Title: Native Orchid Display, Cairns Botanic Gardens Conservatory
Applicant: Charles Clarke
Institution: Cairns Botanic Gardens, Queensland
Funding for this project will be used to develop a permanent public display of Australian tropical native orchids in the conservatory at Cairns Botanic Gardens. A dedicated section of the conservatory has been set aside for this purpose, and funds provided by the Australian Orchid Foundation will provide the necessary signage and plant labels to support the display. These funds will also allow the gardens to purchase a new shade house, to be installed in the nursery, that will be dedicated to the cultivation of Australian tropical native orchids, thereby improving the quality and diversity of species for the public display. Finally, some funds will also be used to purchase additional plants for the collection, so that an extensive and informative range of local species can be displayed.
The aim of this project was to develop a public display of Australian Tropical Native Orchids in the Conservatory at Cairns Botanic Gardens. The native orchid flora of tropical Australia is rich and diverse and contains a number of species that are of great importance in horticulture. Unfortunately, many Australian tropical native orchids are not easy to see in the wild. However, many of them are relatively easy to cultivate in Cairns, making a public display of these plants feasible within the botanic gardens. With the kind support of the Australian Orchid Foundation, the gardens was able to purchase a shade house to hold the portion of the collection that is not on display at any given time (eg, non-flowering plants, and rare or sensitive species), as well as signage, plant labels and a range of species and hybrid plants to expand the collection. Additional donations of plants by John Woolf and Ian Morris were also gratefully received and made an important contribution to the collection. The display was installed in the conservatory in February 2020 and has been well-received by visitors. Cairns Botanic Gardens wishes to pass on its sincere thanks to the Australian Orchid Foundation and donors, who made this exciting display possible.