Traditional Plant Use Garden
The Traditional Plant Use Garden was developed as such a theme garden around the delightfully colourful and interesting architecture and traditions of a local ethnic people, the nDebele. The garden is developed around a central hut which, according to nDebele tradition, represents the soul of the women of the house. The walls of the buildings have been painted in the traditional style by three talented nDebele ladies from the local community. Incorporated in the designs are stylized motifs of the NBI (the strelitzia flower), the protea of the Botanical Society (a sponsor), and guinea-fowls, birds that are typical of this garden. The well labeled plantings represent plants commonly used by the traditional healers within the communities, and are grouped according to their general uses. Water features and ponds are an integral part of the design, and aid in the display of water-associated plants used by this group of people.
The Concert Stage, where winter picnic concerts are held, dominates the main lawn area. Concerts are arranged and presented by the Botanical Society, generally from April to September annually. See our What's On page for details.
The National Herbarium, housing over 1 million specimens, is situated in the middle of the Botanical Garden. Home of the Research Directorate of the NBI, it is the centre of southern Africa’s taxonomy and plant study.
A Bookshop, dealing in scientific and popular NBI publications, is also housed here. It is open to the public during normal office hours, Monday to Friday. See the Products & Services section of the site for a list of publications for sale.
The Mary Gunn Library, which may be visited by appointment, is also housed in this centre.
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