Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Someone has been very thorough in their vandalism at the Botanic Gardens. It amazes me that anyone would make the effort to ensure their edited version of the sign would be consistent. But this is bugger all damage compared to the theft of rare and notable succulents from the Arid Garden. (A problem we've also had at work, with one or more thieving bastards taking agaves and other plants from the garden we've set up for teaching botany.)

Larcenous collectors are probably the reason that there are few plant IDs in the Arid Garden. I suspect it's not because people nick the labels but that they're not cluey enough to identify the plants without assistance. No labels, no theft*. (And I like to think that collectors who are knowledgeable wouldn't steal from the RBG. I could be completely wrong.)

It was great fun wandering through there with a botanist who could not only put names to the cacti and succulents but also talk about their ecology and biogeography. (And not feel inclined to dig them up and shovel them into a backpack.)

Unfortunately, I didn't write down any of the identifications because I was too busy taking photographs and being amazed. So here are some views of the garden.


*Large cactus are labelled. They have their own defence against thieves.


Anonymous said...

They're quite splendid, aren't they? I think that grave robbing (in a manner of speaking) has always been a huge issue with succulents/cacti and orchids.

There is an obsessive collecting element, rather like the jewel beetle criminals, that must collect at any cost.
It must be worse than ever now, when they are actually fashionable again. The dreaded 30 year cycle has caught up.

Imagine how plundered the remaining natural areas of Africa and S/ America must be.

Snail said...

I'm not sure which is lower: nicking plants from the Botanic Gardens or from our little collection set up for the students. Not only did they takes some of our succulents, the bastards also took our monkey puzzle tree, so we're guessing that they knew what they were after. I hope it grows well, falls over and impales the sods.

(And did you know that the Bot Gardens has a dwarf redwood? I'm still coming to terms with that.)

That's So Pants said...

Hi Snail

Imagine how I feel. I've only just moved to Victoria and already I'm getting the blame! Admittedly I am from the Hackney, London - the vandalism capital of the world but I'm here to protest my innocence (guv).



Snail said...

Welcome to Victoria! I grew up in Bow. Heck, that's almost Hackney. Well, close enough.