CYCAD GARDENS of EUDLO – A History By Peter Heibloem
CYCAD GARDENS of EUDLO was established 26 years ago when Peter Heibloem purchased a North Queensland tropical cycad Lepidozamia Hopei from a retired nurseryman who had grown it from seed.
Peter joined the Palm and Cycad Society of Australia, where he learned about African cycads. Peter spent 12 years traveling across 10 African countries studying and photographing African cycads. These trips became a book “Cycads of Central Africa” published by the Palm and Cycad Society of Australia.
Peter exchanged seed with dozens of collectors in South Africa over a 5-year period before he started importing. He set up a private quarantine facility and organised exchange programmes from various botanical gardens and nurseries in several African countries. Thousands of plants were imported into Australia on special permits over a 9-year period which has formed the basis of the garden.
The gardens have been featured on 5 national television programmes, on Burke’s Backyard DVD ‘World’s Greatest Gardens’, and featured in several books showcasing unique Australian gardens. The gardens were opened to the public throughout the Australia Open Garden Scheme, with over 12,000 people visiting across 7 weekends.
Today the botanical collection consists of over 3,000 individual specimens which were either imported or grown from seed over the last 26 years. In addition, the gardens also feature around 200 species of cactus, 50 species of aloes, 30 species of Euphorbia’s, many species of Agaves, Yuccas, & other succulents, over 5,000 Bromeliads, and many rare flowering trees including 6 species of Boabs from Madagascar and other unusual plants to numerous to mention.