A new aquatic plant section has been inaugurated at the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden (AJCIBG), Shibpur, housing rare plant species by Union Environment and Forest Minister Bhupender Yadav.
During his visit to the over 200 year old garden on Friday, Yadav also planted Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb, commonly known as Rudraksh (native to Himalayas and Eastern Asia) in one part of the garden, a spokesperson of the Botanical garden said on Saturday.
The minister inaugurated the newly developed ‘aquatic plant section’ in AJCBIBG in division 20 area of the sprawling botanical garden area. Yadav said institutions like this botanical garden will play a significant role in creating public awareness about plant preservation and saving our rich biodiversity and ecosystem. He said the awareness has to be built up among students and youth who visit the park regularly as they are our future citizens The aquatic plant section is dedicated for conservation of certain rare species of lotus and lily flowers.
It has a collection of species, varieties and hybrids of more than 40 lotus which also includes rare ‘thousand petal lotous’ and 25 species and hybrids of Lilies, the spokesperson said.
The centre of attraction of aquatic plant section is the Giant Water Lily (Victoria amazonica and V cruziana) originally introduced in the garden in 1873 from Brazil. Victoria amazonica has also been introduced in three more lakes (Sadhir, Diwan and Kings) where they are growing nicely, Director Botanical Survey of India Dr Devendra Singh told the Minister.
The minister also planted Delbergia latofolia Roxb commonly known as Indian Rose wood. After the inauguration of Aquatic plant section, the minister visited the famous 270 year old Great Banyan tree. The director briefed the minister about the recent development activities of the garden and its restoration along with mass plantation going on in garden as during Cyclone Amphan in 2020 many of the plants were uprooted. The spokesperson said the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden had suffered serious damages in cyclone Amphan but after massive restoration drive 75 per cent of the damages could be undone.
He said there are 1,500 species of plants spread over 25 divisions in the sprawling botanical garden area with 24 lakes.