Back to Impact Stories

Royal Botanic Gardens Foundation Victoria

  • Project: Care for the Rare: Landscape Succession Planning and Biodiversity Conservation in Victoria's city and regional Botanic Garden Network
  • Amount: $195,000 over 3 years
  • Year(s) Funded: 2019

A multi-site project to safeguard Victoria’s rare and threatened plant species

With nearly 15% of Victoria’s plant species classified as rare, conservation programs are critical to ensure Victoria’s significant biodiversity is protected. In a collaborative project, the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is building the capacity of regional botanic gardens to play an important conservation role for Victoria’s biodiversity, whilst building their readiness for projected climate change.

Bogong Daisy-bush (Olearia frostii), a rare and threatened daisy from the high country of Victoria. Photo: courtesy RBGV.

“The Care for the Rare program is unique in that it emphasises planting rare and threatened native species in climates that are similar to that where they naturally occur, giving them the chance to flourish.” The Hon. James Merlino MP, Deputy Premier of Victoria

Care for the Rare has been created to safeguard rare and threatened Victorian plant species against extinction in the wild. The project provides thought leadership and a program of climate readiness events that integrate the Care for the Rare program and builds the capacity of regional Victorian Botanic Gardens to create conservation collections of rare plants indigenous to their local area.


  • Six botanic gardens across Victoria have been selected for the initial phase including Berwick, Shepparton, Colac, Sale, Dandenong Ranges and Ballarat.
  • Detailed site specific, conservation collection plans will be developed for each garden.
  • Species selected for the living collections will be initially sourced, propagated and produced at RBGV’s Cranbourne Gardens nursery for distribution to the participating gardens
  • Expertise will be provided to support regional botanic gardens to protect local indigenous species through identification, planning, propagation and promotion.
  • Botanic gardens will be empowered to communicate to a broad audience about plant conservation through the development of an interpretation and communications toolkit.
  • The project is part of the Gardens’ strategic plans for the protection of Victoria’s indigenous flora and the need to build the capacity of Victoria’s 42 botanic gardens
  • The living collections in the six participating gardens will act as demonstration models so other botanic gardens can learn and gain insights.
  • Care for the Rare is informed by the Gardens’ Landscape Succession Strategy. The strategy was developed to ensure the Royal Botanic Gardens are future proofed and ready for the projected climate and environmental conditions of 2090,while retaining the much-loved heritage character, landscape qualities and species diversity for which the Gardens are known.
  • The Landscape Succession Strategy guides the transition of existing plantings at the Melbourne Gardens to a composition more suited to the projected climate and conditions of 2090. Care for the Rare extends this work beyond RBGV’s sites in the city and Cranbourne.
  • Elements of Care for the Rare are also customisable and transferable to organisations and groups outside of botanic gardens.