Cooktown Botanic Gardens. Established in 1878 the Gallop Botanic Reserve encompases 62.3 Ha (154 acres) on the edge of Cooktown and contains the Cooktown Botanic Gardens and walking trails to Finch Bay and Cherry Tree Bay.
Nature’s Powerhouse is an innovative building located in the beautiful, heritage listed Cooktown Botanic Gardens and includes the Cooktown and Cape York Peninsula Visitor Information Centre, Vera’s café, a shop, Charles Tanner Gallery and the Vera Scarth-Johnson Gallery.
The Cooktown and Cape York Peninsula Visitor Information Centre provides comprehensive visitor information and accommodation and tour booking services.
The Vera Scarth-Johnson Gallery displays the only collection of original botanical illustrations of flora from the region. Many plants can be found in the gardens.
Walking with my daughter in these gardens is always a wonderful experience. She tells me about the trees and bushes. In all the years she has lived in Cooktown she has learned a lot about the vegetation of Queensland .
Everywhere we see those signs with extra information. The gardens have changed every time I came to see them.
Vanilla Orchid, the vine of which grows in a zigzag pattern.
Like many orchids, the vanilla bean orchid is an epiphyte, and lives on a host tree without drawing nutrients from it. The vine clambers up to the treetops in a zigzag fashion, exhibiting long succulent lance-shaped leaves. Each blooming branch will bear one to two dozen creamy blooms, for a total of several hundred flowers on a mature vine.
In its native habitat, a mature vanilla orchid vine can grow to 300 feet or greater. However, you can keep your vine to a manageable 20 feet in greenhouse conditions. Training the vine laterally instead of straight up allows you to get more vine in a smaller space.
The vanilla orchid grows best in bright filtered shade and high humidity. Ideal temperatures are between 60-70 degrees F at night, and 80-95 degrees F during the day. The plants are not frost tolerant.