Brick-paved pathways wind their way discreetly between stands of indigenous and exotic plants and trees within these lovely gardens set on the western shores of the Emmarentia Dam.

The gardens were established in 1968 and are home to over 30 000 trees, among them a fascinating array of exotics such as cork oaks, English oaks, Californian redwoods and silver birches.

A huge, formal rose garden features some 4 500 of these scented treasures, and a herb garden includes samples of ancient medicinal herbs used by early travellers and traditional healers (sangomas). The succulents section, which may be visited by appointment only features more than 2500 species.

Indigenous vegetation includes reedbeds, Highveld grasses and an Erythrina zeyheri, known as the ploegbreker (plough breaker), because of its extensive root system. A prehistoric garden, with a collection of cycads and tree fems, is currently being plarmed.

Gardening demonstrations are held regularly and visitors may picnic on the manicured lawns. A number of ponds within the garden attractbreeding waterfowl, and birding enthusiasts can expect to see - among others - moorhen, dabchick, crested grebe and Egyptian goose.

The gardens are open every day.

Johannesburg Botanical Gardens Johannesburg Botanical Gardens
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