Gardens for Systematic Study

Botanic gardens are gardens where plants are gathered together for systematic study. Often they imitate a number of naturally occurring ecosystems: the San Francisco Botanical Garden has created a cloud forest section while the basement of the Palm House (Figure 1) in the Royal

Botanical Gardens at Kew (Figure 2) features marine and intertidal habitats, for example. But in botanic gardens the term ecology means far more than imitation, and the gardens' ecological impact has changed as philosophies and world views have evolved.

Originally, interest was directed toward collecting and studying plants themselves, with little care taken in

Figure 1 The Palm House at Kew is one of its most distinctive features, and inspired many other glasshouses in other botanic gardens. Photograph by M. Soderstrom.

Table 1 Selected botanic gardens

Figure 1 The Palm House at Kew is one of its most distinctive features, and inspired many other glasshouses in other botanic gardens. Photograph by M. Soderstrom.

Figure 2 Bluebells growing under trees in the Conservation Area of The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Photograph by M. Soderstrom.

recording details of the plants' habitats or in safeguarding the ecosystems. Later, during the period of what might be called the imperial botanic garden, Western countries used botanic gardens to transfer plants from one part of the world to another, with sometimes devastating consequences for the ecosystems receiving the foreign plants. Most recently, botanic gardens have begun to play a major role in conserving endangered plants and preserving threatened habitats. Nearly 2500 botanic gardens are listed with Botanic Gardens Conservation International. To search for gardens by country, refer to http:// Table 1 lists a few selected gardens.

According to Botanic Garden Conservation International, at the beginning of the twenty-first century some 2000 botanic gardens in 148 countries harbored representatives of more than 80 000 plant species, or about one-third of the vascular plant species in the world. The gardens range from large ones like Kew and the New York Botanical Garden, where gorgeous plant displays are coupled with scientific research, to much smaller ones like

Early botanical gardens Orto Botanico at Pisa, Italy: founded c. 1545 Orto Botanico at Padua, Italy: founded c. 1545 Hortus Botanicus, Leiden, Netherlands: founded 1590 Le Jardin des plantes de la University Montpellier, France: founded 1593

Oxford Physic Garden, Oxford University, UK: founded 1621 Le Jardin des plantes, Paris, France: founded 1626

Some other notable European gardens

Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem,

Berlin, Germany Linnaean Garden, Botaniska tr^dgärden, Uppsala, Sweden Jardin Botanico de Madrid, Spain Jardim Botanico, University of Coimbra, Portugal The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London, UK The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, Scotland Eden Project, Cornwall UK The National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK

Some gardens with colonial roots

Amani Nature Reserve, Tanzania

Bogor Botanical Gardens, Bogor, Indonesia

Indian Botanical Gardens, Shibpur, Kolkata, India

Pamplemousse Botanic Gardens, Mauritius

Rimba Ilmu Botanic Gardens, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Royal Botanic Gardens, Trinidad

Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore

Some notable New World gardens USA

Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Superior, AZ

Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York

Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago, IL

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Fairchild, FL

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, outside Hilo, Hawaii

Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO

New York Botancial Gardens, New York

San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum, CA


Jardin botanique, Montreal, QC Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton, OM UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research, Vancouver, BC

Latin America Belize Botanic Garden, San Ignacio, Belize Jardin Botanico Francisco Javier Clavijero, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico

The UNAM Botanical Garden, Mexico City, Mexico Jardim Botanico de Säo Paulo - Säo Paulo, Brazil Jardim Botanico do Rio de Janeiro - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Some Asian gardens

Maharashtra (Mahim) Nature Park in Mumbai, India Narayana Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary, North Wayanad,

Kerala, India Beijing Botanical Garden, Beijing, China Lijiang Botanic Garden & Research Station, Yunnan Province, China

Nanjing Botanical Garden, Nanjing, China Koishikawa Botanical Gardens, Tokyo, Japan


Table 1 (Continued)

Some Southern Hemisphere gardens Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town, South Africa

Royal Botanic Gardens - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Royal Botanic Gardens - Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Alice Springs Desert Park and Olive Pink Botanic Garden,

Northern Territory, Australia Bafut Botanic Garden in northwest Cameroon

Nezahat Gokyigit Memorial Park, near Istanbul, Turkey and Bafut Botanic Garden in northwest Cameroon which concentrate on safeguarding and studying local biosystems.

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