What follows are profiles of selected plants from the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s New Caledonia collection. When a plant that is not in the Garden’s collection but is essential to New Caledonia’s local ecosystems, it is included. But unless otherwise indicated, the plants featured are from the collection. Many are on display in the Dorothea Chapman Fuqua Conservatory, but not all. Much of the collection is not seen by the general public, and these webpages are a chance for you to get to know the Garden’s larger collection. As libraries are digitizing their rare books, so too can botanical gardens make use of technology to acquaint the public with the very rare plants tucked away in their greenhouses.
The species profiled include plants of ancient origin as well as those of historical and cultural significance to New Caledonia. With the exception of the Araucariaceae family and Amborella trichopoda, the plants are grouped into the local ecosystems in which they live in the wild: Humid forests, maquis, dry forest, freshwater wetlands, and mangrove swamps. In this way, you may begin to understand how the plants are adapted into their local ecosystems — some of the adaptations you may find quite surprising.
These profiles are not meant for plant experts: they lack complete botanical descriptions that require a knowledge of botanical Latin and plant morphology. Instead, the profiles give you a sense of how the plants might appear to you in the wild, where they are found, and what makes them special.