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Malabar Botanical Garden and Institute for Plant Sciences

On the south-east border of the historic Calicut (Kozhikode) city, about 40 acres of land gradually sloping from a panoramic green hillock to a flat wetland of sedges and water lilies to form a beautiful placid lake during the monsoon season. This terrain accommodates a variety of niches for flowering and non flowering plants providing diverse habitats like ponds, wetlands, grasslands, slopes, laterite rocks, etc. . Malabar Botanical Garden and Institute for Plant Sciences is under the administrative control of the Science & Technology Department, Government of Kerala.

The MBGIPS is approximately 8 kilometers from the Kozhikode Railway station and 20 kilometers from the Kozhikode International airport. It lies within 11°30' latitude and 75°50' longitude. The MBGIPS by virtue of possessing a vast morass land becomes unique in the nation congenial for ex situ conservation of aquatic/wetland plants which are fast depleting throughout the country due to incessant habitat destruction.

Major Attractions

Water Queens (Germplasm Conservation of Water lilies) and Sarovar : The water lilies (Nymphaea spp.) are a group of fascinating aquatic plants growing in fresh water situations of the tropical and temperate regions. Species of Nymphaea brought from all over the country with captivating hues like N.alba and N.pubscens( white), N.marliaceae (yellow), N.alba var.rubra (red ), N. rubra (crimson ), N.ormana( rose ), N.micrantha (violet ) N.cerulea (blue ) and the colour variants of the species N. nouchali with white, pale pink and pale blue flowers are conserved at MBGIPS making it the richest germplasm collection of water lilies The National flower lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), the prickly leaved waterlily (Eurayle ferox,), the floating hearts (Nymphoides spp.), aquatic balsam (Hydrocera triflora) Sagittaria spp., Cabomba caroliniana, etc. are elegantly displayed in the MBGIPS.

Aquagene (Aquatic Plant Conservatory and Nursery): Almost all the freshwater wetland plants of South India are conserved here. The delicate aquatic plants which are under the threat of extinction in its original habitats, are conserved ex situ in the Aquatic Plant Conservatory. In addition to the RET species, genetic diversity of specified taxa with considerable endemism are also maintained in the Conservatory.

Sanjeevani and Sarpagandha (Herbal Garden): A herbal garden ( Sanjeevani) has been established in about 15 acres in the hilly area. More than 300 varieties of medicinal plants being used in the traditional Indian systems, including many reportedly endangered ones, are cultivated here. In the medicinal plant nursery (Sarpagandha) about 300 species of important medicinal plants are displayed.

Gardenia (Ornamental Garden): A part of the garden is developed into an ornamental section with plants of ornamental/aesthetic value.

Star Forest: A mythological garden has been established in 1998 as a novel step for creating public interest on trees. As per the Ephemeris, for each of the 27 birth stars a tree is denoted and a person caring for his birth tree will prosper. This belief of the people has been perpetuated through the project for protecting these trees displayed at MBGIPS.

Bodhi (Plants of the Epics): This forms a collection of mythological plants developed to create public interest and their conservation. RET House The endangered plants of Kerala included in the Red Data Book of Indian Plants and those plants endemic to the erstwhile Malabar region are maintained here.

Begonia Section : A greenhouse (Begonia) for native shade-loving plants, common indoor plants and a mist chamber (Jasmine) for raising seedlings form another attraction.

Hortus Valley : Plants described in the 300 year old monumental book Hortus Malabaricus (1678-1703) compiled by Van Rheede with the help of the local medical practitioner Sri. Itty Achuthan, have been planted and displayed here.. The medicinal properties and traditional use of those plants as it is described in the book are exhibited making it into a heritage garden.

Panathottam (Palm Grove): Over fifty species of palms like Red Palm, Triangle Palm, Oil Palm, Umbrella Palm, Champagne Palm, Palmyra Palm, etc. are maintained in the north east corner of the hilly terrain.

Salabharamam (Butterfly Garden): Attracts myriads of butterflies, bees and other insect pollinators. Plants like Crotalaria, Cassia, etc are planted here for attracting beautiful butterflies like common crow; Blue mormon, Blue Tiger, Southern Bird Wing, Emigrant, Grass Yellow,etc. throughout the season.

Systematic Garden:. A walk through this garden, designed on the basis of Bentham & Hooker’s system of classification, will leave a lasting impression in the minds of students about the taxonomic classification of plants and evoke interest in the subject.

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