‘A botanic gardens may delight the eye and the aesthetic senses, satisfy idle curiosity and excite wonder, but the capacity to produce these reactions is of only secondary importance to its basic function: accumulating botanical and horticultural knowledge (research) and disseminating that knowledge (information and education).’
Prof Donal McCracken
The Durban Botanic Gardens is situated in the heart of the Berea, on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal. This 15 hectare botanic garden was established in 1849 and is Africa’s oldest surviving botanic garden and the City’s oldest public institution.
The Durban Botanic Gardens curates major collections such as cycads, palms and orchids and, in the true tradition of a botanic gardens, is really several gardens within one.
The indigenous and exotic nature of the collections promotes a very rich teaching and learning garden, to better understand the world of plants, for everyone from school level to university, interested amateurs to professionals. Plants ‘weird and wonderful’, from the remarkable ones that feed us, clothe or house us to those that simply inspire us and stretch our imaginations, are all landmarks to be marveled at in the Durban Botanic Gardens.