally used as a source of food and medicine. Nearby, you’ll spot the Kingsmill’s Mallee (Eucalyptus kingsmillii) and Large-fruited Mallee (Eucalyptus youngiana).
The Tuarts, found at Tuart Lawn, are the tallest trees on the Swan Coastal Plain. Venturing onto the Lotterywest Federation Walkway, spot the majestic Karri trees (Eucalyptus diversicolor) – some of the tallest flowering trees on earth. Native to WA’s South West region, Karri trees commonly grow 60 metres tall and can stretch up to 90 metres high.
Turn left to Roe Gardens, where you’ll find Rose Mallee (Eucalyptus rhodantha), Pear-fruited Mallee (Eucalyptus pyriformis) and the striking Mottlecah (Eucalyptus macrocarpa). Boasting the biggest blooms of any eucalypt, the Mottlecah is native to the State’s sandplains and is loved for its large waxy leaves and silvery fruits.
Make your way back toward the Botanic Garden entry, through the shady Marri grove and admire these majestic gums with their large fruits known as honky nuts. Marri trees (Corymbia calophylla) are traditionally known as the medicine trees for the healing and antiseptic qualities of their gum and leaves.
The Acacia Steps is your next stop, where nearby you will see some unusual semi-parasitic trees. The WA Christmas Tree (Nuytsia floribunda), named so because it flowers in early summer, has clusters of vibrant orange blooms and gets some of its nourishment from the roots of other plants.
Descend the Acacia Steps to reach the Water Garden where you will find a grove of Dwellingup Mallee (Eucalyptus drummondii x rudis – formerly Eucalyptus granticola). After discovering a single tree in the wild, this hybrid mallee was rescued by the BGPA using DNA fingerprinting and tissue culture to produce new specimens.
Walk up through the Banksia Garden and loop around to find the Ramel’s Mallee (Eucalyptus rameliana). Presumed extinct for more than a century, it was rediscovered in 1991.
Things to do and find
- Along the pathway to Tuart Lawn, stop to see the Variegated Peppermint Tree (Agonis flexuosa). Its pale leaves command attention and are thought to be a genetic mutation – it’s actually the same species as the common Peppermint Tree.
- Pause in Roe Gardens to take in the city views from the rolling lawn.
- Find the Queensland Bottle Tree (Brachychiton rupestris) in the Eastern States display at Roe Gardens.
- Look closely to see the red gum oozing from the Marri trees. In Nyoongar language, Marri means blood.
- Divert through the Banksia Garden and find the ancient Scar Tree, a Tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala). Scar Trees were traditionally ‘scarred’ by Nyoongar people to mark special places and obtain bark for shelter, tools and food.
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