Henarathgoda Botanical Garden

Henarathgoda Botanical Garden
Henarathgoda Botanical Garden, also known as Gampaha Botanical Garden (Sinhala: ගම්පහ හෙනරත්ගොඩ උද්භිද උද්‍යානය), is one of the botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. It is located in Gampaha, about 30 km northwest of Colombo. Established in 1876 for the reception of the original Para Rubber from Brazil, the garden was the first nursery for the development of the rubber industry not only in Sri Lanka but elsewhere in Asia as well (Gunawardena, 2003).

The garden is administrated by the Department of Agriculture. 

During the 19th century, British rulers were trying to establish rubber-yielding plants in their colonies in Asia. They experimented with various types 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 similar environmental conditions as that of the Amazon.

The first rubber plant in Sri Lanka, Henarathgoda
In 1876, some of the rubber seeds collected from the Amazon forest were imported from the Royal Botanical Garden in Kew and planted at Henarathgoda Garden (Gunawardena, 2003). At the time the garden was handled by Muhandiram A. de Zoysa under the supervision of the director of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. After 13 years, the plants blossomed yielding the first stock of seeds that were distributed throughout the country as well as in some other countries including South India, Malaysia, and Myanmar.

However, the first rubber plant collapsed in 1988 due to a rainstorm and the remaining of it is now being preserved as a national monument.

The garden
The garden has been established on a low lying area (mean sea level-10 m) compared to the other botanical gardens on the island. Originally it was 36 acres in extent and with the addition of 7 acres in 2005, the garden now comprises of 43 acres (APR, 2012). The southern part of the garden is bordered by Attanagalu Oya

It consists of several sections such as Arboretum, Fernery, Palmetum, Student Garden, Fruit Garden, Flower Garden, Plant houses and Spice section.

Henarathgoda Garden Henarathgoda Garden
See also
1) APR, 2012. Annual Performance Report. Department of National Botanic Gardens. pp.23-24.
2) Gunawardena, C.A., 2003. Encyclopedia of Sri Lanka. Sterling Publishers, New Delhi. ISBN: 81 207 2536 0. p.39.

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This page was last updated on 18 June 2023

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