Interior of the Museum of Economic Botany, Adelaide Botanic Gardens.

Dark Roots: The Museum’s Hidden History

In 1881, Inspector of Police, Paul Foelsche, donated a small bag of the Aboriginal stimulant ‘pituri’ to the museum. Foelsche was also involved in some of the most bloody massacres of First Nations people in the Northern Territory. Entering the Museum of Economic Botany, visitors are beamed back to 1881 when  its doors first opened. Botanical specimens, laid out with taxonomic precision and cabinets crowded with oils, dyes, fibres and medicines, once provided European colonisers with tips on  what to grow to turn a profit. But who sourced them, where were they collected from, and how did their collection and cultivation impact communities? What was the human cost of ‘Economic Botany’? 

*Please note: This event has had a change of date and time since the release of the printed program. Correct dates and times are listed below as Wed 3 May 12.30pm – 1.30pm and Sat 6 May 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Presented by Adelaide Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium