Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Dunedin Botanic Garden

Dunedin was established in the first half of the nineteenth century and settled by Scottish immigrants, including the nephew of the poet, Robbie Burns. Its name derives from the Gaelic for Edinburgh - the city on which it is modelled.

Following the discovery of gold in in the 1860s, there was a surge in both population and prosperity. Both Dunedin's university, which I visited in my last post, and its botanic garden are the oldest in New Zealand, with 2013 marking the 150th anniversary of the latter.

I was fortunate enough to visit twice during my stay in Dunedin. It was a real treat to see beautiful native and cold climate plants in early Spring. Coming from warmer climes as I do, many of the plants I saw were quite new to me. I've done my best on names, but apologies in advance if any errors have slipped in. Perhaps you can help me out with some of the mystery plants: the pretty pink bulb with nodding head and patterned leaves between the photos of the pulmonaria (it comes in yellow too), and two daisy- like blooms - one white, the other pink.

Clianthus, commonly known as Kakabeak, is a small woody legume tree native to New Zealand. And what is a kaka you may ask.

This handsome parrot is a kaka. Endangered due to the impact of introduced species, in some places only one in seven wild kakas are female, which doesn't bode well for their future survival, so they are being bred in the botanic gardens for reintroduction to an ecosanctuary.

Related to the kakabeak is this Kowhai, recognised as New Zealand's national flower


Pulmonaria 'Sissinghurst White'

Camellia 'Royal Velvet'

Myosotidium, the Chatham Island forget-me-not




More hellebores

Michelia yunanensis


The Chatham Island forget-me-not showing how the blooms age to pink

Magnolia stellata f. rosea

And this M. stellata is the white form (and a double?)

On my return visit, I tackled the slope and wandered through the alpine garden.

Pride of Madeira and lime green euphorbia


The final stopping point of my visit was this woodland planting on the top of the hill - a host of golden daffodils that would have impressed Wordsworth.

However, if you enjoyed this visit and the plants featured, there is more to come when I visit Lanarch Castle on the Otago Peninsula not far from Dunedin in one of my next posts.


  1. You were obviously there at the right time of year with so much in bloom. Most are very different to the flowers we have here in Qld.

    1. It really was a lovely time to visit, Ros - blossoms and blooms, while out in the countryside, all the sheep were lambing. Just divine.

  2. I love wandering through gardens, and this botanical garden is a beauty.
    I enjoyed all the plants and flowers, and of course the alpine garden, but I love that Kaka parrot.
    Hope the breeding experiment works and they don't ever face extinction.

    1. Fingers crossed, Virginia. So many beautiful creatures endangered thanks to us humans.

  3. It is nice to see some spring, even if it is on the other side of the planet. It is bitter cold here right now.

    1. Stay safe, Les. I've seen the blizzard and storm conditions your way on the news. We have the other extreme here - we are in the middle of a heatwave with temperatures in the high 30s, low 40s F.



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