Botanic gardens around the world have often been responsible for the first introductions of many new species of edible plants into a country and from there, have found their way into commercial production or into many household backyards. There are no records to suggest that Flecker Botanic Gardens has been responsible for such introductions, however, the Gardens are endeavouring to fulfil a role of cultivating and displaying edible plants from tropical regions of the world.
Some of the early plantings date back to the 1940-1950 period and can be seen in a section of the gardens adjacent to McCormack Street, which was devoted to plants of economic importance. Cyclone Winifred was responsible for the destruction of a number of trees in this area however, the remaining plants are in various states of health and production.
The following is a list of these useful trees which remain.
|Garcinia xanthochymus||Yellow Mangosteen|
|Hydnocarpus sp.||Chaulmugra Oil used in the cure of leprosy|
|Artocarpus heterophyllus||Jack Fruit|
|Hevea braziliensis||Rubber Tree|
|Spondias ambarella||Hog Plum|
|Syzygium malaccense||Malay Apple|
|Salacca sp.||Salak Palm|
|Terminalia kaernbachii||Okari Nut|
|Dillenia indica||Elephant Apple|
|Antidesma dallachyanum||Herbert River Cherry|
|Mangifera indica||Mango (2 cultivars)|
|Phyllanthus emblica||Indian Gooseberry|
|Garcinia mangostana||Purple Mangosteen|
|Artocarpus altilis||Breadfruit (2 cultivars)|
Recent introductions into this area of the gardens include:
|Synsepalum dulcificum||Miracle Fruit|
|Averrohoa carambola||5 Corner Fruit|
|Malpighia glabra||Barbados Cherry|
Vegetable foods grown in this area include:
|Saccharum edule||Pit Pit|
|Setaria palmaefolia||Pit Pit|
Because of limiting factors in this area of the gardens such as space and sunlight, a fruit tree section was established at the salt water lakes area adjacent to Greenslopes Street. Plantings here date back to the early 1980s and a lot of the original trees have no doubt fallen to pressures of vandalism and cyclones. The soil conditions in this area are also a challenge, varying from sand to fill dredged from Saltwater Creek. The latter material is now producing results after the salt levels have been reduced. The area receives regular applications of dolomite, rock dust and a mature compost mixture of sawdust, mill mud and chicken manure.
The area also contains water-logged conditions as well as extremely well-drained dry areas. These are used to our advantage, providing a variety of habitats. Because of limited space in the gardens, many plantings are directed by the environmental preference of that plant rather than regimental organisation of plants into different groups or families.
The area is now beginning to take shape with minimal theft and vandalism due to the installation of two heavily-worded signs which has seen a significant reductions in the removal of plant material.
Our aim has been to represent each fruit for public view and appreciation rather than to display every cultivar of each species available. Institutions such as the Kamerunga Research Station should have undertaken the role of trialling various cultivars, assessing their potential to become commercially viable.
A list of the surviving trees of the original plantings in this area are as follows:
|Artocarpus altilis||Bread nut|
|Artocarpus hypargyreus||Kwai Muk|
|Diospyros digyna||Black sapote|
|Mangifera indica||Mango (Several cultivars)|
|Flacourtia indica||Governors plum|
|Phyllanthus acidus||Star Gooseberry|
|Chrysophyllum cainito||Star Apple|
|Canarium sp.||Pili Nut|
|Garcinia livingstonei||Cooktown Mangosteen|
|Annona montana||Mountain Soursop|
Further introductions into this area since 1988 include the following:
|Nephelium lappaceum||Rambutan (3 Cultivars)|
|Durio zibethinus||Durian (3 Cultivars)|
|Artocarpus heterophyllus||Several Seedling Varieties|
|Chrysophyllum canito||Star Apple (2 Cultivars)|
|Pachira aquatica||Saba Nut|
|Inga edulis||Ice Cream Bean|
|Manilkara zapota||Sapodilla (3 Cultivars)|
|Rollinia deliciosa||Amazon Custard Apple|
|Syzygium samarangense||Semarang Rose Apple|
|Syzygium malaccense||Green Malay Apple|
|Stelechocarpus burahol||Kepel Fruit|
|Muntingia calabura||Panama Berry|
|Eugenia reinwardtiana||Cedar Bay Cherry|
A number of new accessions are still to be planted and we are always looking for new species to increase the diversity of tropical plants to be on public display.
DATE: January 1993
* * * * * * * * * * * * *