The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is one of the world's leading botanic gardens and a centre of excellence for horticulture, science and education.
The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is dedicated to the conservation, display and enjoyment of plants and extends over two locations, Melbourne and Cranbourne, and incorporates the National Herbarium of Victoria.
Life is sustained and enriched by plants
Our vision is a flourishing community and healthy planet, sustained and enriched by plants. Through iconic landscapes, horticultural excellence and scientific eminence we will make an enduring contribution to this vision.
Plants, along with fungi and algae, are fundamental to life on Earth. They provide the air we breathe, the food we eat, many of the medicines that heal us, and habitat and shelter for our planet’s wildlife. They give our lives meaning and inspiration.
We prosper and our planet benefits when we understand, appreciate and protect plants for their life giving qualities. The actions we all take should be based on our knowledge and respect for plants.
Every interaction with us advances the understanding and appreciation of plants
Our mission is to use our two remarkable gardens, our innovative science, and our skills at sharing knowledge, to help the community understand and value plants. We will seek every opportunity to interact with people, from all walks of life and wherever they live. By engaging with our local communities, attracting visitors to our gardens and connecting with people online, we will achieve our vision.
In all our interactions we will be creative, open, brave and remarkable as we look for every opportunity in our roles to advance the understanding and appreciation of plants. Our values guide our decision-making and behaviour and determine how we will act as we achieve our vision.
We are inventive and enthusiastic
We make time to listen, learn and be clear
We have the courage to change things
We leave a lasting impression
Under the Royal Botanic Gardens Act 1991 (MS Word - 211 kB), the objectives of the organisation are:
- To conserve, protect and improve the botanic gardens and managed land and their collections of living plants
- To conserve and enhance the State Botanical Collection and National Herbarium of Victoria
- To provide for the use of the State Botanical Collection or plants or plant specimens at the botanic gardens or managed land for scientific or reference purposes, consistent with accepted international practice
- To increase public knowledge and awareness of plants and plant communities
- To provide for the use of the Botanic Gardens for education, public enjoyment and tourism
- To provide for the carrying out of and contribution to research into biodiversity and the conservation of biodiversity.
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria at Melbourne Gardens has been a treasured part of Melbourne’s cultural life for more than 165 years – much loved by generations of Victorians, as well as by many visitors from interstate and overseas. It is a picturesque haven for recreation and an important resource for education, conservation, science and horticulture. Melbourne Gardens extends over 38 hectares and houses a collection of more than 8,500 species of plants from around the world, including amazing and diverse plant collections such as camellias, rainforest flora, cacti and succulents, roses, Californian species, herbs, perennials, cycads, plants from Southern China and, in the Rare and Threatened Species Collection, plants from south-eastern Australia.
Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria at Cranbourne Gardens is one of Victoria’s most precious areas of remnant native bushland and offers visitors the chance to explore heathlands, wetlands and woodlands on the 363-hectare site. It is recognised as a site of State significance for flora and fauna conservation, with over 25 species listed as endangered, threatened or at risk of extinction. Following representations by the Maud Gibson Trust, Cranbourne Gardens was established in 1970 when the Victorian Government acquired the land with a view to developing it into a botanic garden that complemented Melbourne Gardens through the display of native plants and ecosystems.
Today, visitors to Cranbourne Gardens can enjoy a natural bushland experience and visit the Australian Garden. Facilities in the bushland include over ten kilometres of walking tracks, six kilometres of cycling tracks, a lookout tower, picturesque shelters, barbecues and picnic tables. There is a range of visitor programs, as well as self-guided walks available throughout the year. The Australian Garden, completed in October 2012, celebrates the beauty and diversity of Australian landscapes and flora and features approximately 170,000 plants from 1,700 plant varieties. Complementing the Garden are a visitor centre, café, gift shop and interpretive displays.
National Herbarium of Victoria (MEL)
The National Herbarium of Victoria (the Herbarium), founded in 1853 and located at Melbourne Gardens, is the Victorian Government’s major centre for botanical studies in plant identification, collection and classification. The Herbarium houses the State Botanical Collection, an irreplaceable resource of approximately 1.5 million dried specimens of plants, fungi and algae from Australia and many other countries. It is one of the most historically significant collections in the world and is used by Herbarium staff and visiting botanists for scientific research. Research areas include biodiversity, classification, evolution, biogeography, molecular systematics, conservation and horticulture. In addition, the State Botanical Collection contains the oldest and most comprehensive botanical library in Australia. Current work at the Herbarium is focused around three main research themes: Victoria’s biodiversity, including documenting and conserving our flora; the origin of the Australian biota, including the evolutionary history and relationship of Australian plant groups; and Biodiversity Services, including the provision of an Identification and Information Service.
ARCUE was created in 1998 to increase understanding of the ecology, restoration and management of biodiversity in urban and suburban areas throughout Australia and the world. ARCUE’s activities encompassed basic and applied research; undergraduate and postgraduate training; long-term ecological studies; community education; policy and management advice to all levels of government; and consultancy services. In addition, ARCUE worked closely with the School of Botany at The University of Melbourne (where it was located), and with the research and education programs of Melbourne and Cranbourne gardens. Regrettably, due to a lack of sustainable funding, ARCUE ceased operations on 31 December 2016. The Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria gratefully acknowledges the valuable contributions of the ARCUE team and the Baker Foundation for its generous support of ARCUE.