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The Botanical Memory Project: Conserving the Cultural Heritage of Western Australian Plants

The Botanical Memory Project aims to conserve the plant-based cultural heritage of South-West Australia, an internationally recognised biodiversity hotspot with close to 8,000 floristic species, 35 percent of which are found nowhere else in the world. The cultural heritage of South-West plants involves the myriad ways in which species have inspired or informed artists, writers, historical figures and conservationists through history, in present times and into the future. While the scientific importance of South-West flora has been explored intensively, artefacts of plant-based heritage remain dispersed across different sources and, in some cases, undocumented.

Supported by the Australian Geographic Society, the oral histories project will help to preserve this vital heritage. Video recordings will feature  artists, writers, conservationists, activists, and scientists speaking about their memories of plants. The video material will form part of an interactive online archive showcasing different expressions of South-west botanical heritage: photographs, paintings, poetry, historical writings and oral histories. The project will contribute to greater public appreciation of flora and the broader environment of Western Australia.    

Funding agency

Australian Geographic Society

Project duration

July–December 2015


Dr John Ryan

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