Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden

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South Africa - Western Cape - Worcester

Institution Code: KNBG

International Agenda Registration: Yes

BGCI Member: Yes

This is what the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden looks like in spring.
This is what the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden looks like in spring.

About the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden

Parastatal organisation (SANBI) under the national Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA)

The Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden is totally unique in that it is the only truly succulent garden in the southern hemisphere and on the African continent. One of the floral highlights of the year is spring, when thousands of annuals and brightly coloured vygies come into flower. This colourful spectacle lasts from mid-August to the end of September. See the seasonal highlights pages.

A must for succulent lovers, the Garden lies on the outskirts of Worcester, 120 kilometres from Cape Town. See route map for details. Falling within the succulent karoo biome, which includes the Namaqualand flora so famous for its spring flowers, the Garden boasts some 400 naturally occurring species. The garden is also a haven for rare and endangered plants, with over 300 species being protected and propagated. Almost 95 species of birds have been recorded in the Garden, as well as a wide range of small mammals, such as the Cape grey duiker. The garden has an interesting history as can be seen from an article entitled From Whitehill to Worcester that appeared in Veld & Flora in March 2006.

Approximately 11 hectares of the estate are cultivated, whilst the remaining 143 are kept as a flora reserve which has several kilometres of nature trails.

Main Address:
Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden
South African National Biodiversity Institute
PO Box 152, Worcester 6849
Western Cape 6850 South Africa

Telephone: +27 (0)23 347 0785
URL: www.sanbi.org
Primary Email: r.riddles@sanbi.org.za

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Mr Christopher Willis
    Curator's Name: Mr Ricardo Riddles
    Plant Records Officer's Name:
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 3
    Educational Staff Number: 1
    Research Staff Number:
    Administration Staff Number: 1

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Private: No
    Status: State: Yes
    Status: Educational: Yes
    Status: Municipal: No
    Status: Satellite: No
    Status: Trust: No
  • Date founded: 1921
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 143 Hectares
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 11 Hectares
  • Total Area: 154 Hectares
    Latitude: -33.6127
    Longitude: 19.4507
    Annual Rainfall: 250 mm
    Altitude: 300.00 Metres
  • Locality: Information
  • Locality: Garden Name: Karoo Desert National Botanical Gardens
  • Local Address: Roux Road, Panorama, Worcester, South Africa
  • Locality: City: Worcester
  • Locality: State:

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: Yes
    Arboretum: No
  • Micropropagation/ Tissue Culture Facilities: No
    Seed Bank: Yes
    Published Plant Catalogue: No
    Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: No
    Friends society: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Shop: No
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: Yes
    Disabled access: Yes

Plant Collections

  • Special Collections:South African succulents. 99% of the plants cultivated are indigenous. The index collections of succulents & bulbs can be viewed by locals and tourists at a cost. Bookings needs to be made in advance and there should be a minimum of 7 or more people.
  • Invasive Species Monitoring: Yes
    Invasive Species Policy: Yes
    ABS Policy: Yes
    Plant Collection Policy: Yes

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: Yes
    Medicinal Plant Programme: No
    Ex Situ Conservation Programme: Yes
    Reintroduction Programme: No

Research Programmes

  • Biotechnology: No
    Plant Breeding: No
    Conservation - Biology: Yes
    Conservation - Genetics: No
    Data Management Systems and Information Technology: Yes
    Ecology: Yes
    Ecosystem Conservation: Yes
    Education: Yes
    Ethnobotany: No
    Exploration: Yes
    Floristics: No
    Horticulture: Yes
    Invasive Species Biology and Control: Yes
    Molecular Genetics: No
    Pollination Biology: No
    Restoration Ecology: Yes
    Seed/Spore Biology: No
    Systematics and Taxonomy: No
    Sustainability: Yes
    Pharmacology: No
    Agriculture: No
    Land Restoration: No
    Urban Environments: Yes

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: No
    Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Public Lectures/Talks: No
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Permanent Public Displays: Yes
    Special Exhibitions: Yes
    Courses for School Children: Yes
    Courses for University/College Students: No
    Courses for General Public: No
    Education Programme: Yes