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Photographs supplied by Heather Stevens

This rare Brazilian rainforest tree with the large leaves, Chrysophyllum imperiale, was planted by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1868 in commemoration of his stay in New South Wales. 

The 1867-68 visit of the little-known Prince Alfred to Australia was the very first by a member of the British Royal family. The tour - to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane - was tumultuous, to say the least. It produced an outpouring of national exaltation and national shame following an assassination attempt on the Prince. 

On 12 March 1868, Irishman Henry James O'Farrell shot the Prince at a public function in Clontarf, Sydney. O'Farrell was immediately arrested, and was convicted and hanged on 21 April that same year.

While the Prince made a quick recovery and was able to leave Australia by early April, many public 'indignation' meetings were held around the country in the weeks after the assassination attempt.

From the Herald, April 3. Yesterday morning, his Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh paid a visit to the Botanical Gardens, and planted two trees there in commemoration of his stay in New South Wales. The Duke was accompanied by Lieutenant Haig and the Hon. the Minister for Lands (Mr. J. B. Wilson). At the entrance to the Gardens he was received by the director (Mr. C. Moore), and among those who were present at the ceremony were Dr. Bennett and Mr. James Laidley. His Royal Highness having been conducted to the lawn to the south of Farm Cove, was addressed by Mr. Moore, who, in requesting him to plant the tree (Theophrasta imperialis), remarked that it was, he believed, the first individual of the species which had been introduced into these colonies.

It was called "Theophrasta" after the distinguished natural historian of that name, and imperialis" on account of the magnificent leaves. The Prince then planted the shrub, and Mr. Moore remarked that the designation "imperialis" became additionally appropriate from the fact that this particular tree had been placed in the earth by the hands of his Royal Highness. The Duke went a few paces to the eastward and planted another tree, a Dammara robusta, a pine tree found on the east coast of Australia, remarkable for the altitude which it attains, and for its close affinity in botanical characteristics to the Norfolk Island pine. The ceremony, which did not occupy more than a quarter of an hour, having been concluded, his Royal Highness proceeded to the jetty, where the barge was in readiness to convey him on board the Galatea. He embarked about a quarter to eleven o'clock, amidst the cheers of a large number of spectators who had assembled at the stairs.
Newcastle Chronicle (NSW), 8 April 1868.



Address:Mrs Macquaries Road, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, 2000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.865556
Long: 151.2175
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Tree
Monument Theme:Government


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 2nd April, 1868
Front Inscription

Plaque :

Chrysophyllum imperiale

Brazil - This rarely cultivated species is restricted to diminishing forests near Rio de Janiero where it is now rare.  
(Martiusella imperialis is a synonym).

Family Sapotaceae 14509

H.R.H. Prince Alfred, Duke of Edunburgh, planted this tree in 1868.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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