Botanical garden

Botanical garden

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A botanical gardenThe terms botanic and botanical, and garden or gardens are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word botanic is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is a well-tended area
Area
Area is a quantity that expresses the extent of a two-dimensional surface or shape in the plane. Area can be understood as the amount of material with a given thickness that would be necessary to fashion a model of the shape, or the amount of paint necessary to cover the surface with a single coat...

 displaying a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical name
Botanical name
A botanical name is a formal scientific name conforming to the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature and, if it concerns a plant cultigen, the additional cultivar and/or Group epithets must conform to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants...

s. It may contain specialist plant collections such as cacti
Cactus
A cactus is a member of the plant family Cactaceae. Their distinctive appearance is a result of adaptations to conserve water in dry and/or hot environments. In most species, the stem has evolved to become photosynthetic and succulent, while the leaves have evolved into spines...

 and succulent plant
Succulent plant
Succulent plants, also known as succulents or fat plants, are water-retaining plants adapted to arid climates or soil conditions. Succulent plants store water in their leaves, stems, and also in roots...

s, herb gardens, plants from particular parts of the world, and so on; there may be greenhouse
Greenhouse
A greenhouse is a building in which plants are grown. These structures range in size from small sheds to very large buildings...

s, shadehouses, again with special collections such as tropical plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

s, alpine plant
Alpine plant
Alpine plants are plants that grow in the alpine climate, which occurs at high elevation and above the tree line. Alpine plants grow together as a plant community in alpine tundra.-Alpine plant diversity:...

s or other exotic plants. Visitor services at a botanical garden might include tours, educational displays, art exhibition
Art exhibition
Art exhibitions are traditionally the space in which art objects meet an audience. The exhibit is universally understood to be for some temporary period unless, as is rarely true, it is stated to be a "permanent exhibition". In American English, they may be called "exhibit", "exposition" or...

s, book rooms, open-air theatrical and musical performances and other entertainment.

Botanical gardens are often run by universities or other scientific research organizations and often have associated herbaria
Herbarium
In botany, a herbarium – sometimes known by the Anglicized term herbar – is a collection of preserved plant specimens. These specimens may be whole plants or plant parts: these will usually be in a dried form, mounted on a sheet, but depending upon the material may also be kept in...

 and research programmes in plant taxonomy
Plant taxonomy
Plant taxonomy is the science that finds, describes, classifies, identifies, and names plants. It thus is one of the main branches of taxonomy.Plant taxonomy is closely allied to plant systematics, and there is no sharp boundary between the two...

 or some other aspect of botanical science. In principle their role is to maintain documented collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display and education, although this will depend on the resources available and the special interests pursued at each particular garden.

The origin of modern botanical gardens can be traced to European medieval medicinal gardens known as physic gardens, the first of these being founded during the Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

 in the 16th century. This early concern with medicinal plants changed in the 17th century to an interest in the new plant imports from explorations outside Europe as botany gradually established its independence from medicine. In the 18th century systems of nomenclature and classification were devised by botanists working in the herbaria and universities associated with the gardens, these systems often being displayed in the gardens as educational "order beds". With the rapid rise of European imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 in the late 18th century botanic gardens were established in the tropics and economic botany
Economic botany
Economic botany can be very broadly defined as a study of relationships between plants and people. Economic botany contributes significantly to anthropology, biology, conservation, botany, and other fields of science...

 became a focus with the hub at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, usually referred to as Kew Gardens, is 121 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses between Richmond and Kew in southwest London, England. "The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" and the brand name "Kew" are also used as umbrella terms for the institution that runs...

, near London.

Over the years botanical gardens, as cultural and scientific organisations, have responded to the interests of botany
Botany
Botany, plant science, or plant biology is a branch of biology that involves the scientific study of plant life. Traditionally, botany also included the study of fungi, algae and viruses...

 and horticulture
Horticulture
Horticulture is the industry and science of plant cultivation including the process of preparing soil for the planting of seeds, tubers, or cuttings. Horticulturists work and conduct research in the disciplines of plant propagation and cultivation, crop production, plant breeding and genetic...

. Nowadays most botanical gardens display a mix of the themes mentioned and more: having a strong connection with the general public there is the opportunity to provide visitors with information relating to the environmental issues being faced at the start of the 21st century, especially those relating to plant conservation
Conservation biology
Conservation biology is the scientific study of the nature and status of Earth's biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction...

 and sustainability
Sustainability
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

.

Definitions



The role of major botanical gardens worldwide has been considered so broadly similar as to fall within textbook definitions. The following definition was produced by staff of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium of Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 in 1976. It covers in some detail the many functions and activities generally associated with botanical gardens:
A botanical garden is a controlled and staffed institution for the maintenance of a living collection of plants under scientific management for purposes of education and research, together with such libraries, herbaria, laboratories, and museums as are essential to its particular undertakings. Each botanical garden naturally develops its own special fields of interests depending on its personnel, location, extent, available funds, and the terms of its charter. It may include greenhouses, test grounds, an herbarium, an arboretum, and other departments. It maintains a scientific as well as a plant-growing staff, and publication is one of its major modes of expression.


This broad outline is then expanded:
The botanic garden maybe an independent institution, a governmental operation, or affiliated to a college or university. If a department of an educational institution, it may be related to a teaching program. In any case, it exists for scientific ends and is not to be restricted or diverted by other demands. It is not merely a landscaped or ornamental garden, although it may be artistic, nor is it an experiment station or yet a park with labels on the plants. The essential element is the intention of the enterprise, which is the acquisition and dissemination of botanical knowledge.


The "New Royal Horticultural Society
Royal Horticultural Society
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 in London, England as the Horticultural Society of London, and gained its present name in a Royal Charter granted in 1861 by Prince Albert...

 Dictionary of Gardening" (1999) points out that among the various kinds of organisations now known as botanical gardens there are many public gardens with little scientific activity, and it cites a more abbreviated definition that was published by the World Wildlife Fund and IUCN when launching the ’’Botanic Gardens Conservation Strategy’’ in 1989: "A botanic garden is a garden containing scientifically ordered and maintained collections of plants, usually documented and labelled, and open to the public for the purposes of recreation, education and research." This has been further reduced by Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Botanic Gardens Conservation International is a plant conservation charity based in London, England. It is a membership organisation, working with 800 botanic gardens in 118 countries, whose combined work forms the world's largest plant conservation network.Founded in 1987, BGCI is a registered...

 to the following definition which "encompasses the spirit of a true botanic garden": "A botanic garden is an institution holding documented collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display and education."

The botanical gardens network



Worldwide there are now about 1800 botanical gardens and arboreta
Arboretum
An arboretum in a narrow sense is a collection of trees only. Related collections include a fruticetum , and a viticetum, a collection of vines. More commonly, today, an arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants intended at least partly for scientific study...

 in about 150 countries (mostly in temperate regions) of which about 400 are in Europe, 200 in North America, 150 in Russia. and an increasing number in East Asia. These gardens attract about 150 million visitors a year so it is hardly surprising that many people gained their first exciting introduction to the wonders of the plant world in a botanical garden.

Historically, botanical gardens exchanged plants through the publication of seed lists (these were called in the 18th century). This was a means of transferring both plants and information between botanical gardens. This system continues today although the possibility of genetic piracy and the transmission of invasive species
Invasive species
"Invasive species", or invasive exotics, is a nomenclature term and categorization phrase used for flora and fauna, and for specific restoration-preservation processes in native habitats, with several definitions....

 has received greater attention in recent times.

The International Association of Botanic Gardens was formed in 1954 as a worldwide organisation affiliated to the International Union of Biological Sciences. More recently coordination has also been provided by Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Botanic Gardens Conservation International is a plant conservation charity based in London, England. It is a membership organisation, working with 800 botanic gardens in 118 countries, whose combined work forms the world's largest plant conservation network.Founded in 1987, BGCI is a registered...

 (BGCI) which has the mission "To mobilise botanic gardens and engage partners in securing plant diversity for the well-being of people and the planet". BGCI has over 700 membersmostly botanic gardensin 118 countries and strongly supports the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation
Global strategy for plant conservation
The Global Strategy for Plant Conservation is a program of the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity. The GSPC sought to slow the pace of plant extinction around the world by 2010. The GSPC began as a grass-roots movement in 1999 with discussions at the 16th International Botanical Congress in...

 by producing a range resources and publications, and by organizing international conferences and conservation programs.

Communication also happens regionally. In the United States there is the American Public Gardens Association
American Public Gardens Association
The American Public Gardens Association is an association of public-garden institutions and professionals primarily in the United States and Canada....

 (formerly the American Association of Botanic Gardens and Arboreta), and in Australasia there is the Botanic Gardens of Australia and New Zealand (BGANZ).

Historical development



The history of botanical gardens is closely linked to the history of botany itself. The botanical gardens of the 16th and 17th centuries were medicinal gardens but the idea of a botanical garden changed to encompass displays of the beautiful, strange, new and sometimes economically important plant trophies being returned from the European colonies and other distant lands. Later,in the 18th century they became more educational in function, demonstrating the latest plant classification systems devised by botanists working in the associated herbaria as they tried to order these new treasures. Then, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the trend was towards a combination of specialist and eclectic collections demonstrating many aspects of both horticulture and botany.

Precursors


The idea of "scientific" gardens used specifically for the study of plants dates back to antiquity.

Grand gardens of ancient history



Near-eastern royal gardens set aside for economic use or display and containing at least some plants gained by special collecting trips or military campaigns abroad, are known from the second millennium BCE in ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

, Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

, Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. In about 2800 BCE the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung sent collectors to distant regions searching for plants with economic or medicinal value. It has also been suggested that the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica
Spanish colonization of the Americas
Colonial expansion under the Spanish Empire was initiated by the Spanish conquistadores and developed by the Monarchy of Spain through its administrators and missionaries. The motivations for colonial expansion were trade and the spread of the Christian faith through indigenous conversions...

 influenced the history of the botanical garden as gardens in Tenochtitlan established by king Nezahualcoyotl
Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl
Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl, or more commonly Ciudad Neza, is a city and municipality of Mexico State adjacent to the northeast corner of Mexico's Federal District: it is thus part of the Mexico City Metropolitan Area. It was named after Nezahualcoyotl, the Acolhua poet and king of nearby Texcoco, and...

, also gardens in Chalco
Chalco
Aluminum Corporation of China Limited, also known as Chalco , is a multinational aluminum company headquartered in Beijing, People's Republic of China...

 and elsewhere greatly impressed the Spanish invaders, not only with their appearance but also because the indigenous Aztec
Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

s employed many more medicinal plants than did the classical world of Europe.

Early medieval gardens in Islamic Spain
Islam in Spain
Islam in Spain has had a fundamental presence in the culture and history of the nation. The religion was present in modern Spanish soil from 711 until 1492 under the rule of the Arabs and Moors of al-Andalus. For key historical dates, see Timeline of the Muslim presence in the Iberian peninsula...

 resembled botanic gardens of the future an example being the 11th century Huerta del Ray garden of physician and author Ibn Wafid (999–1075 CE) in Toledo
Toledo, Spain
Toledo's Alcázar became renowned in the 19th and 20th centuries as a military academy. At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 its garrison was famously besieged by Republican forces.-Economy:...

. This was later taken over by garden chronicler Ibn Bassal
Ibn Bassal
Ibn Bassal was a Moor botanist in Toledo and Seville, Spain who wrote about cultivation. Basal wrote the treatise The Classification of Soils which divided soil fertility into ten classifications...

 (fl. 1085 CE) until the Christian conquest in 1085 CE. Ibn Bassal then founded a garden in Seville, most of its plants being collected on a botanical expedition that included Morocco, Persia, Sicily and Egypt. The medical school of Montpelier was also founded by Spanish Arab physicians and by 1250 CE it included a physic garden but the site was not given botanic garden status until 1593.

Physic gardens


Botanical gardens, in the modern sense, developed from physic gardens, whose main purpose was to grow herb
Herb
Except in botanical usage, an herb is "any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume" or "a part of such a plant as used in cooking"...

s for medicinal use. Such gardens have a long history. In Europe, for example, Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 (384 BCE322 BCE) is said to have had a physic garden in the Lyceum at Athens, which was used for educational purposes and for the study of botany and this was inherited, or possibly set up, by his pupil Theophrastus
Theophrastus
Theophrastus , a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. He came to Athens at a young age, and initially studied in Plato's school. After Plato's death he attached himself to Aristotle. Aristotle bequeathed to Theophrastus his writings, and...

, the "Father of Botany".

Though these ancient gardens shared some of the characteristics of present-day botanical gardens, the forerunners of modern botanical gardens are generally regarded as being the medieval monastic physic gardens that originated after the decline of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 at the time of Emperor Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

 (742789 CE). These contained a , a garden used mostly for vegetables, and another section set aside for specially-labelled medicinal plants and this was called the or more generally known as a physic garden. These gardens were probably given impetus when Charlemagne issued a capitulary
Capitulary
A capitulary was a series of legislative or administrative acts emanating from the Frankish court of the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties, especially that of the first emperor, Charlemagne...

 of 73 herbs to be used in the physic gardens of his dominions. Many of these were found in British gardens even though they only occurred naturally in continental Europe, demonstrating earlier plant introduction. Pope Nicholas V
Pope Nicholas V
Pope Nicholas V , born Tommaso Parentucelli, was Pope from March 6, 1447 to his death in 1455.-Biography:He was born at Sarzana, Liguria, where his father was a physician...

 set aside part of the Vatican grounds in 1447 for a garden of medicinal plants that were used to promote the teaching of botany, and this was a forerunner to the University gardens at Padua and Pisa established in the 1540s. Certainly the founding of many early botanic gardens was instigated by members of the medical profession.

16th and 17th century European gardens




It was in the 17th century that botanical gardens began their contribution to a deeper scientific curiosity about plants. If a botanical garden is defined by its scientific or academic connection then the first true botanical gardens were established with the revival of learning that occurred in the European Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

. These were secular gardens attached to universities and medical schools, used as resources for teaching and research. The superintendents of these gardens were often professors of botany with international reputations, a factor that probably contributed to the creation of botany as an independent discipline rather than a descriptive adjunct to medicine.

Origin in Southern Europe


The botanical gardens of Southern Europe
Southern Europe
The term Southern Europe, at its most general definition, is used to mean "all countries in the south of Europe". However, the concept, at different times, has had different meanings, providing additional political, linguistic and cultural context to the definition in addition to the typical...

 were associated with university faculties of medicine and were founded in Northern Italy
Northern Italy
Northern Italy is a wide cultural, historical and geographical definition, without any administrative usage, used to indicate the northern part of the Italian state, also referred as Settentrione or Alta Italia...

 at Orto botanico di Pisa
Orto botanico di Pisa
The Orto botanico di Pisa, also known as the Orto Botanico dell'Università di Pisa, is a botanical garden operated by the University of Pisa, and located at via Luca Ghini 5, Pisa, Italy...

 (1544), Orto botanico di Padova (1545), Orto Botanico di Firenze
Orto Botanico di Firenze
The Orto Botanico di Firenze , also known as the Giardino dei Semplici, the "Garden of simples", is a botanical garden maintained by the University of Florence. It is located at Via Micheli, 3, Florence, Italy, and open weekday mornings...

 (1545) and Orto Botanico dell'Università di Bologna
Orto Botanico dell'Università di Bologna
The Orto Botanico dell'Università di Bologna, also known as the Orto Botanico di Bologna, is a botanical garden operated by the University of Bologna. It is located at Via Irnerio, 42, 40126 Bologna, Italy, and open daily except Sundays....

 (1568).Precisely dating the foundation of botanical gardens is often difficult because government decrees may be issued some time before land is acquired and planting begins, or existing gardens may be relocated to new sites, or previously existing gardens may be taken over and converted. Here the physicians (referred to in English as apothecaries
Apothecary
Apothecary is a historical name for a medical professional who formulates and dispenses materia medica to physicians, surgeons and patients — a role now served by a pharmacist and some caregivers....

) delivered lectures on the Mediterranean "simples" or "officinal
Officinal
Officinal is a term applied in medicine to drugs, plants and herbs, which are sold in a chemist or druggist shop, and to medical preparations of such drugs, et cetera, as are made in accordance with the prescriptions authorized by a pharmacopoeia. Not to be confused with the word "official"...

s" that were being cultivated in the grounds. Student education was no doubt stimulated by the relatively recent advent of printing and the publication of the first herbals. All of these botanical gardens still exist, mostly in their original locations.

Northern Europe


The tradition of these Italian gardens passed into Northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

 where similar gardens were established in the Netherlands (Hortus Botanicus Leiden
Hortus Botanicus Leiden
The Hortus botanicus of Leiden is the oldest botanical garden of the Netherlands, and one of the oldest in the world. It is located in the southwestern part of the historical centre of the city, between the Academy building and the Leiden Observatory....

, 1587; Hortus Botanicus (Amsterdam)
Hortus Botanicus (Amsterdam)
Hortus Botanicus is a botanical garden in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. One of the oldest in the world, it is one of Amsterdam's major tourist attractions.- History:...

, 1638), Germany (Alter Botanischer Garten Tübingen
Alter Botanischer Garten Tübingen
The Alter Botanischer Garten Tübingen is the former botanical garden of the University of Tübingen, now a municipal park. It is located at Am Stadtgraben 9, Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and open daily without charge....

, 1535; Leipzig Botanical Garden
Leipzig Botanical Garden
Leipzig Botanical Garden , , is a botanical garden maintained by the University of Leipzig, and located at Linnéstraße 1, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany. It is the oldest botanical garden in Germany and among the oldest in the world, and open daily without charge.Leipzig's botanical garden dates back to...

, 1580; Botanischer Garten Jena
Botanischer Garten Jena
The Botanischer Garten Jena is the second oldest botanical garden in Germany, maintained by the University of Jena and located at Fürstengraben 26, Jena, Thuringia, Germany. It is open daily; an admission fee is charged....

, 1586; Botanischer Garten Heidelberg, 1593; Herrenhäuser Gärten, Hanover, 1666; Botanischer Garten der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Botanischer Garten der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
The Botanischer Garten der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel , or less formally the Botanischer Garten Kiel, is a botanical garden and arboretum maintained by the University of Kiel...

, 1669; Botanical Garden in Berlin
Botanical Garden in Berlin
Botanical Garden in Berlin is considered one of the most important gardens in the world, with area of 43 hectares and around 22,000 different plant species.The garden is located in the Dahlem neighborhood of the borough of Steglitz-Zehlendorf...

, 1672), Switzerland (Old Botanical Garden, Zürich, 1560; Basel
Basel
Basel or Basle In the national languages of Switzerland the city is also known as Bâle , Basilea and Basilea is Switzerland's third most populous city with about 166,000 inhabitants. Located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany...

, 1589); England (University of Oxford Botanic Garden
University of Oxford Botanic Garden
The University of Oxford Botanic Garden is an historic botanic garden in Oxford, England. It is the oldest botanic garden in Great Britain and one of the oldest scientific gardens in the world. The garden was founded in 1621 as a physic garden growing plants for medicinal research. Today it...

, 1621; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a scientific centre for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation, as well as a popular tourist attraction. Originally founded in 1670 as a physic garden to grow medicinal plants, today it occupies four sites across Scotland — Edinburgh,...

, 1670; Chelsea Physic Garden
Chelsea Physic Garden
The Chelsea Physic Garden was established as the Apothecaries’ Garden in London, England in 1673. It is the second oldest botanical garden in Britain, after the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, which was founded in 1621.Its rock garden is the oldest English garden devoted to alpine plants...

, 1673) and in France (Jardin des plantes de Montpellier
Jardin des plantes de Montpellier
The Jardin des plantes de Montpellier is a historic botanical garden and arboretum located on Boulevard Henri IV, Montpellier, Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon, France...

, 1593; Paris, 1597; Jardin des Plantes
Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is the main botanical garden in France. It is one of seven departments of the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle. It is situated in the 5ème arrondissement, Paris, on the left bank of the river Seine and covers 28 hectares .- Garden plan :The grounds of the Jardin des...

, Paris, 1635), Denmark (University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden
University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden
The University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden , usually referred to simply as Copenhagen Botanical Garden, is a botanical garden located in the centre of Copenhagen, Denmark...

, 1600); Sweden (Uppsala University
Uppsala University
Uppsala University is a research university in Uppsala, Sweden, and is the oldest university in Scandinavia, founded in 1477. It consistently ranks among the best universities in Northern Europe in international rankings and is generally considered one of the most prestigious institutions of...

, 1655) and also in Spain (Botanical Garden of Valencia , 1567).

Beginnings of botanical science



During the 16th and 17th centuries the first plants were being imported to these major Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

an gardens from Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 and nearby Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 (which provided many bulb
Bulb
A bulb is a short stem with fleshy leaves or leaf bases. The leaves often function as food storage organs during dormancy.A bulb's leaf bases, known as scales, generally do not support leaves, but contain food reserves to enable the plant to survive adverse conditions. At the center of the bulb is...

s) and these found a place in the new gardens where they could be conveniently studied by the plant experts of the day. For example, Asian introductions were described by Carolus Clusius (15261609) who was director, in turn, of the Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna
Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna
The Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna is a botanical garden in Vienna, Austria. It covers 8 hectares and is immediately adjacent to the Belvedere gardens....

 and Hortus Botanicus Leiden
Hortus Botanicus Leiden
The Hortus botanicus of Leiden is the oldest botanical garden of the Netherlands, and one of the oldest in the world. It is located in the southwestern part of the historical centre of the city, between the Academy building and the Leiden Observatory....

. Many plants were being collected from the Near East
Near East
The Near East is a geographical term that covers different countries for geographers, archeologists, and historians, on the one hand, and for political scientists, economists, and journalists, on the other...

, especially bulbous plants from Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

. Clusius laid the foundations of Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 tulip breeding and the bulb industry, and he helped create one of the earliest formal botanical gardens of Europe at Leyden where his detailed planting lists have made it possible to recreate this garden near its original site. "The of Leyden in 1601 was a perfect square divided into quarters for the four continents, but by 1720 however it was a rambling system of beds, struggling to contain the novelties rushing in" and it became better known as the . His Exoticorum libri decem
Exoticorum libri decem
Exoticorum libri decem is an illustrated zoological and botanical compendium in Latin, published at Leiden in 1605 by Charles de l'Écluse....

(1605) is an important survey of exotic plants and animals that is still consulted today. The inclusion of new plant introductions in botanic gardens meant that their scientific role was now widening as botany gradually asserted its independence from medicine.

In the mid to late 17th century the Paris Jardin des Plantes
Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes is the main botanical garden in France. It is one of seven departments of the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle. It is situated in the 5ème arrondissement, Paris, on the left bank of the river Seine and covers 28 hectares .- Garden plan :The grounds of the Jardin des...

 was a centre of interest with the greatest number of new introductions to attract the public. In England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 the Chelsea Physic Garden
Chelsea Physic Garden
The Chelsea Physic Garden was established as the Apothecaries’ Garden in London, England in 1673. It is the second oldest botanical garden in Britain, after the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, which was founded in 1621.Its rock garden is the oldest English garden devoted to alpine plants...

 was founded in 1673 as the "Garden of the Society of Apothecaries". The Chelsea garden had heated greenhouse
Greenhouse
A greenhouse is a building in which plants are grown. These structures range in size from small sheds to very large buildings...

s and in 1723 appointed Philip Miller
Philip Miller
Philip Miller FRS was a Scottish botanist.Miller was chief gardener at the Chelsea Physic Garden from 1722 until he was pressured to retire shortly before his death...

 (16911771) as Head Gardener
Head gardener
The head gardener or as a Master Gardener is an individual who manages the staff of a large garden, landscape or park, such as a residential garden, botanical garden, theme park, public park, museum or roadside embankments and islands....

. He had a wide influence on both botany and horticulture as plants poured into it from around the world. The garden's golden age came in the 18th century, when it became the world's most richly stocked botanical garden. Its seed-exchange programme was established in 1682 and still continues today.

18th century



With the increase in maritime trade ever more plants were being brought back to Europe as trophies from distant lands and these were triumphantly displayed in the private estates of the wealthy, in commercial nurseries and in the public botanical gardens. Heated conservatories called "orangeries
Orangery
An orangery was a building in the grounds of fashionable residences from the 17th to the 19th centuries and given a classicising architectural form. The orangery was similar to a greenhouse or conservatory...

", such as the one at Kew, became a feature of many botanical gardens. industrial expansion in Europe and North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

 resulted in new building skills, so plants sensitive to cold were kept over winter in progressively elaborate and expensive heated conservatories and glasshouses.Glasshouses built to overwinter tender evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

 shrubs, known as 'greens', were called greenhouses, a name that is still used today.

The Cape, Dutch East Indies


The 18th century was marked by introductions from the Cape of South Africaincluding erica
Erica
Erica ,the heaths or heathers, is a genus of approximately 860 species of flowering plants in the family Ericaceae. The English common names "heath" and "heather" are shared by some closely related genera of similar appearance....

s, geraniums, pelargonium
Pelargonium
Pelargonium is a genus of flowering plants which includes about 200 species of perennials, succulents, and shrubs, commonly known as scented geraniums or storksbills. Confusingly, Geranium is the correct botanical name of a separate genus of related plants often called Cranesbills. Both Geranium...

s, succulents and protea
Protea
Protea is both the botanical name and the English common name of a genus of flowering plants, sometimes also called sugarbushes.-Etymology:...

ceous plantswhile the Dutch trade with the Dutch East Indies
Dutch East Indies
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Netherlands government in 1800....

 resulted in a golden era for the Leiden and Amsterdam botanical gardens and a boom in the construction of conservatories.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew




The Royal Gardens at Kew were founded in 1760, initially as part of the Royal Garden set aside as a physic garden. William Aiton
William Aiton
William Aiton was a Scottish botanist.Aiton was born near Hamilton. Having been regularly trained to the profession of a gardener, he travelled to London in 1754, and became assistant to Philip Miller, then superintendent of the Chelsea Physic Garden...

 (17411793), the first Curator, was taught by garden chronicler Philip Miller
Philip Miller
Philip Miller FRS was a Scottish botanist.Miller was chief gardener at the Chelsea Physic Garden from 1722 until he was pressured to retire shortly before his death...

 of the Chelsea Physic Garden whose son Charles became first Curator of the original Cambridge Botanic Garden (1762). In 1759 the "Physick Garden" was planted and by 1767 it was claimed that "the Exotick Garden is by far the richest in Europe". Gardens such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (1759) and Orotava Acclimatization Garden , Tenerife
Tenerife
Tenerife is the largest and most populous island of the seven Canary Islands, it is also the most populated island of Spain, with a land area of 2,034.38 km² and 906,854 inhabitants, 43% of the total population of the Canary Islands. About five million tourists visit Tenerife each year, the...

 (1788) and the Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid
Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid
The is an botanical garden located at , next to the Prado Museum in Madrid ....

 (1755) were set up to cultivate new species returned from expeditions to the tropics; they also helped found new tropical botanical gardens. From the 1770s, following the example of the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, amateur collectors were supplemented by official horticultural and botanical plant hunters. This was the great era of European, and especially British, imperialism which was "the means by which ideas, knowledge, styles of economy, politics and goods were given international reach" and justified as the spreading of "civilisation" through "development" and "improvement".

At this time England was importing many woody plant
Woody plant
A woody plant is a plant that uses wood as its structural tissue. These are typically perennial plants whose stems and larger roots are reinforced with wood produced adjacent to the vascular tissues. The main stem, larger branches, and roots of these plants are usually covered by a layer of...

s from North America, and the popularity of horticulture had increased enormously encouraged by the horticultural and botanical collecting expeditions overseas fostered by the directorship of Sir William Hooker
William Jackson Hooker
Sir William Jackson Hooker, FRS was an English systematic botanist and organiser. He held the post of Regius Professor of Botany at Glasgow University, and was the first Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He enjoyed the friendship and support of Sir Joseph Banks for his exploring,...

 and his keen interest in economic botany
Economic botany
Economic botany can be very broadly defined as a study of relationships between plants and people. Economic botany contributes significantly to anthropology, biology, conservation, botany, and other fields of science...

. At the end of the 18th century, Kew, under the directorship of Sir Joseph Banks
Joseph Banks
Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, GCB, PRS was an English naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences. He took part in Captain James Cook's first great voyage . Banks is credited with the introduction to the Western world of eucalyptus, acacia, mimosa and the genus named after him,...

, enjoyed a golden age of plant hunting, sending out collectors to the Southern Africa
Southern Africa
Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. Within the region are numerous territories, including the Republic of South Africa ; nowadays, the simpler term South Africa is generally reserved for the country in English.-UN...

n Cape, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 and elsewhere, and acting as "the great botanical exchange house of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

". From its earliest days to the present Kew has in many ways exemplified botanic garden ideals and is respected worldwide for the published work of its scientists, the education of horticultural students, its public programmes, and the scientific underpinning of its horticulture.

Plant classification



The large number of plants needing description were often listed in garden catalogues and it was at this time that Carl Linnaeus established the system of binomial nomenclature
Binomial nomenclature
Binomial nomenclature is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages...

 which greatly facilitated the listing process. Names of plants were authenticated by dried plant specimens mounted on card (a or garden of dried plants) that were stored in buildings called herbaria
Herbarium
In botany, a herbarium – sometimes known by the Anglicized term herbar – is a collection of preserved plant specimens. These specimens may be whole plants or plant parts: these will usually be in a dried form, mounted on a sheet, but depending upon the material may also be kept in...

, these taxonomic
Taxonomy
Taxonomy is the science of identifying and naming species, and arranging them into a classification. The field of taxonomy, sometimes referred to as "biological taxonomy", revolves around the description and use of taxonomic units, known as taxa...

 research institutions being frequently associated with the botanical gardens, many of which by then had "order beds" to display the classification systems being developed by botanists in the gardens' museums and herbaria. Botanical gardens had now become scientific collections as botanists published their descriptions of the new exotic plants, and these were also recorded for posterity in detail by superb botanical illustrations. In this century botanical gardens effectively dropped their medicinal function in favour of scientific and aesthetic priorities and the term "botanic garden" came to be more closely associated with the herbarium, library (and later laboratories) housed there than with the living collectionson which little research was undertaken.

19th century




The late 18th and early 19th centuries were marked by the establishment of tropical botanical gardens as a tool of colonial expansion
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 (for trade and commerce and, secondarily, science) mainly by the British and Dutch, in India, South-east Asia and the Caribbean
Caribbean
The Caribbean is a crescent-shaped group of islands more than 2,000 miles long separating the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, to the west and south, from the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north...

. This was also the time of Sir Joseph Banks
Joseph Banks
Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, GCB, PRS was an English naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences. He took part in Captain James Cook's first great voyage . Banks is credited with the introduction to the Western world of eucalyptus, acacia, mimosa and the genus named after him,...

's botanical collections during Captain James Cook
James Cook
Captain James Cook, FRS, RN was a British explorer, navigator and cartographer who ultimately rose to the rank of captain in the Royal Navy...

's circumnavigation
Circumnavigation
Circumnavigation – literally, "navigation of a circumference" – refers to travelling all the way around an island, a continent, or the entire planet Earth.- Global circumnavigation :...

s of the planet and his explorations of Oceania
Oceania
Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Conceptions of what constitutes Oceania range from the coral atolls and volcanic islands of the South Pacific to the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas, including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago...

 which formed the last phase of plant introduction on a grand scale.

Tropical botanical gardens


There are currently about 230 tropical botanical gardens with a concentration in southern and south-eastern Asia. The first botanical garden founded in the tropics was the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden in Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

, established in 1735 to provide food for ships using the port, but later trialling and distributing many plants of economic importance. This was followed by the West Indies (Botanic Gardens St. Vincent
Botanic Gardens St. Vincent
The St Vincent Botanical Gardens is located in Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is one of the oldest in the Western Hemisphere and perhaps the oldest in the tropical world. Conservation of rare species of plants has been practiced here since 1765...

, 1764) and in 1786 by the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Botanical Garden in Calcutta, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 founded during a period of prosperity when the city was a trading centre for the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

. Other gardens were constructed in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

 (Jardim Botânico, Rio de Janeiro, 1808), Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 (Botanical Garden of Peradeniya
Botanical Garden of Peradeniya
Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya is located close to the city of Kandy in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is renowned for its collection of a variety of orchids. It includes more than 300 varieties of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. Attached to it is the National...

, 1821 and on a site dating back to 1371), Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 (Bogor Botanical Gardens
Bogor Botanical Gardens
The Bogor Botanical Gardens are located 60 km south of the capital of Jakarta in Bogor, Indonesia. The botanical gardens are situated in the city center of Bogor and adjoin the Istana Bogor...

, Kebun Raya Cibodas
Kebun Raya Cibodas
Kebun Raya Cibodas is a 125-hectares botanical garden, located approximately 1,300-1,425 meters up on the slopes of Mount Gede, 23 kilometers to the northwest of Cianjur in the Cibodas subdistrict of West Java, Indonesia or around 100 kilometers from Jakarta...

, 1817), and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 (Singapore Botanical Gardens, 1822). These had a profound effect on the economy of the countries, especially in relation to the foods and medicines introduced. The importation of rubber trees
Para rubber tree
Hevea brasiliensis, the Pará rubber tree, often simply called rubber tree, is a tree belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae, and the most economically important member of the genus Hevea...

 to the Singapore Botanic Garden initiated the important rubber industry of the Malay Peninsula
Malay Peninsula
The Malay Peninsula or Thai-Malay Peninsula is a peninsula in Southeast Asia. The land mass runs approximately north-south and, at its terminus, is the southern-most point of the Asian mainland...

. At this time also teak
Teak
Teak is the common name for the tropical hardwood tree species Tectona grandis and its wood products. Tectona grandis is native to south and southeast Asia, mainly India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Burma, but is naturalized and cultivated in many countries, including those in Africa and the...

 and tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

 were introduced to India and breadfruit
Breadfruit
Breadfruit is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry family, Moraceae, growing throughout Southeast Asia and most Pacific Ocean islands...

, pepper
Piper (genus)
Piper, the pepper plants or pepper vines , are an economically and ecologically important genus in the family Piperaceae...

 and starfruit
Carambola
Carambola, also known as starfruit, is the fruit of Averrhoa carambola, a species of tree native to the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The fruit is a popular food throughout Southeast Asia, the South Pacific and parts of East Asia...

 to the Caribbean.
Included in the charter of these gardens was the investigation of the local flora
Flora
Flora is the plant life occurring in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring or indigenous—native plant life. The corresponding term for animals is fauna.-Etymology:...

 for its economic potential to both the colonists and the local people. Many crop plants were introduced by or through these gardensoften in association with European botanical gardens such as Kew or Amsterdamand included cloves, tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

, coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

, breadfruit, cinchona
Cinchona
Cinchona or Quina is a genus of about 38 species in the family Rubiaceae, native to tropical South America. They are large shrubs or small trees growing 5–15 metres in height with evergreen foliage. The leaves are opposite, rounded to lanceolate and 10–40 cm long. The flowers are white, pink...

, sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

, cotton
Cotton
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

, palm oil
Palm oil
Palm oil, coconut oil and palm kernel oil are edible plant oils derived from the fruits of palm trees. Palm oil is extracted from the pulp of the fruit of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis; palm kernel oil is derived from the kernel of the oil palm and coconut oil is derived from the kernel of the...

 and Theobroma cacao (for chocolate). It was during these times that the rubber plant was introduced to Singapore. Especially in the tropics, the larger gardens were frequently associated with a herbarium and museum of economy. The Botanical Garden of Peradeniya had considerable influence on the development of agriculture in Ceylon where the Para rubber tree
Para rubber tree
Hevea brasiliensis, the Pará rubber tree, often simply called rubber tree, is a tree belonging to the family Euphorbiaceae, and the most economically important member of the genus Hevea...

  was introduced from Kew, which had itself imported the plant from South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. Other examples include cotton from the Chelsea Physic Garden to the Province of Georgia
Province of Georgia
The Province of Georgia was one of the Southern colonies in British America. It was the last of the thirteen original colonies established by Great Britain in what later became the United States...

 in 1732 and tea into India by Calcutta Botanic Garden. The transfer of germplasm
Germplasm
A germplasm is a collection of genetic resources for an organism. For plants, the germplasm may be stored as a seed collection or, for trees, in a nursery.-See also:*Germ plasm, the germ cell determining zone...

 between the temperate and tropical botanical gardens was undoubtedly responsible for the range of agricultural crops currently used in several regions of the tropics.

Australia


The first botanical gardens in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 were founded early in the 19th century. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia, are the most central of the three major botanical gardens open to the public in Sydney....

, 1816; the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens
The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, which cover an area of approximately 14 hectares , were established in Hobart in 1818 and are located within the Queens Domain. The Gardens hold historic plant collections and a large number of significant trees, many dating back to the nineteenth century...

, 1818; the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne
The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne are internationally renowned botanical gardens located near the centre of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, on the south bank of the Yarra River. They are 38 hectares of landscaped gardens consisting of a mix of native and non-native vegetation including over...

, 1845; Adelaide Botanic Gardens, 1854; and Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
The City Botanic Gardens is located on a point known as Gardens Point on the Brisbane River adjacent to the central business district of the city of Brisbane...

, 1855). These were established essentially as colonial gardens of economic botany and acclimatisation.

New Zealand


Major botanical gardens in New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 include Dunedin Botanic Gardens
Dunedin Botanic Gardens
The Dunedin Botanical Gardens are located at the northern end of central Dunedin, in the South Island of New Zealand. They are located close to the University of Otago and one of the city's most historic cemeteries, the Northern Cemetery, on a spur of Signal Hill and on the river plain immediately...

, 1863; Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
The Christchurch Botanic Gardens, located in the central city of Christchurch, New Zealand are botanical gardens founded in 1863, when an English oak was planted on 9 July 1863 to commemorate the solemnisation of marriage between Prince Albert and Princess Alexandra of Denmark.The Gardens sprawl...

, 1863; and Wellington Botanic Gardens, 1868.

Hong Kong


Hong Kong Botanic Gardens
Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens
The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is one of the oldest zoological and botanical centres in the world. It occupies an area of 5.6 hectares at Mid-levels, on the northern slope of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong...

, 1871 (renamed Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens in 1975), up from the Government Hill
Government Hill
The Government Hill is a hill in Central, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, bounded by upper section of Upper Albert Road on the south, Queen's Road Central north, Garden Road east, and Glenealy west of Hong Kong Island....

 in Victoria City, Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island is an island in the southern part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population density is 16,390/km², as of 2008...


United States


The first botanical garden in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Bartram's Garden
Bartram's Garden
Bartram's Garden which covers is the oldest surviving botanic garden in North America, including an historic botanical garden and arboretum , located on the west bank of the Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park, near the intersection of 54th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania...

, was founded in 1730 near Philadelphia and in the same year the Linnaean Botanic Garden at Philadelphia itself. In 1859 the Missouri Botanical Garden
Missouri Botanical Garden
The Missouri Botanical Garden is a botanical garden located in St. Louis, Missouri. It is also known informally as Shaw's Garden for founder Henry Shaw, a botanist and philanthropist.-History:...

 was founded at St Louis and is now one of the world’s leading gardens specializing in tropical plants. This was one of several popular American gardens including Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens consists of over 1,077 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, United States in the Brandywine Creek Valley...

 (1798), Arnold Arboretum (1872), New York Botanical Garden
New York Botanical Garden
- See also :* Education in New York City* List of botanical gardens in the United States* List of museums and cultural institutions in New York City- External links :* official website** blog*...

 (1891), Huntington Botanical Gardens
The Huntington Library
The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens is an educational and research institution established by Henry E. Huntington in San Marino, in the San Rafael Hills near Pasadena, California in the United States...

 (1906), Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a botanical garden in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. Located near the Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, and Park Slope neighborhoods, the garden includes a number of specialty "gardens within the Garden," plant collections, and the Steinhardt Conservatory,...

 (1910), International Peace Garden
International Peace Garden
The International Peace Garden is a 3.65 sq. mi. park located on the international border between Canada and the United States, in the state of North Dakota and the province of Manitoba. Established on July 14, 1932, the park plants over 150,000 flowers each year...

 (1932), and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a botanic garden, with extensive collections of rare tropical plants including palms, cycads, flowering trees and vines. It is located in metropolitan Miami, just south of Coral Gables, Florida, United States, surrounded at the south and west by Matheson...

 (1938).

Russian Empire and Soviet Union


Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 had more botanical gardens than any other country, with a major garden in every republic, each with many satellite gardens. Better-known gardens are Batumi Botanical Garden
Batumi Botanical Garden
The Batumi Botanical Garden is a 111 hectare area of land 9 km north of the city of Batumi, capital of Autonomous Republic of Adjara, Georgia. Located at the place called Mtsvane Kontskhi on the Black Sea shore, it is one of the largest botanical gardens in the former Soviet Union.The Batumi...

, Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden
Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden
The Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden, also known as the Botanic Gardens of the Komarov Botanical Institute or the Komarov Botanical Garden, is the oldest botanical garden in Russia, consisting of outdoor and rich indoor collections, which is situated on Aptekarsky Island in Saint Petersburg and...

, 1714; Nikitsky Botanical Garden
Nikitsky Botanical Garden
Nikitsky Botanical Garden is one of the oldest botanical gardens. It is located in Crimea, Ukraine, close to Yalta, by the shores of the Black Sea. It was founded in 1812 and named after the settlement Nikita, Ukraine....

, Yalta
Yalta
Yalta is a city in Crimea, southern Ukraine, on the north coast of the Black Sea.The city is located on the site of an ancient Greek colony, said to have been founded by Greek sailors who were looking for a safe shore on which to land. It is situated on a deep bay facing south towards the Black...

, 1812; M.M. Gryshko National Botanical Garden
M.M. Gryshko National Botanical Garden
The M. M. Gryshko National Botanical Garden is located in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.The M. M. Gryshko National Botanical Garden is a botanical garden of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Founded in 1936, it covers 1.3 km² and contains 13,000 types of trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants...

, 1936; and Moscow Botanical Garden of Academy of Sciences
Moscow Botanical Garden of Academy of Sciences
Tsytsin Main Moscow Botanical Garden of Academy of Sciences, founded in April 1945, is the largest in Europe. It covers a territory of approximately 3.61 km², bordering the All-Russian Exhibition Center, and contains a live exhibition of more than twenty thousand different species of plants...

, 1945.

These gardens are notable for their structures that include sculptures, pavilions
Pavilion (structure)
In architecture a pavilion has two main meanings.-Free-standing structure:Pavilion may refer to a free-standing structure sited a short distance from a main residence, whose architecture makes it an object of pleasure. Large or small, there is usually a connection with relaxation and pleasure in...

, bandstand
Bandstand
A bandstand is a circular or semicircular structure set in a park, garden, pier, or indoor space, designed to accommodate musical bands performing concerts...

s, memorials, shadehouses, tea house
Tea house
A tea house or tearoom is a venue centered on drinking tea. Its function varies widely depending on the culture, and some cultures have a variety of distinct tea-centered houses or parlors that all qualify under the English language term "tea house" or "tea room."-Asia:In Central Asia this term...

s and suchlike.

Civic and municipal botanical gardens


A large number of civic or municipal botanical gardens were founded in the 19th and 20th centuries. These did not develop scientific facilities or programmes but the horticultural aspects were strong and the plants often labelled. They were botanical gardens in the sense of building up collections of plants and exchanging seeds with other gardens around the world, although their collection policies were determined by those in day-to-day charge of them. They tended to become little more than beautifully-maintained parks and were, indeed, often under general parks administrations.

Community engagement


The second half of the 20th century saw increasingly sophisticated educational, visitor service and interpretation services. Botanical gardens started to cater for many interests and their displays reflected this, often including botanical exhibits on themes of evolution
Evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

, ecology
Ecology
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

 or taxonomy
Taxonomy
Taxonomy is the science of identifying and naming species, and arranging them into a classification. The field of taxonomy, sometimes referred to as "biological taxonomy", revolves around the description and use of taxonomic units, known as taxa...

 horticultural displays of attractive flowerbed
Flowerbed
A flowerbed is an element of many gardens. A flowerbed is a garden area especially prepared for growing flowers. The area is typically marked off, often by low-lying structures of brick or similar materials, designed to highlight the flowers and reduce the spread of weeds...

s and herbaceous border
Herbaceous border
A herbaceous border is a collection of perennial herbaceous plants arranged closely together, usually to create a dramatic effect through colour, shape or large scale. The term herbaceous border is mostly in use in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth...

s, plants from different parts of the world, special collections of plant groups like bamboo
Bamboo
Bamboo is a group of perennial evergreens in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family....

s or rose
Rose
A rose is a woody perennial of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of erect shrubs, and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers are large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows...

s, specialist glasshouse collections such as tropical plants, alpine plant
Alpine plant
Alpine plants are plants that grow in the alpine climate, which occurs at high elevation and above the tree line. Alpine plants grow together as a plant community in alpine tundra.-Alpine plant diversity:...

s, cacti
Cactus
A cactus is a member of the plant family Cactaceae. Their distinctive appearance is a result of adaptations to conserve water in dry and/or hot environments. In most species, the stem has evolved to become photosynthetic and succulent, while the leaves have evolved into spines...

 and orchids
Orchidaceae
The Orchidaceae, commonly referred to as the orchid family, is a morphologically diverse and widespread family of monocots in the order Asparagales. Along with the Asteraceae, it is one of the two largest families of flowering plants, with between 21,950 and 26,049 currently accepted species,...

, as well as the traditional herb gardens and medicinal plants. Specialised gardens like the Palmengarten
Palmengarten
The Palmengarten is one of two botanical gardens in Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany, and is located in the city district Westend-Nord. It is the largest garden of its kind in Germany....

 in Frankfurt, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 (1869), one of the world's leading orchid and succulent plant
Succulent plant
Succulent plants, also known as succulents or fat plants, are water-retaining plants adapted to arid climates or soil conditions. Succulent plants store water in their leaves, stems, and also in roots...

 collections, have been very popular. There was a renewed interest in gardens of indigenous
Indigenous (ecology)
In biogeography, a species is defined as native to a given region or ecosystem if its presence in that region is the result of only natural processes, with no human intervention. Every natural organism has its own natural range of distribution in which it is regarded as native...

 plants and areas dedicated to natural vegetation
Vegetation
Vegetation is a general term for the plant life of a region; it refers to the ground cover provided by plants. It is a general term, without specific reference to particular taxa, life forms, structure, spatial extent, or any other specific botanical or geographic characteristics. It is broader...

.

With decreasing financial support from governments, there was an increase in revenue-raising public entertainment including music, art exhibitions, special botanical exhibitions, theatre and film, this being supplemented by the advent of "Friends" organisations and the use of volunteer guides.

Plant conservation


Plant conservation, and the heritage value of exceptional historic landscapes, were treated with a growing sense of urgency. Specialist gardens were sometimes given a separate or adjoining site, to display native and indigenous plants.

In the 1970s gardens became focused on the plant conservation. The Botanic Gardens Conservation Secretariat was established by the IUCN, and the World Conservation Union
World Conservation Union
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources is an international organization dedicated to finding "pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges." The organization publishes the IUCN Red List, compiling information from a network of...

 in 1987 with the aim of coordinating the plant conservation efforts of botanical gardens around the world. It maintains a database of rare and endangered species in botanical gardens' living collections. Many gardens hold ex situ conservation collections that preserve genetic variation
Genetic variation
Genetic variation, variation in alleles of genes, occurs both within and among populations. Genetic variation is important because it provides the “raw material” for natural selection. Genetic variation is brought about by mutation, a change in a chemical structure of a gene. Polyploidy is an...

. These may be held as: seeds dried and stored at low temperature, or in tissue culture (such as the Kew Millennium Seedbank); as living plants, including those that are of special horticultural, historical or scientific interest (such as those held by the NCCPG in the United Kingdom); or by managing and preserving areas of natural vegetation. Collections are often held and cultivated with the intention of reintroduction
Reintroduction
Reintroduction is the deliberate release of a species into the wild in zones formerly inhabited by said species but where it has disappeared from for a number of reasons, from captivity or relocated from other areas where the species still survives in...

 to their original habitat. The Center for Plant Conservation
Center for Plant Conservation
The Center for Plant Conservation is a national not-for-profit organization in the United States and Canada consisting of a network of 37 botanical institutions, with the mission to conserve and restore the rare native plants of the United States....

 at St Louis, Missouri coordinates the conservation of native North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

n species.

Role and functions



Many of the functions of botanical gardens have already been discussed in the sections above, which emphasise the scientific underpinning of botanical gardens with their focus on research, education and conservation. However, as multifaceted organisations all sites have their own special interests. In a remarkable paper on the role of botanical gardens Ferdinand Mueller (18251896), the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne (18521873), stated that "in all cases the objects [of a botanical garden] must be mainly scientific and predominantly instructive". He then detailed many of the objectives that were being pursued by the world's botanical gardens in the middle of the 19th century, when European gardens were at their height. Many of these are listed below to give a sense of the scope of botanical gardens' activities at that time, and the ways in which they differed from parks or what he called "public pleasure gardens":
  • availability of plants for scientific research
  • display of plant diversity in form and use
  • display of plants of particular regions (including local)
  • plants sometimes grown within their particular families
  • plants grown for their seed or rarity
  • major timber (American English
    American English
    American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....

    : lumber) trees
  • plants of economic significance
  • glasshouse plants of different climates
  • all plants accurately labelled
  • records kept of plants and their performance
  • catalogues of holdings published periodically

  • research facilities utilising the living collections
  • studies in plant taxonomy
  • examples of different vegetation types
  • student education
  • a herbarium
  • selection and introduction of ornamental and other plants to commerce
  • studies of plant chemistry (phytochemistry
    Phytochemistry
    Phytochemistry is in the strict sense of the word the study of phytochemicals. These are chemicals derived from plants. In a narrower sense the terms are often used to describe the large number of secondary metabolic compounds found in plants. Many of these are known to provide protection against...

    )
  • report on the effects of plants on livestock
  • at least one collector maintained doing field work

Botanical gardens must find a compromise between the need for peace and seclusion, while at the same time satisfying the public need for information and visitor services that include restaurants, information centres and sales areas that bring with them rubbish, noise and hyperactivity. Attractive landscaping
Landscaping
Landscaping refers to any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land, including:# living elements, such as flora or fauna; or what is commonly referred to as gardening, the art and craft of growing plants with a goal of creating a beautiful environment within the landscape.#...

 and planting design sometimes compete with scientific interests — with science now often taking second place. Some gardens are now heritage landscapes that are subject to constant demand for new exhibits and exemplary environmental management.

Many gardens now have plant shops selling flowers, herbs and vegetable seedlings suitable for transplanting
Transplanting
For botanical organ transplant, see GraftingIn agriculture and gardening, transplanting or replanting is the technique of moving a plant from one location to another. Most often this takes the form of starting a plant from seed in optimal conditions, such as in a greenhouse or protected nursery...

; many, like the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research
UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research
UBC Botanical Garden, at the University of British Columbia, was established in 1916 under the directorship of John Davidson, British Columbia's first provincial botanist. It is the oldest botanical garden at a university in Canada....

 and the Chicago Botanic Garden
Chicago Botanic Garden
Located at 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe, Illinois, USA, the Chicago Botanic Garden is a living plant museum situated on nine islands featuring 24 display gardens and surrounded by four natural habitats: McDonald Woods, Dixon Prairie, Skokie River Corridor, and Lakes and Shores. The Garden is open...

, have plant breeding programs and introduce new plants to the horticultural trade.

Future




Botanical gardens are still being built, such as the first botanical garden in Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

, which will be one of the largest gardens in the world. Once it is completed and will house the first large scale cloud forest
Cloud forest
A cloud forest, also called a fog forest, is a generally tropical or subtropical evergreen montane moist forest characterized by a persistent, frequent or seasonal low-level cloud cover, usually at the canopy level. Cloud forests often exhibit an abundance of mosses covering the ground and...

 in a huge glasshouse. There has been a remarkable development of botanical gardens in China over recent years including the Hainan
Hainan
Hainan is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China . Although the province comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, of its land mass is Hainan Island , from which the province takes its name...

 Botanical Garden of Tropical Economic Plants South China Botanical Garden
South China Botanical Garden
The South China Botanical Garden Chinese Academy of Sciences is a large botanical garden in Guangzhou, Guangdong province in southern China.- History :...

 at Guangzhou, the Xishuangbanna Botanical Garden of Tropical Plants and the Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

 Botanic Garden but in developed countries
Developed country
A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue...

 many have closed for lack of financial support, this being especially true of botanical gardens attached to universities.

Botanical gardens have always responded to the interests and values of the day. If a single function were to be chosen from the early literature on botanical gardens it would be their scientific endeavour and, flowing from this, their instructional value. In their formative years botanical gardens were gardens for physicians and botanists but then they progressively became more associated with ornamental horticulture and the needs of the general public. It is by the publications coming out of herbaria and similar facilities that the scientific reputation of a botanical garden is now judged, not by its living collections. The interest in economic plants now has less relevance, and the concern with plant classification systems has all but disappeared, while a fascination with the curious, beautiful and new seems unlikely to diminish.

In recent times the focus has been on creating an awareness of the threat to ecosystem
Ecosystem
An ecosystem is a biological environment consisting of all the organisms living in a particular area, as well as all the nonliving , physical components of the environment with which the organisms interact, such as air, soil, water and sunlight....

s from human overpopulation
Overpopulation
Overpopulation is a condition where an organism's numbers exceed the carrying capacity of its habitat. The term often refers to the relationship between the human population and its environment, the Earth...

 and its consequent need for biological and physical resources. 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.

See also



Further reading

  • Johnson, Dale E. 1985. Literature on the history of botany and botanic gardens 17301840: A bibliography. Huntia 6(1): 1121.