National Botanical Gardens, Bangladesh
with other Large Botanical Gardens in Asia
A botanical garden is a place where a wide range of plants are collected, cultivated and preserved for the purpose of recreation, education and research. Currently, there are 1775 botanical gardens in almost 148 countries around the world. A botanical garden serves a country in many ways. Beside the preservation and cultivation of various plant species, a botanical garden provides job opportunities to a large number of people. Tourists are attracted by the botanical gardens which contribute a lot to the national economy.
Number of Notable Botanical Gardens Different Countries in Asia
Name of the Country Number of Botanical Gardens China 152 India 131 Indonesia 5 Japan 64 Singapore 2 South Korea 54 Taiwan 5 Thailand 12 Bangladesh 3 Pakistan 20 (Number of Public Botanical Garden is 3) Sri Lanka 7
( Source: Botanic Garden Network in Asia).
The world is blessed with having many botanical gardens. Here’s a list of the nine oldest botanical gardens in the world.
List of nine oldest botanical gardens in the world
- Orto botanico di Pisa (1544), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
- Orto botanico di Padova (1545), Padua, Italy.
- Orto botanico di Firenze (December 1, 1545), Florence, Italy.
- Botanical Garden of the University of Valencia, ( as early as 1567 – current site in 1802), Valencia, Spain.
- Leipzig Botanical Garden (1580 – but as early as 1542), Leipzig, Saxony, Germany.
- Botanischer Garten Jena, (1586), Jena, Thuringia, Germany.
- Hortus botanicus Leiden, (1590) Leiden, Netherlands.
- Jardin des plantes de Montpellier ( 1593), Montpellier, France.
- University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden( 1600), Copenhagen, Denmark.
Though the main functions of botanical gardens are almost the same, each botanical garden has it’s very specific resources and features. Geography itself provides basic resources to these botanical gardens. However, Bangladesh owns three botanical gardens among them the National Botanical Garden is the largest. On the other hand Bogor Botanical Garden and Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden are respectively the largest and second largest botanical gardens in Asia. A comparative analysis among these three botanical gardens are given below.
A Comparison among Bangladesh National Botanical Garden and the two largest Botanical Gardens in Asia.
National Botanical Garden, Bangladesh
Location: Mirpur, Bangladesh
Total Area: 84 hectares
Year of Creation: 1961
Plant Diversity: There are around 56,000 individual trees, herbs and shrubs in this botanical garden. Among these plant species 226 are of the rare species and the total consists of 100 rare plants, 26 rare shrubs, 50 orchids and 50 species of cactus.
Animal Diversity: Birds, Butterflies and other insects are usually seen in this garden.
- About 226 rare plant species are conserved in this garden which helps to protect the Biodiversity.
- Tissue culture of orchid and other rare plants is also helpful for the preservation of biodiversity.
- This garden also collects and preserves foreign seeds and seedlings.
- It plays a vital role by providing a safe habitat for thousands of migratory birds.
- A study found that 281 economically important angiosperm species are cultivated and preserved here.
- These species meet the need of food, medicine, timber, fruit, vegetable, fuel wood and so on.
- The garden provides job opportunities to many young botanists.
Bogor Botanical Garden, Indonesia
Location: Bogor, West java, Indonesia.
Total Area: 87 hectares
Year of Creation: May 18, 1817
Plant Diversity: There are about 12,376 plants specimens in this botanical garden. The garden has nine trees which are suitable to be proposed as ‘heritage’ trees.
Animal Diversity: This garden provides habitation for many animals like birds, bats, monitor lizards, snakes, insects and mammals.
- More than 24 research institutions on natural science are available in this garden and the research conducted in these institutions protect Biodiversity.
- The garden preserves rare, endemic, economically and scientifically valued plant species.
- This garden contributes to increasing the wealth of the government by developing plantations for agro industries.
- The garden has a reputation to be a ‘World Research Contre’ of tropical biology.
- It creates a bridge between plant conservation and people’s empowerment which has a great economic value.
- The garden also performs a significant role in industrial plant acclimatisation like tea, palm oil, coffee etc.
Peradeniya Botanical Garden, SriLanka
Location: Peradeniya Road, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Total Area: 60 hectares
Year of Creation: Around 1750
Plant Diversity: The plant variety of this botanical garden consists of 4000 plant species. The variety includes endemics and species extinct in the wild.
Animal Diversity: Bats, Monkeys, monitor lizards, chameleons are seen in this garden.
- There is an orchid house with more than 300 varieties of orchids in this garden.
- The palm collection in the garden with 220 species is the best palm collection in the world.
- The garden works as a horticultural activity.
- The country’s tea industry in the late 1870s was flourished by this garden.
- The brazilian ‘Rubber tree’ which is cultivated in this garden has become a vital crop producer to Sri Lanka’s economy.
Research, Education and Conservation are the key functions of any botanical garden. Almost all the botanical gardens in the world preserve several plant species to protect Biodiversity. Besides, many botanical gardens in the world have plant shops selling flowers which are economically significant. Have we ever thought why the Earth’s ecosystem has become exaggerated? The cause is rapid industrialisation, urbanisation and overpopulation. They pose threats to our ecosystem.
How can we minimize these threats? Botanical gardens can minimize these threats by providing a medium of communication between the general public and botanical science. It’s a matter of regret that many botanical gardens have become closed for lack of financial support. Nowadays the reputation of a botanical garden is judged by the publications from herbarium instead of focusing it’s living collection. Government and NGOs should come forward to protect their botanical gardens.