Botanic Gardens of South Australia – preservation, education and enjoyment

Santos has provided major support to the Botanic Gardens of South Australia since 2009.

Comprising three beautiful public gardens, the gardens provide visitors with a range of cultural, recreational, educational and scientific facilities.

In the heart of the Adelaide Botanic Garden is the Santos Museum of Economic Botany, the last of its kind in the world. With support from Santos, the museum has been restored and is once again home to an amazing permanent collection, much of which dates back to the original museum display 130 years ago. The museum showcases plants and their uses, providing as much education and insight today as it would have in the past.

In recent times, Santos has provided support to the Community Kitchen Garden Program, which offers information, advice and support to over 60 community gardening programs across South Australia. Through this program, Santos is helping people to nurture, grow and harvest their own healthy edible produce. In particular, the program provides support to people most at risk of disadvantage, which is helping to deliver social outcomes too.

Santos has also provided key support to the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre, which works with regional communities to help identify and conserve South Australia’s rare, vulnerable or endangered species in a world-class seed bank.

Since 2009, Santos’ support of the Botanic Gardens of South Australia has:

  • Seen the percentage of threatened local plant species increase from 41% to 67.5% through the work of the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre.
  • Allowed for the creation of the Seeds of South Australia website ( to provide freely accessible data about our state’s flora, with a focus on seeds and germination. The website compiles images and data gathered by staff at the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre obtained over several years of locating, identifying, collecting and germinating seeds from all regions in the state. This support has seen the website grow significantly from containing information for around 200 species last year, to over 1900 species with 9000 images uploaded.
  • Provided information, support and resources to more than 59 community kitchen gardens through the Kitchen Garden Outreach program.
  • Seen nine exhibitions in the Santos Museum of Economic Botany visited by an average of 50,000 people each year.


South Australian Seed Conservation Centre


  • Increased conservation efforts to 67.5% of the state’s threatened plant species protected through the Botanic Gardens South Australian Seed Conservation Centre
  • Supported the collection of over 50 rare and endangered plant species from rural South Australia through field trips undertaken in 2014-15 by the seed hunters from the Seed Conservation Centre.
  • Helped to create the Seeds of South Australia website - an online database for identification and seed propagation of native South Australian flora. The website now has over 5000 detailed images of rare and endangered plant species, used by professionals and the community. The site has over 4600 page views per month. 


Community Kitchen Garden program


  • Allowed for the provision of direct support to 59 community gardens across the state through the Community Kitchen Garden program.
  • Delivered presentations to five organisations and five local councils to help them with their plans for edible gardening projects.
  • Directly promoted the benefits of kitchen gardening at community events across Kitchen Garden month in October 2014 and temporary planter boxes set-up in Victoria Square.


Santos Museum of Economic Botany


  • Contributed to the delivery of exhibitions in the Santos Museum of Economic Botany in Adelaide Botanic Garden. The Museum originally opened in 1881 and is dedicated to the collection and interpretation of important plants throughout history. Exhibitions in the Museum this past year have included:
    • Urpflanze Street Plants by Carolyn Rothwell – presented a series of ‘uberweeds’, referencing Goethe’s eighteenth century theory of the Archetypal Plant or Urpflanze.
    • Postcards from the Edge of the City – presented a series of 300 picture postcards of Adelaide Botanic Garden and Botanic Park from the Edwardian era (1901 – 1914).
  • Development of the accompanying catalogue to the Postcards exhibition, Out of the Past: views of Adelaide Botanic Garden. This 600 page book contains each of the postcards, front and back went on to win the National Award for best book at the 2015 Museums Australia Multimedia and Publication Design Awards. This is the 2nd year running that the Botanic Gardens of South Australia have won this award, with last year’s Imitation of Life catalogue winning the same category. 
  • Over 60,000 people visited the Santos Museum of Economic Botany in 2014-15.