In November, we take a stroll around some of the more historical and unusual highlights of the Western Australian Botanic Garden.
See amazing flora that occurs nowhere else on Earth, view an array of eucalypts, plus discover the history of Kings Park’s arboretum and the WA Botanic Garden’s Foundation Stone.
A strong foundation and famous flora
Begin your journey at the Foundation Stone, located across the lawns from the Pioneer Women’s Memorial fountain. This memorial stone marked the official opening of the Western Australian Botanic Garden on 4 October 1965. Originally, the foundation brass plaque was set in a stone at Roe Gardens, but it was later relocated to its current home on a 13 tonne granite stone, sourced from the Darling Ranges.
Next, make your way to the unique and extremely special Waxes and Kangaroo Paws Garden, home to two of WA’s most popular genera: Chamelaucium and Anigozanthos, better known as Waxes and Kangaroo Paws. The decision to combine these two genera in one of the most high-profile locations within the Botanic Garden was based on the fact that they are endemic to WA. These two floral stars are highly regarded and used by horticulturists all over the world. They’re grown around the globe in gardens and for the cut flower trade.
While you’re strolling along the paths lined with blooming waxes and colourful Kangaroo Paws, look out for the bright orange Kings Park Federation Flame, which was released to celebrate the centenary of Federation. After visiting the Waxes and Kangaroo Paws Garden, take care and cross the road to Eucalyptus Carpark. Around the carpark is a real showcase of eucalypts, the second most common plant genus in Australia after the wattle. See showy ornamental species featuring fascinating leaf forms, unusual blossoms and a varying colour palette; you may even feel inspired to try growing them at home!
This eucalypt grove is linked to those on display throughout the WA Botanic Garden and within Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park. Your last stop on this month’s Anniversary Adventure is Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park, which was formerly known as the Bush Arboretum. In the 1960s, this area was planted with a range of trees from around the State. The collection began with about 200 different tree species in the early 1960s.
In subsequent years, trees were planted with varying success, until it was slated for a revamp and chosen as the location for Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park. Coupled with the desire to connect kids with nature, this was seen as an ideal location to not only provide this opportunity for the community but also to revitalise the bush arboretum. Since its rejuvenation, around 200 new species of Western Australian trees have been planted.
You can now enjoy discovering all that Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park has to offer – from a rocky creek, to tree hideaways and cubby area. Or, make your way along the path beside May Drive back towards the botanic garden.
Things to do and find
- Look out for the Kings Park Federation Flame Kangaroo Paw in the Waxes and Kangaroo Paws Garden – you can spot this one by its stunning orange flowers.
- Count how many different types of eucalyptus you can spot in Eucalyptus Carpark.
- Take a moment to pause in Rio Tinto Naturescape Kings Park to look for birds and other wildlife.
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