History - City Botanic Gardens
Queensland's Heritage Register recognises the City Botanic Gardens for their natural, historic and cultural values.
The gardens' plant collections include the first Queensland native plants to be formally planted. Visitors to the gardens will also see exotic plants. Some exotic plants were imported in colonial days to establish crops for the new Brisbane colony. Artists have also created number of heritage features at the gardens.
Part of the riverside site where the gardens are located was originally a botanic reserve. It was established in 1828 to provide food for the early penal colony.
The City Botanic Gardens officially opened in 1855. That year, the botanic gardens' curator Walter Hill was appointed as the first superintendent. He began an active planting and experimenting program. This included:
- trialing crops and plants from around the world to determine their suitability for growing in subtropical climates
- introducing mangoes, pineapples, pawpaws, custard apples, sugar cane, tobacco, ginger, coffee and many types of nuts and grape vines to Queensland
- establishing ornamental plant collections in the gardens for visitors to enjoy
Major redevelopment of the gardens took place in 1987. Redevelopments included building an information centre, upgrading the paving and converting the former curator's residence into a restaurant.
Plantscaping and developments continued in 1989 with the construction of the Riverstage.