Saturday, April 7, 2018

Henarathgoda Botanical Garden

Henarathgoda Botanical Garden, Gamapaha, Sri Lanka
Henarathgoda Botanical Garden (also known as Gampaha Botanical Garden) is one of botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. The garden is located in Gampaha, about 30 km north-west of Colombo. It was established in 1876 for the reception of the original Para Rubber from Brazil. The remains of original rubber plantation could still be seen.

During the 19th century British rulers were trying to establish rubber yielding plants in their colonies in Asia. They experimented various type of rubber plants such as Para Rubber, Gutta percha, Panama Rubber, Balatta and Lagos Rubber in India and Ceylon and found out that Ceylon has same environmental conditions as that of the Amazon.

The first rubber plant in Sri Lanka, HenarathgodaIn 1876, 1919 rubber seedlings collected from the Amazon forest were imported from the Royal Botanical Garden in Kew and planted at Henarathgoda garden. At the time the garden was handled by Muhandiram A. de Zoysa under the supervision of the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Peradeniya. After 13 years, the plants were blossomed yielding the first stock of seeds which were distributed throughout the country as well as some other countries including South India, Malaysia and Myanmar.

However the first rubber plant was collapsed in 1988 due to a rain storm and the remaining are now being preserved as a national monument.

The garden has been established on a low lying area (mean sea level - 10 m) compared to the other botanical gardens in the island. It covers about 43 acres and the southern part of the garden is bordered by Attanagalu Oya. It consists of number of sections such as Arboretum, Fernery, Palmetum, Student Garden, Fruit Garden, Flower Garden, Plant houses and Spice section. The garden is administrated by the Department of Agriculture. 
Henarathgoda botanical garden, Sri Lanka Henarathgoda botanical garden, Sri Lanka
References
1) The information board at the site by the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture.
2) Official website of the Department of National Botanic Gardens - Henaratgoda Garden

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