What is the link between the world of ferns and internationally-renowned entertainer Lady Gaga? Come to the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney and find out!
The singer-songwriter actually has 19 fern species named after her!
One of the more prominent, Gaga Monstraparva*, is featured in a surprising new display in the Garden’s refurbished Sydney Fernery with some innovative and eye-catching interpretive signs have been used to capture visitors’ imagination.
This display is part of a program of educational initiatives introduced just in time for spring, when record numbers of visitors seek out the renowned showcase of blooms along the Garden’s historic ‘Spring Walk’.
“The new additions in the Fernery are full of weird and wonderful facts, amazing images and intriguing stories,” said Sophie Daniel. Team Leader, Education and Community Programs.
“Becoming immersed in fabulous stories while standing amongst our wonderful plants is a special experience. We may be Australia’s oldest scientific institution, but we’re always looking for new ways to help build strong advocates for our flora well into the future.”
Visitors to the Fernery can:
- see the world’s tallest and fastest-growing tree ferns (Cyathea) — we’ve got 12 different species!
- be dwarfed by the (up to) eight-metre fronds of the world’s biggest fern — the rare Angiopteris evecta — commonly known as the Giant Fern (listed as endangered in NSW)
- check out one of the rarest ferns, seldom found in the wild — Cyathea baileyana or Wig Tree Fern
- learn why ferns are our ‘heavy metal heroes’ — they absorb poisons such as lead and mercury, purifying waterways and decontaminating soil.
The Fernery is open to the public from 9 am to 4.30 pm daily. Entry is free of charge.
* Gaga monstraparva (monster-little) is named after Lady Gaga’s fans. When plants or whole family groups of plants need to be named, the naming rights go to the scientist who untangles that part of the family tree.