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Rare and Endangered

The first area of Rare and Endangered Plants is found beside the main path about 400 metres from the entrance. Other rare and endangered plants can be found further along the Main Path in the Eastern Australian Plants collection in the New South Wales and Queensland section, and in the Rainforest sections. 

An important role for a botanic garden is to provide a safe haven for rare and endangered plants to ensure their survival. Over the past 200 years more than 100 plant species have become extinct and about 3,200 native species are now considered to be very rare. Endangered flora are at serious risk of disappearing from the wild in the next few decades. Land clearing, the introduction of grazing animals, the expansion of cities, changes in the frequencies of fires and climate change have all contributed to the reduction of areas where some native plants can grow.

The north coast region contains 17 of the 20 most endangered plant species in New South Wales. Of special interest in the 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) which used to be found on Norfolk Island but now only survives on a small island nearby. Both are found in the garden.