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Botanical Gardens

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  • Last Updated : 10 Oct, 2022
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Life forms and living processes are known as the science of biology. Growth, reproduction, capability to smell the terrain and mount a suitable response is unique features of living organisms. Diversity in the living world or biodiversity is the occurrence of a variety of life forms different in morphology, size, colour, anatomy, habitats and habits. Taxonomical aids are the collections of samples or preserved organisms which help in extensive research for the identification of various taxonomic ranking. These include Herbarium, Botanical Gardens, Museum, Zoological Parks and Keys.These are known as the tools for the study of Taxonomy. Taxonomy is the branch of study that deals with principles and procedures of identification, nomenclature and classification of organisms. Let’s understand the detailed explanation of Botanical Gardens.

Botanical Gardens

The botanical garden or botanic garden is a garden dedicated to the collection, cultivation, preservation and display of an especially wide range of plants, which are typically labelled with their botanical names. Botanical Gardens have collections of living flora species for reference. Plant species in these gardens are grown for identification purposes and each plant is labelled indicating its botanical name and its family. The famous botanical gardens are at Kew(England), Indian Botanical Garden, Howrah(India) and at National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow(India). The approximate number of botanic gardens in the world is 2500. Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England is known as the largest botanical garden in the world. It has 300-acre garden near London and is home to the world’s biggest collection of living plants. The Botanical Garden in Berlin is the second largest botanical garden in the world.

History of Botanical Gardens

The gardens are as old as human development. The man started to cultivate plants in gardens, to feed himself conveniently with food, to provide drugs, or to cultivate beautiful flowers. Indeed veritably primitive tribes engage in vegetable gardening and frequently, unexpectedly, flower gardening.

In classical civilization, gardens were important features on the grounds of temples or palaces, as well as of the homes of the nobility. The number of plants cultivated by the ancient Egyptians was a source of fascination to neighbouring peoples. The “Hanging Gardens” of Babylon are add up among the admiration of the ancient world. With Renewable and the widening of men’s horizons, the art of gardening prospered as a result of new enthusiasm. Curious and valuable plants from the recently discovered lands brought a new zest for plant introduction. The sixteenth-century herbalists, as we have seen,  familiarize the world with hundreds of plants, numerous of them growing in gardens. Mounting interest in the growing flowers for the beautification of grounds around homes led to the preaface of species from parts of the world. 

In India, the botanic gardens have existence at a very early date probably as early as 546 B.C. The famous Indian physician Jivaka Komarabhacca who thrive during the region of King Bimbisara of Magadh (modern Bihar) from 546 to 494 B.C. made an intensive survey of the medicinal plants of India. These gardens have been in existence all over India for thousands of years and have been repeatedly mentioned in ancient Sanskrit literature. They are roled as the botanical gardens of the Old World.

The botanical gardens reflected the growth of the human culture of the regions in which they were situated today, and shine back the glory of a nation or of a country. The Indian history, which runs through thousands of years, we find that these gardens flourished with the rise of different dynasties and dwindle down with their fall. During the progress of the Mughals, East India Company, and British, botanical gardens prospered and with their fall, the garden decayed. Now with India’s independence, they are again flourishing up. A network of botanical gardens has come up and is functioning throughout the country with intensive botanical activity.

Importance of Botanical Gardens

Botanical gardens and Herbaria are important places for methodical study and exploration on the flora of the region. These are places of great academic and profitable significance. A detailed explanation of botanical gardens is follows. Botanical gardens are the institutions that maintain the living plant collections of different kinds of plants, including ornamental and cultivated ones, wild, medicinal, of economic importance, of various geographical regions, of specific interest, etc. They are of great worth not only to the botanists, horticulturists and foresters but also to the millions of visitors.

A vast botanical garden possesses plant species from various corners of the world. It also includes glasshouses, a library, a herbarium, research laboratories, and several variety of resources including photographs, paintings, illustrations, reprints, note-books and specimens of several types, it is, thus, not simply a garden but a botanical institution.

Luca Ghini was the first person to establish a botanical garden on scientific criteria in 1543 at Pisa in Italy. 

Role of Botanical Gardens

  1. Taxonomic Studies-Botanical gardens give precious information on various plants. Local flora, bonsai, rare plants etc. They act as “outdoor laboratories” for scholars and researchers. It helps us to know about our biodiversity, its features and various other information.
  2. Botanical Research- For botanical research  botanical gardens supply a wide range of plant species, seeds, flowers, and fruits. Research on plants enhance our intellectual life and adds to our knowledge about other life supporting processes.
  3. Conservation-Botanical gardens conserve and generate rare species and genetic diversity. Conservating species may help diversity from fading which could help the upcoming generation with their knowledge about plant species.
  4. Education-They supply facilities for courses in local flora, horticulture, hybridization, plant propagation, etc. These educational programmes include workshops, and training sessions for teachers, students, naturalists, etc.
  5. Public Services-They helps the public in identifying the local and exotic plant species; provide instructions for home gardening, and propagation of plants; supply plant resource; through sale or exchange.
  6. Aesthetics and Resources-They attract people who have made gardening their hobby. These gardens also play a essential role in fulfilling human needs and providing well-being.
  7. Employment-They create job opportunities for a large number of young botanists. It makes people employed by providing work at a different levels of jobs.

Functions

  • Growing important plants of local flora.
  • Providing living plant material for systematic work.
  • Keeping a record of local flora.
  • Supplying seeds and materials for different side of botanical research.
  • Growing and maintaining rare and endangered plants.

Examples

  1. Main Botanical Garden, Moscow. The largest garden is spread over an area of 900 acres.
  2. Royal Botanical Garden, Kew (England). It has an area of 300 acres but grows a very huge number of flora species.
  3. Indian Botanical Garden Howrah, India. It is the largest botanical garden in Asia spread over an area of 273 acres.
  4. Lioyd Botanical Garden, Darjeeling(India). Occupying an area of only 40 acres.
  5. National Botanical Garden, Lucknow(India). The garden has an area of 70 acres.
  6. Lalbag Gardens, Bangaluru,(India). This garden was founded by Hyder Ali.

FAQs on Botanical Gardens

Question 1: What are Botanical Gardens? 

Answer: 

Botanical gardens are institutions that maintain the living plant collections of different varieties of plants.

Question 2: Define key points of Botanical Gardens.

Answer: 

Open to the public, proper labelling of the plants, Monitoring of the plants in the collections.

Question 3: What is special about Botanical Gardens?8

Answer:

Botanical gardens devote their resources to the study and conservation of plants, as well as to making the world’s plant species diversity known to the public.

Question 4: Who established the Botanical garden?

Answer:

The gardens were originally founded in 1786 by Colonel Kyd, containing about 12,000 living plants and over two and half million dried plant specimens in the herbarium collected all over the world.

Question 5: What is the largest Botanical garden in the world?

Answer:

Royal Botanic gardens in Kew is the largest Botanical garden in the world.


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