Taronga Zoo has many interesting plants within the grounds. Significant trees include:
Small Leaved Fig (Ficus obliqua)
A rainforest giant. These trees were planted when the Zoo was developed in the early 1900's.
Tree Waratah (Alloxylon flammeum)
Native to the moist forest of New South Wales and Queensland. The tree displays magnificent red flowers during summer. Flowering will not occur until it is seven or eight years old.
Tree Gardenia (Gardenia thunbergia)
Native to South Africa, it is found in evergreen forests - occasionally in woodland and bush. Large fragrant snow white flowers are borne through spring-summer, plus sporadic flowering throughout the year. In Australia the plant grows to five metres tall by three meters wide. It is one of the largest of its type in Australia.
Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis)
This is a conifer found growing in isolated gorges in the Wollemi Wilderness Area, approximately 100km from Sydney. This tree can grow to 40m high in its natural environment and is one of the greatest botanical finds of the 20th century. The pine appears to be a ‘living fossil' related to an extinct species of Araucariaceae found in the fossil record of South Australia about 50 million years ago.
Taronga's Wollemi Pine area features six pines growing with their associated flora. They are surrounded by warm temperate rainforest species found growing on basalt soils dominated by coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum), Sassafras (Doryphora sassafras), Soft Tree Fern (Dicksonia antarctica), King Fern (Todea Barbara) and intermixed with Sydney Peppermint (Eucalyptus piperita).
Anne Karin Kehlhofer – Manager, Environmental Sustainability.