Colonial plants database

The Colonial plants database includes more than 11,000 listings of plants known to be available in the colony of NSW prior to the 1870s. The database is compiled from several sources including Botanic Gardens records, nursery catalogues and manuscript plant lists created by early colonists such as colonial secretary Alexander Macleay (1767-1848).

 

DATABASE SOURCES:

Nursery catalogues, including:

  • four printed catalogues of plants cultivated at Camden, published by Sir William Macarthur (1800-1882) in 1843, 1845, 1850 and 1857
  • a catalogue of plants cultivated at the Darling Nursery NSW, published by T.W. Shepherd in 1851
  • a catalogue of plants for sale by Michael Guilfoyle, Nursery and Seedsman at Exotic Nursery on New South Head Road, Double Bay in 1851

Manuscript lists, including:

  • the Catalogue of plants cultivated in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney in January 1828, compiled by Colonial Botanist Charles Fraser (1788?-1831), and three other smaller lists also compiled by Fraser:
  • a List of esculent vegetables and pot herbs cultivated in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney, December 1827
  • a List of plants cultivated in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney for use in commerce and medicine  
  • a List of exotic forest tress cultivated in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney, December 1827
  • Alexander Macleay's notebook of plants received at Elizabeth Bay, covering the period 1836-1843, the original of which is in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales (ML MSS 2009//115 item 1)

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