Backdrop to encounter : the 1770 landscape of Botany Bay, the plants collected by Banks and Solander and rehabilitation of natural vegetation at Kurnell

  • The first scientific observations on the flora of eastern Australia were made at Botany Bay in April–May 1770. We discuss the landscapes of Botany Bay and particularly of the historic landing place at Kurnell (lat 34˚ 00’ S, long 151˚ 13’ E) (about 16 km south of central Sydney), as described in the journals of Lieutenant James Cook and Joseph Banks on the Endeavour voyage in 1770. We list 132 plant species that were collected at Botany Bay by Banks and Daniel Solander, the first scientific collections of Australian flora. The list is based on a critical assessment of unpublished lists compiled by authors who had access to the collection of the British Museum (now Natural History Museum), together with species from material at National Herbarium of New South Wales that has not been previously available. The list includes Bidens pilosa which has been previously regarded as an introduced species. In 1770 the Europeans set foot on Aboriginal land of the Dharawal people. Since that time the landscape has been altered in response to a succession of different land-uses; farming and grazing, commemorative tree planting, parkland planting, and pleasure ground and tourist visitation. We describe and reconstruct the 1770 vegetation and landscape features of the Kurnell landing place site, now within Botany Bay National Park, based on primary historical sources and surviving remnants of the landscape, and suggest ways in which the remnants can be rehabilitated and enhanced to protect and focus on the botanical, historical and cultural values of this important place.

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Author:Doug Benson, Georgina Eldershaw
Parent Title (English):Cunninghamia : a journal of plant ecology for eastern Australia
Publisher:Mount Annan Botanic Garden, The Administration Officer
Place of publication:Mount Annan, NSW
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2013/06/24
Year of first Publication:2007
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2013/06/24
Page Number:25
First Page:113
Last Page:137
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 58 Pflanzen (Botanik) / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Sammlungen:Sammlung Biologie / Sondersammelgebiets-Volltexte
Zeitschriften / Jahresberichte:Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia / Cunninghamia : A Journal of Plant Ecology for Eastern Australia, Volume 10, Issue 1 (2007)
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht