Guilfoyle's Volcano

Combining infrastructure, folly and a climate sensitive landscape, Guilfoyle's Volcano is a truly unique and interesting space within the Gardens.
Situated at the highest point in Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, the view back across the Collection of drought tolerant plants, the Gardens as a whole and the Melbourne CBD presents very impressive vistas.

The Collection is important as it:

  • Emphasises arid and succulent plants and highlights their current and future climate suitability and drought tolerance
  • Demonstrates how the use of plant form can communicate movement and flow
  • Contributes to improvements of lake system water quality as part of the Working Wetland project.
  • Highlights the historical and current significance of the reservoir site

Key Plants

Golden Barrel Cactus

Echinocactus grusonii

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White Silk Floss Tree

Ceiba insignis

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Bismarckia nobilis

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Blue Hesper Palm

Brahea armata

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Pig Face

Carpobrtus quadrifidus

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Echeveria 'Zorro'

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Golden Barrel Cactus

<em>Echinocactus grusonii</em>

This plant forms pleasing spheres which feature regular ribs, the ridges of which are adorned with dense yellow spines. This plant is endangered in the wild due to habitat loss and poaching by collectors, but its popularity in cultivation safeguards it from extinction.

Notes from the Curator

The planting design of the cone at Guilfoyles Vocano is split into two distinct styles with the intent of visually communicating lava flows from an errupting volcano.
Sections representing lava flow use red rock mulch combined with plantings of Echeverria 'Zorro' and Carpobrotus quadrifidus to simulate bubbling and flowing lava through both colour and form. This is contrasted with plants that exhibit stronger and more dramatic form (Echinocactus grusonii, Agave parrii etc) in other areas.
The climb up the cone of Guilfoyle's Volcano gives the guest the unique opportunity to experience and appreciate the plant material from vastly varying vantages.