MBGIPS- Facilities

(Aquatic Plant Conservatory and Nursery): Malabar Botanical Garden and Institute for Plant Sciences, a member of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), UK, has a very large collection of aquatic plants of India. These wetland plants are collected from different regions of the Country and are maintained in the Aquagene. The collections involve all Indian species of Nymphaea, Wolffia globosa, Trapa natans, Vallisneria spiralis, Nelumbo nucifera, Nuphar luteum, etc. In addition to the Aquagene, a natural breeding station for Nymphaea spp. is also maintained as’Sarovar’here. A scheme for establishing an “Aquatic Biopark” meant as the live gene bank of aquatics is also progressing at Malabar Botanical Garden, which is a Lead Garden of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India, . The delicate aquatic plants which are at the threat of extinction in its original habitats are cultivated ex situ in the Aquatic Plant Conservatory. In addition to the RET species, genetic diversity of specified taxa with considerable endemism are also grown in the Conservatory. The delicate aquatic plants collected from far and wide are also displayed. Aquagene Broucher

Pteridophyte Conservatory: Ferns and Lycophytes are one among the oldest land plants and they are the pioneer vascular land plants. They are a very diverse group only next to angiosperms. The fernery 'Apushpi' at the MBGIPS is an ex situ conservatory of 143 species of ferns and lycophytes collected from different regions of South India. Some of the rare species conserved here are Botrychium daucifolium, Osmunda huegeliana, Pellaea boivinii, Huperzia phlegmaria, Psilotum nudum, Doryopteris ludens, etc. In addition to the ferns from Kerala, exotic species like Regnellidium diphyllum, Davallia feejensis, Adiantum peruvianum, etc. are also grown here. As a part of 'Western Ghats Development Programme', a project has been implemented at MBGIPS for the conservation of Ferns and Lycophytes of this area Ferns Section Broucher

Intentional planting of trees or shrubs which are maintained for food production comprising of fruit or nut producing trees. More than 52 species of fruit trees are conserved in the MBGIPS which includes some exotic species such as Durian, Rambutan, Avocado, Pulasan, etc Orchard Broucher 

Hortus Malabaricus, (12 vols. 1678-1712) is the monumental work on Malabar Plants by Van Rheede, published in Latin. The plants of this book had been reinvestigated and translated into English and Malayalam by Prof. K.S. Manilal (Former Emeritus Scientist, MBGIPS). The plants of Hortus Malabaricus are well maintained in the Hortus Valley of MBGIPS. Out of the 742 species, 432 species have already been introduced. Hortus Valley Broucher

Malabar Botanical Garden has an excellent live collection of non flowering lower group of plants, the Bryophytes. This primitive group constitute the second largest group of land plants and are considered to be the pioneer land plants. These are considered as ‘Amphibians of the plant kingdom' due to their preference to aquatic and other wet habitats. They grow on varied substrates such as rocks, tree barks, concrete walls and other moist areas. The liverworts, hornworts and mosses constitute the Division Bryophyta. These are the groups with a dominant gametophyte and the sporophyte is parasitic on the gametophyte.

The waterlillies (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 fascinating hues like white (N.alba and N.pubescens), yellow (N.marliaceae), red (N.alba var.rubra), crimson (N. rubra), rose (N.ormana), violet (N.micrantha). blue (N. cerulea) and the colour variants of the species (N. nouchali) with white, pale pink and pale blue flowers varieties are conserved at MBG making it the richest germplasm collection of the National flower lotus (Nelumbo nucifira), the prickly leaved waterlily (Eurayle ferox), the floating hearts (Nymphoides spp.), aquatic balsam (Hydrocera trifolia), Sagittaria spp., Cabomba caroliniana, etc. are elegantly displayed in the MBG.

Herbal Garden: A herbal garden (Sarpagandhi) has been established in about I5 acres in the hilly area. More than 300 varieties of medicinal plants used in the traditional Indian systems, including many reportedly endangered ones, are cultivated here. In the medicinal tree garden (Sanjeevani) medicinal tree groups like Triphala, Nalpamara, Dasamoola, etc. are demonstrated.

Palms are large group of elegant, arborescent plants under the family Arecaceae. There are about 2400 species belonging to 183 genera in the world. Palms form an important group with considerable economic potentiality and are ranked next to the grasses and legumes. They provide food, shelter and other utility commodities to mankind, especially to rural communities in the tropics. Palms are also extensively cultivated in gardens, plantations, as avenues and indoor plants for their majestic beauty and decorative values as foliage plants. Malabar Botanical Garden conserves seven indigenous genera such as Arenga, Bentinckia, Borrassus etc, 21 exotic genera such as Bismarckia, Dypsis, Livistona etc and three endangered palms like Calamus thwaitesii, Arenga wightii and Bentinckia condapanna. Palm Garden

India is known the world over as “The Home of Spices”. Spices constitute an important group of agricultural commodities which are virtually indispensable in the culinary art. They also play a significant role in our national economy and also in the economies of several spice producing, exporting and importing countries. Spices are used for flavouring foods and are also used in medicine, pharmaceutical, perfumery, cosmetics and several other industries. Some of them also possess antioxidant properties, while others are used as preservatives in foods like pickles, chutneys, etc. Some spices also possess strong antimicrobial and antibiotic activities. Important spices at MBG : Black pepper, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Ginger, etc. Spices Garden Brouchers 

Although the whole garden with an orderly arrangement of plants is aesthetically pleasing, a part of the garden is developed into an ornamental section by growing plants of ornamental/aesthetic value.

A mythological garden has been estalished 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 his birth tree will get prosperity. This belief of the people has been perpetuated through the project for protecting these trees which are displayed at MBG. Star Forest Broucher

Plants of the Epies): This forms another mythological collection of plants developed for creating public interest and its conservation.

Bamboos are arborescnet monocarpic perennials belonging to the family Poaceae. They are some of the fastest growing plants in the world, owing to their unique rhizome dependant system. Bamboos have notable economic significance in various parts of South and South East Asia, as they have been used as building materials, food source, medicine and for aesthetic purposes also. Bamboos are represented in the world by 110 genera and 1110 species of which 15 genera are found to occur in India with 115 species. Kerala is one of the major diversity centres of Bamboo with 22 species under 7 genera. Bamboos have been a popular choice among gardeners worldwide. The graceful and exotic look and a wide variety of colours and size they present, have carved them a unique niche in landscaping industry.Over exploitation and other biotic stresses have considerably reduced the Bamboo diversity in our forests, which will adversely affect the ecology and the socio economic conditions of the Bamboo dependant populations. Hence the conservation of this unique plant group becomes essential. The Bambusetum at Malabar Botanical Garden conserves 25 species of Bamboo falling under 6 genera. Bambusetum Section Broucher

JANAKIA, a Conservatory for the Rare, Endangered and Threatened plant species of South India is maintained here. The status of the plants is based on IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) Red list. IUCN is the largest UN Organization, with an objective of conserving biodiversity. The IUCN Red list of threatened species is the most comprehensive approach for evaluating the conservation status of plants or animal species.RET-Janakiya Broucher

Germplasm of special groups of plants such as traditional mango varieties, Zingiberaceae plants, palms, Gymnosperms, Ferns, tuberous plants, etc. are also maintained in different sections.

Begonia and Jasmine (Green house and Mist Chamber) :A greenhouse (Begonia) for native sciophytes (shade-loving) and the common indoor plants and a mist chamber (Jasmine) for raising seedlings are the other attractions in the garden.

The natural rocky area of the garden has been enriched with cacti and succulents to make it into a rockery of aesthetic and educational value.

A part of the garden is made suitably to attract the different varieties of butterflies by growing flower bearing plants palatable to them. Beautiful butterflies in hundreds can be seen fluttering around the flowers in this garden.

A pond ecosystem illustrating the non – biotic and biotic components such as producers (plants), consumers (fish, frogs, snakes, crocodiles and man) and decomposers (bacteria) is developed as an aid to students for their ecological studies..Construction of a pond ecosystem in the front area of the Aquagene is in progress.

The botanical museum is set in accordance with the school and college syllabi for providing educational facility to students. The important items on display include the liquid preserved specimens of curious plants representing different groups such as Algae, Fungi,Lichens, Bryophytes, Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms and Angiosperms, millions years old fossils, photographs of curious plants, original drawings of important publications, portraits of scientists, wood samples, pests and pollinators, botanical charts, models, etc. In addition to the preserved specimens, native aquatic plants suitable for aquariums are displayed in live condition in aquarium tanks in the aquatic museum.

A herbarium is being developed exclusively for the plants of Malabar area with special emphasis on aquatic plants. At present the herbarium contains about 3000 accessioned specimens.

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