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Throughout HMB Endeavour’s Pacific voyage, botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander collected thousands of plants, many previously unknown in Europe. Together they form the world’s oldest collection of Australian plants. Specimens were quickly sketched by Sydney Parkinson and, once back in England, turned into watercolour studies. Solander and Banks classified and named them according to the European scientific system.

Australia’s First Peoples have a much older knowledge of these plants. It comes from living on this continent for more than 65,000 years. Plants featured in creation stories were markers of different seasons, and provided food, medicine and materials for making everyday items. In 1770 there was little direct contact between the Endeavour’s botanists and Indigenous people, so they missed many opportunities to tap into this knowledge.

This interactive allows you to explore some of the Australian plants Banks and Solander collected. It presents both Indigenous and European knowledge of them. It also includes some plants significant to Indigenous people, which were not collected by Banks and Solander.

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Locations

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Kamay

Botany Bay

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Explore local species

Credits
  • "The morn was rainy and we who had got already so many plants were well contented to find an excuse for staying on board to examine them a little at least. In the afternoon however it cleard up and we returnd to our old occupation of collecting, in which we had our usual good success."

    Banks, 2 May 1770

  • "The morn was rainy and we who had got already so many plants were well contented to find an excuse for staying on board to examine them a little at least. In the afternoon however it cleard up and we returnd to our old occupation of collecting, in which we had our usual good success."

    Banks, 2 May 1770

Credits

Plant - Local Species