Evolving Role of Botanical Gardens: Hedges against extinction, showcases for botany? (2023)

Botanical gardens, those islands of serenity amid society's increasing din, were defined early on as places “open to the public and in which the plants are labeled.” Today, the purpose of these gardens has greatly expanded to include rescuing plant biodiversity, offering serious programs of research and education to citizens of all ages and instruction for skilled botanists, creating aesthetically pleasing refuges from modern life, and maintaining storage centers both on-site and off-site for the long-term preservation of plant species against the time when they will have vanished from their usual habitats. Even though the role of botanical gardens has expanded, they are faced with constant funding pressures.

From their early days (which go back many centuries), botanical gardens have existed to acquaint humans with the natural world around them. The first such places were physic gardens in which the importance of medicinal plants was recognized. Later, as the age of discovery brought seeds and fruits from distant lands, botanical gardens became vital components of trade. They have always been appreciated for the beauty they harbor. With such a history, then, it was little wonder that when the world's most famous present-day garden, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, in London, blossomed into greatness, it was in part because of the desire of the Third Earl of Bute to produce for royalty a place that, as Kew's historians put it, would “contain all the plants known on Earth.” Botanical gardens have tried to meet that ambitious goal since the mid-eighteenth century.

Inevitably, because the gardens must be fertilized with money from their visitors, they are also places of entertainment, whether that means toy railroads or June weddings or music by Blondie and the Magnets (who appeared at Kew in 2011). Botanical gardens' schedule of events rarely fails to include annual occasions (Halloween is a big one) and events of homegrown interest, such as quilt shows and local ethnic festivals. Many dot their landscapes with statuary for their customers to admire.

Evolving Role of Botanical Gardens: Hedges against extinction, showcases for botany? (1)

Open in new tabDownload slide

The Palm House at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London. Photo credit: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The need to bring paying crowds through the turnstiles is a universal one. Botanical gardens, like many of society's cultural centers, are hurting for money as governmental funding evaporates. Traditionally, rich people gave money to botanical gardens, a practice that garden administrators hope will continue. “There are many different approaches to fundraising, but nothing exceeds private and foundation giving in terms of meeting specific needs,” Patrick Griffith, the executive director of the Montgomery Botanical Center in Miami, said in an interview. But philanthropy is clearly not enough. Most botanical gardens have added a gift shop (or two) and a marketing arm to entice the public.

Modern-day arks

There are few nations of the world without botanical gardens. Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), the London-based center of the gardens' global network, has more than 700 members in 118 countries (see box 1 for a sampling). BGCI has documented over 150,000 plants in cultivation in botanical gardens, of which many thousands are threatened with extinction in the wild. The organization's membership is creating recovery plans for more than 500 of the threatened species. Guardianship of plant germplasm is the gardens' biggest responsibility, says Sara Oldfield, BGCI's secretary general and author of Botanic Gardens: Modern-Day Arks (2010, MIT Press). “I think that's the absolutely essential role of botanic gardens, as the pressures are mounting on wild plants,” she said. “And we have to take care of them wherever we can.”

Box 1.

A stroll through global gardens.

The Arnold Arboretum, administered by Harvard University near Boston, is a blend of public place (it is one of the city's parks) and celebrated research center. Its living collections hold some 15,000 plants, representing almost 4000 taxa.

Quaid-i-Azam University, in Islamabad, Pakistan, is building a botanical garden from scratch, with the aim of researching commercial, medicinal, and ornamental plants. Ecofarming, a “rose boulevard,” solar energy, and picnicking are in the garden's future, says an announcement from the university, “if it does not run into financial snags”—a phrase well known to garden administrators everywhere.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, near Cape Town, South Africa, celebrates the unique flora of the Cape Floristic Region, which is one of the world's six floral kingdoms (geographic zones in which plants grow) and a global hotspot of biodiversity. Botanic Gardens Conservation International's (BGCI's) Oldfield recently visited botanical gardens throughout Africa and believes that they will become increasingly important. “In some countries,” she said, “botanic gardens are at a crossroads because they are both combining their historical functions and increasingly being called upon to answer the world's biodiversity and climate change problems.”

The Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT), founded in 1859, is a US National Historic Landmark. Its 79 acres in the heart of St. Louis contain a glass dome, the Climatron, full of tropical plants, and a premier collection of rare orchids. It offers myriad educational programs for adults and children and leaves few corners of the natural world uncelebrated. (This year the garden mounted an exhibition of tree houses in order to demonstrate “the significant role trees play in our lives and in the health of our planet.”) Behind the scenes, MOBOT is a celebrated global research center, with staff working in every continent save Antarctica. It has its own publishing house, and its plant database, TROPICOS, contains Web-searchable records for more than 900,000 plant names and close to 2 million specimens. In 2010, the garden and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, announced that they had completed The Plant List, a working list of all known land plant species—1.25 million scientific plant names (www.theplantlist.org).

(Video) Ex situ species conservation: predicting plant survival in botanical gardens

The Arizona—Sonora Desert Museum, near Tucson, is dedicated to the appreciation and conservation of the Sonoran Desert, which straddles the US—Mexican border and is best known as the sole home of the saguaro cactus. The 21-acre outdoor museum is a network of paths winding through several microzones that house animals as well as plants—mountain lion and smaller cats, inquisitive prairie dogs, Mexican gray wolves, legions of lizards, and abundant bird life.

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, in southwest London, is internationally famous both for its pleasing layout and architecture and its devotion to research. Kew has more than 30,000 kinds of living plants, more than a million preserved herb specimens, and a huge library and has added most recently its Millennium Seed Bank Project, which keeps germplasm frozen in long-term storage.

Semmozhi Poonga, a recently established garden in Chennai (formerly Madras), India, demonstrates that botanical gardens do not necessarily bloom from ancient roots. This one sprouted in 2010 on the land of the former Drive-In Woodlands Hotel. Its 22 acres already contain more than 500 plant species and 80 trees.

Few botanical gardens today would fail to include in their mission statements a commitment to fighting extinction and the loss of biological diversity. Plant habitat and diversity are disappearing under an onslaught of development, agriculture, overcollecting, and trade. Climate change is affecting plant survival and causing some species to disappear or to try to migrate. Invasive and nonnative species often outcompete native species for habitat. The experts that botanical gardens need are becoming scarce, and university botany departments are shrinking. So too is funding by federal land management agencies. And then there is plant blindness.

Plant blindness is a term, big in plant conservation circles these days, that was coined by professor James Wandersee, of Louisiana State University, and Elizabeth Schussler, of the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center (www.aibs.org/eye-on-education/eye_ on_education_2003_10.html). It refers to what Wandersee and Schussler describe as humans' “inability to see or notice the plants in [their] environment,” “the inability to recognize the importance of plants in the biosphere and in human affairs,” and “the misguided anthropocentric ranking of plants as inferior to animals and, thus, as unworthy of consideration.” Wandersee and Renee M. Clary wrote that “most people in developed nations tend to see plants as merely a green, blurry backdrop for the animals and human-made objects that populate their visual field.” The cure for such blindness, the authors wrote, is “botanical education, plant mentorship, and direct experience” to make “plants become salient, meaningful, and valued.”

Botanical garden directors have been quick to take up the cause. Overcoming plant blindness is a challenge but one for which they are well suited. The gardens have known and preached for years that the extinction dilemma is real and that the green blur beneath people's feet or the canopy over their heads requires attention. The gardens, with their expert abilities with regard to plant conservation, can produce action plans to protect existing species and restore species at risk—and can do so without sacrificing their roles as centers of beauty and spiritual refreshment.

In addition to their in situ collections of germplasm—their attractively laid-out plots of local herbs, angiosperms, and indigenous trees, often supplemented by exotica from faraway parts of the world—botanical gardens are engaged in ex situ conservation. As in the zoological world, off-site cultivation and storage exist as a safeguard against real-world extinction. Although botanical gardens prefer in situ conservation to the artificial nature of ex situ conservation, the latter is a necessary evil. Peter Wyse Jackson, now director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, wrote in 2000, when he was secretary general of BGCI,

As a method of conservation, ex situ [conservation] is inherently deficient in that it is not usually possible to maintain more than a limited sample of the genetic diversity in cultivation or in storage. In addition, it may lead to unpredictable genetic change and can become in practice a form of domestication. It is often regarded as preservation rather than conservation. In contrast, in situ conservation, at least in theory, allows plant populations to develop and evolve in, and as part of, the ecosystem of their natural habitat.

But in the real world, Jackson concluded, both methods are necessary (see box 2).

Box 2.

Peril and progress.

The following is an interview with Kathryn L. Kennedy, president and executive director of the independent, nonprofit Center for Plant Conservation (CPC), a network of botanical institutions “dedicated solely to preventing the extinction of US native plants.” Kennedy, a plant scientist from Texas, oversees a network of collaborating institutions, such as gardens, arboretums, and natural history museums that have botanists on staff. These institutions collect live material from endangered plants, then maintain it as seed, rooted cuttings, or mature plants, all with the aim of someday returning it to its natural habitat.

Has the center's work blunted the extinction crisis?

(Video) Treasures of New York: The New York Botanical Garden

Americans are impatient, want endpoint results, and generally think in terms of short-term problem solving—preferably [spanning] five years or less. But for species imminently on the brink, the situation is dire by definition, and there are seldom quick and dramatic results…. [Achieving and documenting recovery] is a long process, in most cases, easily [spanning] 25–30 years or more to alleviate threats, achieve the level of habitat protection and management that may be needed, reverse decline, achieve self-sustaining levels, and maintain them for a species across its range long enough to deduce with confidence the species is no longer inherently at risk.

I believe we are making progress in both stabilization and full recovery. The Holy Grail for preventing extinction would be removal from the list of endangered or threatened species [because of] stabilization…

Robbins' cinquefoil (Potentilla robbinsiana) is the most notable example of a plant species delisted because [of] improved numbers and condition and threat management. That is a species that one of our participating institutions, the New England Wild Flower Society, worked hard with over 20 years…. This was a very successful partnership project involving our CPC institution, the US Forest Service, [the] US Fish and Wildlife Service, [the] Appalachian Mountain Club, and many other partners…. So we are beginning to see the fruits of efforts [that have been] underway for some time.

Evolving Role of Botanical Gardens: Hedges against extinction, showcases for botany? (3)

Open in new tabDownload slide

Kathryn Kennedy, president and executive director of the Center for Plant Conservation. Photo credit: David Kennedy.

How does CPC view the balance between in situ and ex situ conservation and restoration of plant species?

The species we work with have reached critically low levels. Nearly 75 percent of federally listed species have fewer than 100 individuals remaining in the majority of wild sites left. For most species, this does not represent a viable population…. CPC has always worked in the restoration interface for imperiled plant recovery. We believe that ex situ actions and in situ actions for restoration are both important tools for recovery. Our ex situ work… has been designed from inception to capture the wild traits necessary to support restoration in the wild and [to] provide the plant material that will be needed for population-level restoration.

Should reintroduction of plant species be considered a last-ditch effort?

Reintroduction is definitely intensive care for a species, and you would not undertake it if there was an expectation that habitat management and restoration alone would be sufficient for a species to… respond and recover. But for seriously impaired species and populations, direct work like reintroduction or augmentation may be necessary…. This is because by the time they are listed, plants are in worse shape than many animal populations, and they often suffer from very small populations that are not self-sustaining… and may be suffering genetic erosion, and also because sites have been lost and habitat is fragmented so that increasing the number of populations to fill critical gaps is also needed.

Every species is different, and we conduct every reintroduction we undertake in a well-documented context as an experiment we learn from, so we are still learning a great deal about the process, but we see increasing signs of success…. I just heard from an institution with a species where the reintroduction sites for the species are currently doing relatively better than the wild populations.

Has the status of imperiled plants improved in recent years?

We've made limited but promising progress. The imbalance in funding is problematic and is getting worse, to the extent [that] funding for all endangered species is under attack. It declined significantly in the last [federal] budget and drastically in the current proposed budget. Clearly… substantially more funding is needed if we really want to provide for endangered species recovery…. Plants encompass more than half the federally listed species, but they get less than 5 percent of federal agency expenditures for recovery action. By any standard, then, the endangered species budget is clearly less than half of what is needed.

The ex situ placement of plants brings up another question—one concerning the long-term effects of the “assisted migration” of species that must be moved because of global climate change. Sarah Reichard, a professor at the University of Washington and associate director of the university's botanical garden, says that such migration, also called managed relocation, is controversial. What happens, she wonders, if moved species turn into invasive pests in their new habitats? Plants are creatures not only of their own germplasm but also of their genetically diverse populations and the ecosystems in which they grow. This is another reason, she feels, that “seed banking is one of the most valuable things we can do.” If a plant is to be restored, she said, “we want to preserve the evolutionary potential of the species by having lots of genotypes, in the hopes that some will survive varying conditions.”

The university's garden has a state-of-the-art vault in which the seeds of more than 320 of Washington's rare plant species have been identified and conserved (http://courses.washington.edu/rarecare/SeedVault.htm). Mindful of the potential need to use stored seed in the event of catastrophe, but also of its uncertainties, Reichard and her colleagues have done experimental reintroductions. They are also aware of the fact that, of the 9000 or so globally threatened species that are in botanical garden collections, around one-third are found in only one garden. “Putting all your eggs (or seeds) in one basket is always risky,” she said. “We have divided some of our seed collections and sent them to other vaults for storage.” The garden is similarly diligent in tracking and protecting the diversity of seeds in its ex situ collection.

Searching for resources and relevance

The discussion of how botanical gardens should maintain their collections— in situ, ex situ, or both—is pretty well settled. For gardens with the resources to do so, both methods are necessary tools in the battle against extinction. Gardens value and seek volunteer help to use these tools, and by and large, they get it. What they do not get is enough money.

There is another lively question confronting botanical gardens, however, and it concerns their social relevance (see box 3).

Box 3.

How do you go about growing a botanical garden from the ground up?

Citizens of Charlottesville, Virginia, are in the process of finding out. Some of them, gathered beneath the moniker McIntire Botanical Garden, are hoping that the city will use a plot of centrally situated land as a newborn garden.

As is often the case with urban projects, this one evolved from competing ideas about how to use some land. Paul Goodloe McIntire gave the land to the city in 1926. Half the plot was put to passive recreational use; half was turned into a golf course. Then came a master plan and proposals that some of the land be used instead for a parkway. It was the parkway that ignited the McIntire fire. A coalition was formed to stop the road. Committees formed and legal actions ensued, and out of it all grew the proposal for a botanical garden.

Through the summer of 2011, a series of public hearings was focused on what the public might want in a botanical garden. A Web site was erected. Membership lists were drawn up. Proponents formed a partnership with Whole Foods. (“Our vision and goals align [with those of Whole Foods] to protect and preserve the environment, bring plants and people together, and enrich the community through education and enjoyment,” say the McIntire supporters.) The garden's backers started an educational program to inform citizens of its benefits (it is close to the city center; ideal for community events and educational opportunities; a great destination for children, visitors, and researchers seeking “a place of serenity and beauty while creating opportunities for all to be informed about horticulture, sustainability, and climate change”). Money? Charlottesville has a long history of public—private partnerships. Political support? Three city council members are to be elected later this year, and all of the candidates are believed to support the project.

Helen Flamini, president of the fledgling garden effort, says that the first phase (after the hoped-for city approval) will be the drafting of a master horticultural plan that will extend 25 years into the future. At the base of it all is McIntire's motto: “A garden for everyone!”

(Video) The role of botanic gardens in bio-cultural conservation

Despite efforts to attract more visitors by adding entertainment centers and special event venues, many botanical gardens are still viewed as staid places, reflecting the conservatism of the wealthy people whose money founded them. In a recent report on gardens in the United Kingdom, commissioned by BGCI, it was found that many of them were perceived as “exclusive and elite institutions.” What was needed, concluded the authors of the study, was a broadening of audience appeal and an engagement “with community concerns and needs.” The result, the report said, could be a much-needed reconnection of the public with nature. Of course, greater turnover at the gardens' turnstiles would be a nice byproduct, too.

Evolving Role of Botanical Gardens: Hedges against extinction, showcases for botany? (4)

Open in new tabDownload slide

Carlos Magdalena (shown here), horticulturalist at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London, helped bring Nymphaea thermarum back from near extinction. The water lily, one of the smallest in the world, was rescued from a freshwater hot spring in Rwanda by German botanist Eberhard Fischer. Kew helped propagate the lily's seeds. Photo credit: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Evolving Role of Botanical Gardens: Hedges against extinction, showcases for botany? (5)

Open in new tabDownload slide

The University of Washington's botanical garden maintains a seed vault in which the biodiversity of more than 320 of the state's rare plant species is conserved. Volunteer Sarah Bailey sorts tiny seeds to be added to the collection. Photo credit: Jennifer Youngman.

Some of the efforts to reconnect may seem a far cry from how botanists once envisioned botanical gardens. But gardens do what they must to keep their doors open in lean times. The New York Botanical Garden imports performers from Broadway shows to kick off some of its events. The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, put on a wedding contest said to be valued at $85,000 in which the winning bride got a wedding dress, flowers, food, hair styling (“whimsically romantic”), makeup (“more fierce with rosy cheeks, smoky eyes flared out on sides to create that timeless ′40s look”), a day at a spa, Swarovski earrings, and much more—all of it provided by a couple of dozen vendors, who were prominently named. The garden also runs a beer garden; for $55, visitors can experience “a vintage urban lounge with a hint of Bavarian influence” among the cacti.

(Video) Conserving endangered plants in botanical gardens - John Grimshaw

The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens, in Coral Gables, Florida, is a respected tropical research institution, but it also throws “South Florida's most decadent festival,” in which chocolate is the centerpiece. (Chocolate, after all, comes from a tropical tree.) For $20,000, a vendor at the “Dark Chocolate” level in the 2009 festival got “exclusivity” at the event—prominent display of its logo, the right to use the festival in its promotion and advertising, 20 tickets to the Chocolate VIP party, and other perks. Sponsorship at the “Milk Chocolate (Platinum)” level cost $10,000 and included 12 party tickets. For $500, you got a “Hot Chocolate”—level sponsorship.

The BGCI report on social relevance paid special notice to one unusual garden: the Eden Project. Situated in Cornwall, in the United Kingdom, Eden offers not the peace and quiet that characterize many botanical gardens, starting with its namesake, but, rather, education, “playfulness” (aimed specifically at children), and a clear focus on its “social role and relevance.” Eden, said the report, “is much more focused on community engagement and advocates for social change.” The result may confuse some fans of traditional botanical gardens; among Eden's recent offerings were circus acts and a concert by Primal Scream and the Horrors. The business network “Bloomberg Business-Week” refers to Eden as “a theme park.”

The theme, thinks Sir Ghillean Prance, is a worthy one. Prance is Eden's scientific director, and he has impeccable credentials. He was director of research for the New York Botanical Garden; was a director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and was a founder of its Millennium Seed Bank; and is a noted rainforest scholar.

Evolving Role of Botanical Gardens: Hedges against extinction, showcases for botany? (6)

Open in new tabDownload slide

Botanical gardens play an important role in introducing children to the natural world and to science. Here, students visit the Kew gardens. Photo credit: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

“Eden was not set up as a botanic garden,” said Prance.

We have national botanic gardens in England, Scotland, and Wales, so there was no need for another similar institution…. Eden is a showcase of botany, whose purpose is to show the importance of plants to people and to stimulate sustainable use of all plants. It is indeed a social enterprise organization…. Many things that originated at Eden are being copied and used in botanical gardens. We are quite happy about that, but Eden will not gravitate towards becoming a traditional botanic garden. Because we are a major tourist attraction, we get many visitors who would not normally go to botanic gardens, and so we are reaching a wider audience with the message of the importance of plants and the need to conserve them.

Prance sees no conflict between botanical gardens as places of both scientific research and trapeze acts. “If a garden has a research program, then the visiting public should know about it,” he said, adding that he had made sure that the Millennium Seed Bank at Kew had large windows so the visiting public could see seed researchers at work. “[Some] of the principal differences between a botanic garden and a park [are] that [the former] is involved in science, conservation, and educational activities,” he said. “All of these must be demonstrated to the visitor.”

Whatever botanical gardens' future, the need for social relevance— however it is defined—will not go away. Nor will the need to raise the sums of money that are required for serious research. Some changes may be wrenching (rock music in botanical gardens may take some getting used to), but change is inevitable.

One major factor in the evolving role of gardens will be the ongoing effects of climate change. BGCI notes that, although some plant responses to climate changes are known, “we have only just begun to understand how the interaction of these changes impacts plants and their role in regulating the global climate.” Scientific evidence is mounting that rising temperatures contribute to the migration of plant species—or at least to those plants capable of spreading their seeds into new territories. And, for people and their botanical gardens in Oceania, higher water levels brought on by warming may force migration of both plants and animals.

Defining success among botanical gardens is difficult, given the diversified constituencies of the gardens. “Every garden will have its own definition,” says Reichard of the University of Washington. Asked what a proper definition of success might be, she replied:

I guess a general answer would be “if they are fulfilling their mission.” Ours is “sustaining ecosystems and the human spirit through plant research, display, and education.” Measuring that might be a little difficult, but if you went through each of the garden's departments and found ways that they are supporting the mission, you could say we are successful.

She hastened to explain the “human spirit” part. “I thought that was a little touchy feely when we first added that, but I went along with it,” she said. “But in the few months right after September 11, 2001, gardens all reported a huge increase in visitors, and I got it. If we can provide people some relief from the problems of the world by sharing nature and the beauty of plants, I think that is a pretty nice goal.”

Author notes

Fred Powledge (fredpowledge@nasw.org), a freelance writer living in Tucson, Arizona, is a member of at least four botanical gardens.

© 2011 by American Institute of Biological Sciences

© 2011 by American Institute of Biological Sciences

(Video) University of Bristol Botanic Garden; Curator's tour


What is the role of botanical gardens? ›

Botanical gardens devote their resources to the study and conservation of plants, as well as making the world's plant species diversity known to the public. These gardens also play a central role in meeting human needs and providing well-being.

How do you botanic gardens help maintain biodiversity? ›

Like zoos, botanical gardens often work in tandem with each other, exchanging seeds, pollen, and other genetic information to preserve rare, threatened, or endangered species. In fact, a number of plants that are extinct in the wild are kept alive solely through the efforts of botanical gardens.

What are the advantages of botanical gardens? ›

Botanic gardens have been shown to play a key role in the conservation of plant species, their communities and the wider natural and contrived landscapes, raise public awareness on biodiversity issues, as collectors of living and preserved plants, and advocates in the saving rare or threatened species of plants, many ...

Is botanical Garden man made? ›

Botanical gardens represent both an artificial and natural space for the directed interaction of man with nature. They enable unique encounters not only with plants, but also with botanical knowledge.

What is botanical garden very short answer? ›

A 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.

What is botanical garden answer? ›

A Botanical Garden is a collection, cultivation and display of a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names. Ex situ conservation involves conservation of plants and animals in artificial habitats, which are quite similar to the normal habitats of these organisms.

Are botanical gardens good for environment? ›

Protect the environment

They conserve endangered plant species through living collections as well as through seed banks, and they benefit pollinators like butterflies, honeybees, bats, and birds, which play an important role in the production of our crops and maintaining the health of other plant life.

How can we help protect the environment and preserve biodiversity? ›

Support local and regional projects aimed at tackling biodiversity loss. Buying fewer products and making sure the products you do buy minimise the impact on biodiversity. Investing in ways that promote biodiversity. Reducing waste of consumer goods: food, clothes, electrical appliances, etc.

Why is it important to preserve plant diversity? ›

Biodiversity conservation protects plant, animal, microbial and genetic resources for food production, agriculture, and ecosystem functions such as fertilizing the soil, recycling nutrients, regulating pests and disease, controlling erosion, and pollinating crops and trees.

What is botanical garden examples? ›

A botanical garden is a place where plants, especially ferns, conifers and flowering plants, are grown and displayed for the purposes of research and education.

Why is it called botanical garden? ›

botanical garden, also called botanic garden, originally, a collection of living plants designed chiefly to illustrate relationships within plant groups.

Why are gardens important for the environment? ›

Plants act as highly effective air cleaners, absorbing carbon dioxide, plus many air pollutants, while releasing clean oxygen and fragrance. Also, a dense cover of plants and mulch holds soil in place, reducing erosion and keeping sediment out of streams, storm drains and roads.

What is another name for botanical? ›

In this page you can discover 21 synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, and related words for botanical, like: herbal, floral, herbaceous, concerning plants, biological, agricultural, arboreal, horticultural, paleobotanical, vegetable and phytologic.

What is the full name of botanical garden? ›

Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden.

Who discovered first botanical garden? ›

The Botanical Garden (Orto Botanico) of Padua University, Italy, is regarded as the oldest university Horto Medicinale in the world to still be in its original setting. The garden was founded by the Republic of Venice in 1545 to fulfill an urgent request by the medical school of the University of Padua.

Which is one of the most important feature of a botanical garden? ›

Among correct options the main function of botanical Garden is ex-situ conservation of germplasm.

Which one is the most important function of botanical garden? ›

So, the correct answer is 'They allow ex-situ conservation of germplasm'.

What are the botanical garden give one example of botanical garden? ›

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).

What is botanical example? ›

Botanicals are parts of plants — the leaves, flowers, seeds, bark, roots, twigs, or other parts.

How many botanical gardens are there in the world? ›

Most major cities around the world offer their own botanic garden and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. With over 1775 botanical gardens around the world.

What is botanical used for? ›

A botanical is a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal or therapeutic properties, flavor, and/or scent. Herbs are a subset of botanicals. Products made from botanicals that are used to maintain or improve health are sometimes called herbal products, botanical products, or phytomedicines.

What is the conclusion of botanical garden? ›

Conclusion. Botanical gardens are used to study and conserve plant species. Along with local plant species, it also features plant species from around the world. These gardens play an important role in meeting human needs and providing well-being.

Why are gardens important to humans? ›

It is great for your health, good for your soil, and good for animals. It helps you reduce stress, become independent and learn the values of responsibility. Another advantage is that you can grow your fruit and vegetables, reducing your overall impact on the environment and your carbon footprint.

How do you make a botanical garden? ›

Following Botanical Garden Design Guidelines
  1. Be open to the public even on a limited basis.
  2. Have an aesthetic, educational and/or research purpose.
  3. Keep records of plants.
  4. Have at least one paid or unpaid staff member.
  5. Help visitors identify plants through informative markers or maps.
9 Nov 2019

What is your personal role as an individual to promote the conservation and preservation of our biodiversity and environment? ›

Recycle, reuse and reduce. Recycling decreases pollution by decreasing energy, electricity, and water consumption and the need for landfills. Drive less, walk, ride or carpool more. Learn about low emission vehicle research and availability.

What human activity that helps protect and conserve rare and economically important species? ›

Scientists tell us the best way to protect endangered species is to protect the places where they live. Get involved by volunteering at your local nature center or wildlife refuge. Go wildlife or bird watching in nearby parks. Wildlife related recreation creates millions of jobs and supports local businesses.

How will you conserve and protect the plants around you? ›

In this blog post, you'll discover 4 simple things you can do to help conserve and protect plants from these threats.
  • Grow your own. ...
  • Use natural pesticides. ...
  • Support rewilding from your back garden. ...
  • Stay on the path. ...
  • Support a tree-planting charity.

Why is it important to protect endangered plants? ›

Healthy ecosystems depend on plant and animal species as their foundations. When a species becomes endangered, it is a sign that the ecosystem is slowly falling apart. Each species that is lost triggers the loss of other species within its ecosystem. Humans depend on healthy ecosystems to purify our environment.

How can we protect our environment? ›

Ten Simple Things You Can Do to Help Protect the Earth
  1. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Cut down on what you throw away. ...
  2. Volunteer. Volunteer for cleanups in your community. ...
  3. Educate. ...
  4. Conserve water. ...
  5. Choose sustainable. ...
  6. Shop wisely. ...
  7. Use long-lasting light bulbs. ...
  8. Plant a tree.
11 Aug 2021

What kinds of plants are grown in botanical gardens? ›

In botanical gardens, people normally grow exotic, indigenous, and rare species which are rare but the information from them is more important to know. These botanical gardens may be in greenhouses, poly houses, shade houses with special plants like tropical plants or exotic plants.

What is botanical type? ›

In botany. In botanical nomenclature, a type (typus, nomenclatural type), "is that element to which the name of a taxon is permanently attached." (article 7.2) In botany a type is either a specimen or an illustration.

Where is the famous botanical garden in the world? ›

Kew Gardens | London, England

Nowhere does botanical better than Kew Gardens, which boasts the largest and most diverse botanical collections in the world.

What is another name for a botanical garden? ›

What is another word for botanical garden?
topebotanical gardens
steadingvillage green
country parkpleasure garden
123 more rows

Why is botanical name important? ›

The correct botanical name, linked to a vouchered specimen, is the sine qua non of phytomedical research. Without the unique identifier of a proper binomial, research cannot accurately be linked to the existing literature.

Why are botanical plant names important? ›

That's why we need botanical names, because they they're universal and we then know exactly what we're talking about. There are other slight problems. Names change, plants become reclassified. But basically, that is your key.

What are the 10 benefits of gardening? ›

10 Benefits of gardening for your mental wellbeing
  • Stress relief. ...
  • Using our creativity and problem solving skills. ...
  • Reducing your time using technology. ...
  • Enhancing your general wellbeing. ...
  • Improving your memory as you age. ...
  • Promoting exercise. ...
  • Practising being present. ...
  • You'll start healthy eating habits.
30 Sept 2020

What are the economic benefits of gardening? ›

improved food security; increased availability of food and better nutrition through food diversity; decreased risk through diversification; environmental benefits from recycling water and waste nutrients, controlling shade, dust and erosion, and maintaining or increasing local biodiversity.

How do these gardens benefit the community? ›

By providing access to fresh organic produce, opportunities for physical activity, contact with nature, and neighborhood meeting places, these gardens promote physical and mental health in communities with diverse residents” (Prevention Institute, 2004, p.

Who gives botanical name? ›

Taxonomists have established several “codes” for scientific nomenclature. These codes are universal and are periodically updated by consensus. The protocol for naming species was invented in the 1700s by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus.

Is botanical a real word? ›

Also bo·tan·ic. of, pertaining to, made from, or containing plants: botanical survey; botanical drugs. Pharmacology.

What are botanical elements? ›

The Botanical Elements Course is based on the seven elements of art – LINE, SHAPE, TONE, FORM, COLOUR, TEXTURE, SPACE and shows you how to successfully apply these elements to contemporary botanical painting.

Why is botanical garden famous? ›

Botanical gardens provide an excellent medium for communication between the world of botanical science and the general public. Education programs can help the public develop greater environmental awareness by understanding the meaning and importance of ideas like conservation and sustainability.

Who is the father of botanical garden? ›

W. Scottish botanist known as the founding father of Indian botany. Roxburgh was head of the Calcutta Royal Botanic Gardens for 20 years, during which time he produced the work Flora Indica.

Which is the first botanical garden of the world? ›

The world's first botanical garden was created in Padua in 1545. It still preserves its original layout – a circular central plot, symbolizing the world, surrounded by a ring of water.

Which is the most famous botanical garden in the world? ›

Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England – known as the largest botanical garden in the world, this 300-acre garden near London is home to the world's biggest collection of living plants.

What is the shape of the botanical garden? ›

The Botanical Garden of the University of Padua, UNESCO site since 1997, is the oldest in the world. It has been established in 1545 under the name of Hortus Simplicium and it has maintained its original circular shape and location.

What is the difference between a garden and a botanical garden? ›

According to merriam-webster.com/dictionary, a botanical garden is a “garden with greenhouses for the culture, study and exhibition of special plants.” It can have all kinds of plants: bushes, shrubs, bedding plants, flowers, vegetables, herbs, trees.

What is the role of botanical gardens in Biosystematic studies? ›

Universities run botanical gardens for scientific research programmes in plant taxonomy. Their major role is to maintain documented collection of living plants for the purpose of conservation, display, scientific research and education.

What is the full meaning of botanical? ›

: of or relating to plants or botany. : derived from plants.

What is botanical garden with example? ›

A botanical garden is a place where plants, especially ferns, conifers and flowering plants, are grown and displayed for the purposes of research and education.

What are the features of botanical garden? ›

Features of a good botanical garden include a collection of greenhouses, shaded houses, tropical plants, alpine plants and other exotic plants. These gardens contain special botanical collections such as cacti and different succulents, herb gardens, and plants from certain parts of the world.

What botanical garden means? ›

botanical garden, also called botanic garden, originally, a collection of living plants designed chiefly to illustrate relationships within plant groups.

How does gardening improve quality of life? ›

Gardeners are reported to eat more fruit and vegetables because of exposure (Devine et al., 1999), and this, in conjunction with higher physical activity, results in healthier lifestyles and increased quality of life (Blanchard et al., 2004; CDC, 2007; Lancaster, 2004).


1. A New Era of Plant Conservation at the San Diego Botanic Garden with Jon Rebman
(CNPS-San Diego)
2. Oxford at Home: Meet the Botanic Garden and Arboretum
(University of Oxford)
3. James Ault-Chicago Botanic Garden
4. CLIMATRON TOUR at the Missouri Botanical Garden — Ep. 255
(Summer Rayne Oakes)
5. Top Ten Attractions at Kew Gardens
(Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew)
6. Traditional Farming and Crops Diversity for a More Resilient Future
(New York Botanical Garden)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Delena Feil

Last Updated: 01/14/2023

Views: 6055

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Delena Feil

Birthday: 1998-08-29

Address: 747 Lubowitz Run, Sidmouth, HI 90646-5543

Phone: +99513241752844

Job: Design Supervisor

Hobby: Digital arts, Lacemaking, Air sports, Running, Scouting, Shooting, Puzzles

Introduction: My name is Delena Feil, I am a clean, splendid, calm, fancy, jolly, bright, faithful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.