A picutre of some of the trees included in the Atherton Arboretum.

The Atherton Arboretum CSIRO site.

Atherton rainforest arboretum and herbarium reference collection

The arboretum of over 1 300 trees, shrubs and vines from northern Australia, and a reference herbarium in Atherton is used for research and public education.

  • 1 July 2009 | Updated 14 October 2011

Overview

The Atherton arboretum is located in the grounds of the CSIRO's Atherton laboratory in North Queensland. 

Over 1 300 trees, shrubs and vines representing approximately 550 species are documented in a database and readily available booklet. 

The Atherton arboretum was set up to showcase the diversity of plants in tropical Australia and allow easy access to these plants.

First plantings were in 1971 and specimens are continually being added to the collection. 

While most plants are sourced from the Wet Tropics and Cape York in Queensland there are some specimens from central and southern Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia. 

A large proportion of the specimens are rainforest species but there are a number of species from the Savannah regions of Northern Australia.

Herbarium reference collection

Attached to the arboretum is a herbarium reference collection with representatives of approximately 85 per cent of the plant species in the Wet Tropics of Queensland. 

This collection is a subset of the Australian Tropical Herbarium (ATH) housed at the Australian Tropical Forest Institute (ATFI) at James Cook University (JCU) in Cairns.

Use of the arboretum 

The Atherton arboretum was set up to showcase the diversity of plants in tropical Australia and allow easy access to these plants. 

Researchers, students, schools, naturalists and all members of the community are encouraged to use the facility. 

Samples may be taken from the plants and research equipment set up with permission from the site.

Links with herbariums

Approximately 60 per cent of the specimens have vouchers lodged with the Australian Tropical Herbarium (ATH) at JCU in Cairns.

Read more about Atherton, Qld (Atherton laboratory).