The National Botanic Garden of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh National Herbarium make up the largest plant conservation center in Bangladesh, with an area of around 84 hectares (210 acres). It is located at Mirpur-2 in Dhaka,1100, beside the Dhaka Zoo. It was established in 1961. It is a botanic garden, a knowledge center for nature lovers and botanists and a tourist destination. The herbarium has a scientific collection of approximately 100,000 preserved specimens of plants.
History of National Botanical Garden
The National Botanical Garden of Bangladesh had rather a humble beginning when at a UNESCO symposium on scientific problems of Humid Tropical Deltas which had been held in Dhaka in 1964. It was decided that a herbarium should be established in Dhaka. The proposal was put forward to the government of East Pakistan which was ruling the area at the time and was eventually approved with a budget for five years and four staff members. Following the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, the project was supported by the new government, but hit financial problem in 1973. However the newly established in Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) took over funding, with control passing to the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 1994. Visitors to the National Botanical Garden of Bangladesh will soon come to appreciate the efforts put in by Bangladeshi authorities and researchers to preserve the natural bounty of Bangladesh for current and future generation to enjoy.
A modern vegetative propagation arrangement and tissue culture laboratory have been established in the garden for propagation of rare species. Initially, tissue culture of orchids and other rare species have been adopted. Besides, a huge rose garden, criss crossing lake, which deck, artificial water fall, bridge over the lake and above all the thousands of migratory birds in winter are the main attraction of the National Botanical Garden.
The garden provides learning and recreational facilities adjacent to the Dhaka Zoo. It is divided into 57 sections, and is managed by Forest Department under Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh National Herbarium’s collection of plant and tree species is large. The garden houses about 56,000 individual trees, herbs, and shrubs including a huge collection of aquatic plants. Rare and exotic plant species in the garden include
- Anthurium : Anthurium crystallinum
Anthurium crystallinum is a species of flowering plant in the family Araceae, native to rainforest margins in Central and South America, from Panama to Peru. Growing to 90 cm (35 in) tall and broad, it is an epiphytic perennial, characterised by large, velvety oval leaves with prominent white veining, and inflorescences with green spathes and pale green spadices throughout the year.
Requiring a minimum temperature of 16 °C (61 °F), in temperate regions it is cultivated under glass or as a houseplant. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. Anthurium clarinervium and Anthurium magnificum look very similar, and like Anthurium crystallinum are sold as a house plant for more experienced collectors, as they both need high humidity and light levels.
2.Camphor: Cinnamomum camphora
Cinnamomum camphora is a species of evergreen tree that is commonly known under the names camphor tree, camphorwood or camphor laurel.
Cinnamomum camphora is native to China south of the Yangtze River, Taiwan, southern Japan, Korea, India and Vietnam, and has been introduced to many other countries. It grows up to 20–30 m (66–98 ft) tall. In Japan, where the tree is called kusunoki, five camphor trees are known with a trunk circumference above 20 m (66 ft), with the largest individual, Kamō no Ōkusu “Great camphor of Kamō”), reaching 24.22 m.
The leaves have a glossy, waxy appearance and smell of camphor when crushed. In spring, it produces bright green foliage with masses of small white flowers. It produces clusters of black, berry-like fruit around 1 cm (0.39 in) in diameter. Its pale bark is very rough and fissured vertically.
Camphor sacred tree with shrine at the base at Kayashima Station
Certain trees in Japan are considered sacred. An example of the importance of a sacred tree is the 700-year old camphor growing in the middle of Kayashima Station. Locals protested against moving the tree when the railway station had to be expanded, so the station was built around it.
camphora is cultivated for camphor and timber production. The production and shipment of camphor, in a solid, waxy form, was a major industry in Taiwan prior to and during the Japanese colonial era (1895–1945). It was used medicinally and was also an important ingredient in the production of smokeless gunpowder and celluloid. Primitive stills were set up in the mountainous areas in which the tree is usually found. The wood was chipped; these chips were steamed in a retort, allowing the camphor to crystallize on the inside of a crystallization box after the vapour had passed through a cooling chamber. It was then scraped off and packed out to government-run factories for processing and sale. Camphor was one of the most lucrative of several important government monopolies under the Japanese.
The wood has an insect-repellent quality.
Camphor is a white crystalline substance, obtained from the tree C. camphora. Camphor has been used for many centuries as a culinary spice, a component of incense, and as a medicine. It is also an insect repellent and a flea-killing substance.
3.Rabbit fern : Davallia canariensis
Davallia canariensis, the hare’s-foot fern,is a species of fern in the family Davalliaceae. It is endemic to Macaronesia and the Iberian Peninsula. It grows well in a sunny atmosphere and amongst rocks.
Davallia canariensis is a spreading, deciduous fern with thick, scaly rhizomes and broad, finely-divided fronds, it grows up to 50 cm (20 in) tall and 100 cm (39 in) broad.
Distribution and habitat
Davallia canariensis is found on the western Mediterranean Basin, from Cape Verde, the Canary Islands and Madeira to Morocco and the western Iberian Peninsula (western Portugal and northwest and southwest Spain). It grows on tree trunks and branches, mossy siliceous rocks in cool and humid places with oceanic influences, from sea-level to 600 m (2,000 ft) in altitude.The Latin specific epithet canariensis means “from the Canary Islands”.
As it is only hardy down to 5 °C (41 °F), in temperate climates it must be grown under glass as a houseplant. However, it may be placed outside in a sheltered spot during the summer months. It has an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society.
4.White rangan : (Ixora superba)
Ixora is a genus of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae. It is the only genus in the tribe Ixoreae. It consists of tropical evergreen trees and shrubs and holds around 562 species.Though native to the tropical and subtropical areas throughout the world, its centre of diversity is in Tropical Asia. Ixora also grows commonly in subtropical climates in the United States, such as Florida where it is commonly known as West Indian jasmine. Other common names include viruchi, kiskaara, kepale, rangan, kheme, ponna, chann tanea, techi, pan, siantan, jarum-jarum/jejarum, jungle flame, jungle geranium, and cruz de Malta, among others.
The plants possess leathery leaves, ranging from 3 to 6 inches in length, and produce large clusters of tiny flowers in the summer. Members of Ixora prefer acidic soil, and are suitable choices for bonsai. It is also a popular choice for hedges in parts of South East Asia. In tropical climates they flower year round and are commonly used in Hindu worship, as well as in ayurveda and Indian folk medicine.
5.Little mussanda : (Mussaenda luteola)
Mussaenda is a genus of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae. They are native to the African and Asian tropics and subtropics. Several species are cultivated as ornamental plants.
Victoria amazonica is a species of flowering plant, the largest of the water lily family Nymphaeaceae. It is the national flower of Guyana. Its native regions are Guyana and tropical South America.
The Victoria amazonica has very large leaves, up to 3 m (10 ft) in diameter, that float on the water’s surface on a submerged stalk, 7–8 m (23–26 ft) in length, rivaling that of the green anaconda, a snake local to its habitat. It is the largest waterlily in the world. V. amazonica is native to the shallow waters of the Amazon River basin, such as oxbow lakes and bayous. In their native habitat, the flowers first begin to open as the sun starts to set and can take up to 48 hours to fully open.These flowers can grow up to 40 cm (16 in) in diameter. Each plant will continue to produce flowers for a full growing season and they have co-evolved with a species of scarab beetle of the genus Cyclocephala, to improve its pollination, developing a commensal relationship with such species.
All the buds in a single patch will begin to open at the same time and as they do, they give off a fruity smell. At this point the flower petals are white and the beetles become attracted to both the colour and the smell of the flower. By nightfall the flower closes, the odor stops being emitted, and the beetle becomes trapped inside the carpellary appendages inside the flower. Here, the stamens are protected by the paracarpels and for the next day the flower continues to remain closed. The cavity in which the beetle is trapped is composed of a spongy, starchy tissue that provides nourishment for the beetle. During this time, anthocyanins start to be released by the plant, which in turn changes the petals from white to a reddish pink colour, a sign that the flower will have been pollinated. As the beetle munches away inside the flower, the stamens fall inward and the anthers, which have already fallen, drop pollen on the stamens. During the evening of the second day, the flowers will have opened enough to release the beetle and as it pushes its way through the stamens it becomes covered in pollen.These insects will then go on to find a newly opened water lily and cross-pollinate it with the pollen they are carrying from the previous flower. This process was described in detail by Sir Ghillean Prance and Jorge Arius. The stem and underside of the leaves are coated with many small spines to defend itself from fish and other herbivores that dwell underwater, although they can also play an offensive role in crushing rival plants in the vicinity as the lily aggressively seeks and hogs sunlight, depriving other plants directly beneath its leaves of such vital resource and significantly darkening the waters below. Younger giant water lilies are even known to swing their spiny stalks and buds around as they grow to forcibly make space for themselves.
The species was once called Victoria regia after Queen Victoria, but the name was superseded. It is depicted in the Guyanese coat of arms. They can hold 65 pounds and at least 2-3 human beings.
The species is a member of the genus Victoria, placed in the family Nymphaeaceae or, sometimes, in the Euryalaceae. The first published description of the genus was by John Lindley in October 1837, based on specimens of this plant returned from British Guiana by Robert Schomburgk. Lindley named the genus after the newly ascended Queen Victoria, and the species Victoria regia. The spelling in Schomburgk’s description in Athenaeum, published the month before, was given as Victoria Regina. Despite this spelling being adopted by the Botanical Society of London for their new emblem, Lindley’s was the version used throughout the nineteenth century.
An earlier account of the species, Euryale amazonica by Eduard Friedrich Poeppig, in 1832 described an affinity with Euryale ferox. A collection and description was also made by the French botanist Aimé Bonpland in 1825. In 1850 James De Carle Sowerby recognized Poeppig’s earlier description and transferred its epithet amazonica. The new name was rejected by Lindley. The current name, Victoria amazonica, did not come into widespread use until the twentieth century.
Victoria regia, as it was named, was described by Tadeáš Haenke in 1801. It was once the subject of rivalry between Victorian gardeners in England. Always on the look out for a spectacular new species with which to impress their peers, Victorian “Gardeners”such as the Duke of Devonshire, and the Duke of Northumberland started a well-mannered competition to become the first to cultivate and bring to flower this enormous lily. In the end, the two aforementioned Dukes became the first to achieve this, Joseph Paxton (for the Duke of Devonshire) being the first in November 1849 by replicating the lily’s warm swampy habitat (not easy in winter in England with only coal-fired boilers for heating), and a “Mr Ivison” the second and more constantly successful (for Northumberland) at Syon House.
The species captured the imagination of the public, and was the subject of several dedicated monographs. The botanical illustrations of cultivated specimens in Fitch and W.J. Hooker’s 1851 work Victoria Regia received critical acclaim in the Athenaeum, “they are accurate, and they are beautiful”. The Duke of Devonshire presented Queen Victoria with one of the first of these flowers, and named it in her honour. The lily, with ribbed undersurface and leaves veining “like transverse girders and supports”, was Paxton’s inspiration for The Crystal Palace, a building four times the size of St. Peter’s in Rome.
7. Harhjora : Cissus quadrangularis
Cissus quadrangularis is a perennial plant of the grape family. It is commonly known as veldt grape,devil’s backbone, adamant creeper, asthisamharaka, or asthisamhara, hadjod, and pirandai. The species is native to tropical Asia, Arabia, and much of Africa.
Cissus quadrangularis reaches a height of 1.5 m (4.9 ft) and has quadrangular-sectioned branches with internodes 8–10 cm (3–4 in) long and 1.2–1.5 cm (0.5–0.6 in) wide. Along each angle is a leathery edge. Toothed trilobe leaves 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) wide appear at the nodes. Each has a tendril emerging from the opposite side of the node. Racemes of small white, yellowish, or greenish flowers; globular berries are red when ripe.
Cissus quadrangularis is an evergreen climber growing to 5 m (16 ft) by .5 m (1.6 ft) at a fast rate. It is hardy to zone (UK) 10. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid and very alkaline soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.
Cissus quadrangularis has been used as a medicinal plant since antiquity. Cissus has been used in various Ayurvedic classical medicines to heal broken bones and injured ligaments and tendons. In siddha medicine it is considered a tonic and analgesic, and is believed to help heal broken bones, thus its name asthisamharaka (that which prevents the destruction of bones). The Assamese people and the Garo tribe of Meghalaya and Bangladesh have used C. quadrangularis for bone fracture.
quadrangularis has been studied for its effects in a rat model for osteoporosis. quadrangularis has been studied in animal models of bone fracture.
Its bactericidal effects on Helicobacter pylori indicate a potential use for treating gastric ulcers in conjunction with NSAID therapy.
quadrangularis has been found to contain carotenoids, triterpenoids, and ascorbic acid. The plant also produces the resveratrol dimer quadrangularin.
8. African tulip tree : (Spathodea campanulata)
Spathodea is a monotypic genus in the flowering plant family Bignoniaceae. The single species it contains, Spathodea campanulata, is commonly known as the African tulip tree. The tree grows between 7–25 m (23–82 ft) tall and is native to tropical dry forests of Africa. It has been nominated as among 100 of the “World’s Worst” invaders.
This tree is planted extensively as an ornamental tree throughout the tropics and is much appreciated for its very showy reddish-orange or crimson (rarely yellow), campanulate flowers. The generic name comes from the Ancient Greek words σπαθη (spathe) and οιδα (oida),referring to the spathe-like calyx.It was identified by Europeans in 1787 on the Gold Coast of Africa.
The flower bud is ampule-shaped and contains water. These buds are often used by children who play with its ability to squirt the water. The sap sometimes stains yellow on fingers and clothes. The open flowers are cup-shaped and hold rain and dew, making them attractive to many species of birds.
The African tulip tree flower produces large flamboyant reddish-orange flowers that have approximately five petals and are 8-15 cm long. The flowers are bisexual and zygomorphic. These are displayed in a terminal corymb-like raceme inflorescence. Its pedicel is approximately 6 cm long. This flower also has a yellow margin and throat. The pistil can be found at center of four stamens that is inserted on the corolla tube. This flower has a slender ovary that is superior and is two celled. The seeds of this tree are flat, thin, and broadly winged.
In Neotropical gardens and parks, their nectar is popular with many hummingbirds, such as the black-throated mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis), the black jacobin (Florisuga fusca), or the gilded hummingbird (Hylocharis chrysura).The wood of the tree is soft and is used for nesting by many hole-building birds such as barbets. Unfortunately the flowers have a natural defence killing bees, and it is thought various other species who harvest its pollen.
Native to: Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia
Exotic in: Australia, Bangladesh,Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Fiji, India, Jamaica, Mauritius, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka, Zanzibar, Hawaii, Philippines
It has become an invasive species in many tropical areas, such as Hawaii, Queensland (Australia), Fiji, Papua New Guinea, South Africa and the wet and intermediate zones of Sri Lanka.
Spathodea campanulata is a declared class 3 pest species in Queensland, Australia, under the Land Protection (Pest and Stock Route Management) Act 2002.It is known to be toxic to Australian native stingless bees, such as Lipotriches (Austronomia) flavoviridis.
Pests and diseases
In Uganda, two lepidopteran species, two termite species, and one bark beetle attack S. campanulata. In Puerto Rico nine insect species in the orders Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, and Thysanoptera have been reported as feeding on various parts of S. campanulata. The species is quite susceptible to butt and heart rot; wood of the tree rots quickly when in contact with the ground.
9. Sambucas : Sambucus nigra
Sambucus nigra is a species complex of flowering plants in the family Adoxaceae native to most of Europe.Common names include elder, elderberry, black elder, European elder, European elderberry, European black elderberry and tramman (Isle of Man). It grows in a variety of conditions including both wet and dry fertile soils, primarily in sunny locations. The plant is a very common feature of hedgerows and scrubland in Britain and northern Europe, but is also widely grown as an ornamental shrub or small tree. Both the flowers and the berries have a long tradition of culinary use, primarily for cordial and wine. The Latin specific epithet nigra means “black”, and refers to the deeply dark colour of the berries.
Although elderberry is commonly used in dietary supplements and traditional medicine, there is no scientific evidence that it provides any benefit for maintaining health or treating diseases.
10. Santalum album
Santalum album, or Indian sandalwood, is a small tropical tree, and the traditional source of sandalwood oil. It is native to southern India and Southeast Asia. It is considered sacred in some religions like Hinduism, and some cultures place great significance on its fragrant qualities. However, the high value of the species has caused over-exploitation, to the point where the wild population is vulnerable to extinction. Indian sandalwood still commands high prices for its essential oil owing to its high alpha santalol content, but due to lack of sizable trees it is no longer used for fine woodworking as before. The plant is long-lived, but harvest is only viable after many years.
A modern vegetative propagation arrangement and a tissue culture laboratory have been established in the garden for the propagation of rare species. Initially, tissue culture of orchids and other rare species has been adopted. Besides, a huge rose garden, crisscrossing lake, watch deck, artificial waterfall, bridge over the lake, and above all the thousands of migratory birds in winter are the main attractions of the National Botanic Garden. Every morning many people come here for their morning walk, exercise, yoga, and meditation session.
National Botanical Garden Ticket Price:
Entry fee 20tk (Adult) and 10tk (Child) and 5tk (Members of any study tour).
Botanical Garden Opening Hour:
The garden remains open every day and its visiting hour is 9am-5pm during March-November and 9am-4:30pm during December –February.
National Botanical Garden Off Day:
The park is open for seven days. There’s no off day.
Location (How to go):
Frequent bus services available from any location Dhaka to Mirpur-1 (Zoo & Garden).
National Botanical Garden Most Attractive Things:
The garden is well planned and provides learning and recreational facilities, located adjacent to the National Zoo. The garden is divided into 57 sections and is managed by the government through the Department of Forestry, Ministry of Environment and Forests. A satellite unite of the National Botanical Garden is the Balda Garden. There are in addition smaller Botanical Gardens in the city. It primarily serves the purpose of teaching botany to the university students and enabling scientific studies with plants by the students and faculty of the university, outside Dhaka, also have Botanical Gardens for scientific studies. Recently the government of Bangladesh has decided to establish a new botanical garden in the Chandranath Hills in Chittagong.
Many people gather here for passing time and taking breath in pure natural environment forgetting the bustle life.