One of the most important roles of a botanic garden is to provide safe areas for rare and endangered plants to help ensure their survival. During the past 200 years, about 100 plant species have become extinct and about 3,200 are now considered to be very rare. Endangered flora are at serious risk of disappearing from the wild within 10 to 20 years. Land clearing, the introduction of grazing animals, the expansion of cities and changes in the frequencies of fires, have all contributed to the reduction of areas where native plants can grow.
The North Coast Region contains 17 of the 20 most threatened in the wild plant species in New South Wales. Of special interest in our Garden is a spectacular endemic swamp orchid (Phaius australis), which is recognised as one of the most threatened plant species in NSW. Land clearing has greatly threatened the Scented Acronychia (Acronychia littoralis), and the pretty flower of the Phillip Island Hibiscus (Hibiscus insularis) used to be found on Norfolk Island but now only survives on a small island south of there. Both of these species can be found in our garden.
To find Rare and Endangered plants look for:
- North Coast species on the eastern or creek side of the main path
- New South Wales and Queensland species opposite the Sensory Garden
- Various species in the Rainforest section
Our Rare and Endangered collection continues to expand and additional species are continually being planted as they become available. The Garden is fortunate to have a network of highly trained, responsible and enthusiastic collectors, and propagators.