Enjoy a walk and learn more about the Australian rainforest trees and shrubs
The Albury Botanic Gardens were officially formed in 1877. They cover an area of 4 hectares (10 acres) and are situated on the Murray River alluvial flood plain with hills on the western side sheltering it from the cold air flow in winter and the hot dry winds in summer. These factors have allowed the establishment of a range of Australian rainforest trees and shrubs normally found in Queensland and northern New South Wales.
In the past 200 years there has been a reduction of the rainforest area in Australia due to land clearance for agriculture, heavy logging and bush fires. Rainforests are not adapted to fires and this encourages their replacement by schlerophyll forests, for example Eucalypt forests. (‘Sclerophyll’ - means having tough leathery leaves).
Rainforests extend from north-west Western Australia across the northern coast and down the east coast to Tasmania. They contain complex vegetation usually with a multi-storied tree layer, which can be so dense that the floor of the rainforest is dark even during midday. Specialised plants such as cycads, climbers and epiphytes, eg. ferns and orchids, can grow in these conditions (‘Epiphyte’ - means a plant growing on another plant or rock for physical support but not deriving food from it).
Annual rainfall, temperature, altitude and soil type determine the four subformations of rainforest in Australia
Many rainforest plants have attractive glossy green foliage with new leaves flushed with reddish tonings, interesting and colourful flowers, unusual fruits and buttressed tree trunks which make them attractive plants for landscaping.
This self-guided rainforest walk through the gardens is intended to introduce you to some of these. The walk starts north of the main gates and takes 40 minutes to complete at a leisurely pace.