Botanical Gardens

  • From the time of Theophrastus, gardens have contributed to the science of botany. But, there was an impetus to the botanical explorations only in the Post-Linnean period.
  • In ancient Indian culture, cultivation of food and medicinal plants is known since 4000 to 2000 B.C. The 'Hanging Gardens of Babylon' are amongst the wonders of the ancient world.
  • During the Middle Ages, from A.D. 600-1600, there was a lapse in learning and introduction of plants.
  • In the seventeenth century, there was a revival in the interest and by eighteenth century, most of the famous Botanical Gardens known today had already been established.

  The functions of a botanical garden are:

  1. Provide records of local flora for monographic work.
  2. Provide facilities for collections and identification of living plant material for biosystematic studies / references.
  3. Supply seeds and material for botanical investigations.
  4. Botanical gardens have an aesthetic appeal and attract a large number of visitors for observing general plant diversity.
  5. Provides means of ex-situ conservation strategies.
  • There are about 525 botanical gardens in various countries, but only about 125 have documented collections of authenticated taxa.

       6.The International Association of Botanical Gardens was established in 1962. This association has published the International Directory of Botanical Gardens (1983).


  • The Indian Botanical Garden, Kolkata, India: It was founded in 1787, by Lt.Col. Robert Kyd. It covers an area of 273 acres and contains collections of world's tropical plants.
  • It is one of the greatest botanical gardens of the world and one of the first to be established in tropics.
  • William Roxburgh, 'Father of Indian Botany' was its director from 1793 to 1813.
  • It has the largest herbarium of east and is famous for the Great Banyan tree, Ficus benghalensis, which is two centuries old, the palm houses, nurseries and the Amazon lily, Victoria amazonica (Nymphaeaceae), the plant with the largest leaves.

It is now under control of BSI (Botanical Survey of India).

Other botanical gardens of India are -   

Lloyd Botanical Garden                    – Darjeeling
National Botanical Garden               – Lucknow
Lalbag Gardens                                – Bangalore
Saharanpur Botanical Garden          – Saharanpur