Kunming Botanical Garden was founded in 1938 and is located close to the Black Dragon Pool Park in a quiet northern suburb of Kunming. Kunming is the Provincial capital of Yunnan, a province widely regarded as the kingdom of plants. The Botanical Garden focuses largely on ex-situ conservation of the plants of SW China, especially those which fall into the categories of endangered, endemic or economically important and particular attention is paid to species which are native of the Yunnan Plateau and the southern regions of the Hengduan Mountains.
The garden operates as a multidisciplinary center for the study and understanding of plants. The study of plants is primarily concerned with scientific research, plant species conservation and the development of strategies for the sustainable utilization of plant resources. Tertiary education courses are taught in horticulture and landscape. Outreach activities concentrate on public understanding of science and the development of the garden as a provincial, national and ultimately, international visitor attraction.
The garden covers an area of 44 hectares and has 14 specialist plant collections. The living collection contains in excess of 49,000 plant species and cultivars. The garden is managed by 60 permanent staff members and the resident student population numbers around 40 per annum. The annual visitor number is in the region of 500,000 with many repeat visits from the local population.
Nationally, Kunming Botanical Garden is responsible for the conservation, research and sustainable utilization of strategic bio-resources of the Eastern Asiatic Flora of the Sino-Himalayan region.
A scenery of Kunming Botanical Garden in 2004. (Image by KIB)
A full view of one glasshouse within Kunming Botanical Garden in 2004. (Image by KIB)