Colonial plants database
This database includes more than 11,000 listings of plants known to be available in the colony of New South Wales up until the 1860s. The database is compiled from several sources including Botanic Gardens records, nursery catalogues and manuscript plant lists created by colonists such as Colonial Secretary Alexander Macleay (1767-1848).
This database is a work in progress: the listings are being progressively checked against the original source, editorial additions such as historical and taxonomical notes are being made systematically and, where possible, botanical illustrations derived from publications contemporaneous with the plant lists are being attached to each listing. When this process is completed, further listings may be added from other sources.
Nursery catalogues, including:
- four printed catalogues of plants cultivated at Camden, published by Sir William Macarthur (1800-1882) in 1843, 1845, 1850 and 1857
- a catalogue of plants cultivated at the Darling Nursery NSW, published by T.W. Shepherd in 1851
- a catalogue of plants for sale by Michael Guilfoyle, Nursery and Seedsman at Exotic Nursery on New South Head Road, Double Bay in 1851
Only a portion of the Guilfoyle catalogue has as yet been added to the database. Similarly, the data entry of listings from the Catalogue of fruit trees, bulbous rooted, flowering and ornamental trees and plants cultivated for sale by John Baptist, City Nursery, and Market Garden, Bourke Street, Sydney, New South Wales, published in 1861, is only partially complete.
Manuscript lists, including:
- the Catalogue of plants cultivated in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney in January 1828, compiled by Colonial Botanist Charles Fraser (1788?-1831), and three other smaller lists also compiled by Fraser:
- a List of esculent vegetables and pot herbs cultivated in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney, December 1827
- a list of plants cultivated in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney for use in commerce and medicine
- a List of exotic forest tress cultivated in the Botanic Gardens, Sydney, December 1827
- Alexander Macleay's notebook of plants received at Elizabeth Bay, covering the period 1836-1843, the original of which is in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales (ML MSS 2009//115 item 1)
A small amount of material has so far been included from Sir William Macarthur's horticultural notebooks and horticultural correspondence, and from other Macarthur family correspondence, also in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. The specific manuscript references are provided in each listing.