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Level of Significance

  • File
  • Local
  • Regional
  • State
  • National

Age (approx)

150yrs

Trees

1

Diameter

2e+01m

Height - 29m

Details

Common name
Banyan Tree
Botanical name
Ficus benghalensis
Type
Individual Tree
Condition
Good
Municipality
Brisbane City (QLD)
Location
Brisbane City Botanic Gardens Alice Street Brisbane QLD 4000
Access
Unrestricted
Significances
  • Horicultural/Genetic (Scientific)
  • Outstanding size (Scientific)
  • Outstanding species (Scientific)
  • Landscape (Social)
  • Landmark (Social)
  • Park/Garden/Town (Historic)
  • Person/Group/Institution (Historic)
  • Attractive (Aesthetic)
  • Unusual (Aesthetic)
  • Species/Location (Aesthetic)
Date of measurement
31 Jan 2014
Date of classification
12 Aug 2015
Other register(s)
False

Statement of Significance

The site of Brisbane City Botanic Gardens was selected as a public garden in 1828 by New South Wales Colonial Botanist Charles Fraser, three years after the establishment of the European settlement. Originally the garden was planted with food crops to feed the convicts. In 1855, a portion of the land was declared a 'botanic reserve' and Walter Hill was appointed as curator. The Queensland Heritage Register describes the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens as 'the most significant, non-aboriginal cultural landscape in Queensland having a continuous horticultural history since 1828, without any significant loss of land area or change in use over time.' It incorporates Brisbane's most mature gardens and features many rare and unusual species of plants. This tree was planted in the 1870s, during Walter Hill's curatorship, and is the largest Banyan Tree in the gardens. The species is originally from India and can cover many acres when very old (500 to 600 years). The aerial roots enter the ground, forming new trunks. In this way, the huge branches can extend further and further away from the parent plant. With over 20 species of figs, the City Botanic Gardens holds one of the largest collections of figs in Australia. This tree has the largest and most impressive aerial root structure in the gardens. It is featured in Allen and Bakers' book 'Australia's Remarkable Trees' (2009), in the section on Old Curiosities where it is described as 'so unusual you will not be able to stifle a chuckle'.
The tree is of scientific, aesthetic and horticultural value as a result of its age, outstanding size (49 meter in circumference) and appearance and enormous aerial root structures. It is believed to be the best known example of its species in Australia. It is so large and impressive that it makes a major contribution to the landscape of the historic gardens and is an important landmark. The tree is associated with Walter Hill, the first curator of the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, who was responsible for its planting.
The tree is located inside the south-western fence of the gardens, adjacent to the Gardens Point University of Technology.