Botanic Gardens Turn 192 With ‘Orchidarium’

By webadmin on 10:43 pm May 15, 2009
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To celebrate its 192nd anniversary, the Bogor Botanical Gardens will open an orchid garden to the public on Monday.
 

Sudjati Budi Susetyo, head of the Off-Site Conservation Department, said that in a bid to raise people’s awareness of plant conservation, his team had planted some 20 orchid species — or roughly 4,000 specimens — in the 1.2 hectare garden called “the Orchidarium.” “We have carefully selected the varities that will survive outside the greenhouse,” he said on Friday.

The Orchidarium’s open-space architecture resembles the plants’ natural habitat, where ground orchids, those that grow on tree bark and on feces can thrive. Orchids range from small species to giant ones like the Grammatophyllum speciosum, which is native to the forests of West Java.

The Orchidarium will be open to the public daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We want to show people that we are rich in orchid species, and that all of them are beautiful,” Sudjati said, adding he was confident that Indonesians, who are naturally fond of orchids, would be regular visitors to the Orchidarium. “They even have these groups, one of them is the Indonesian Orchid Association.”

According to Sudjati, the botanical gardens, also known as the KRB, will encourage people to plant their own samples in the Orchidarium. Right now, Sudjati added, the gardens welcomed orchid donations, which would be provided with special registration numbers so that “the orchids have a clearly defined history.”

“It should be special,” he said. “Otherwise, it will look like any other garden.”

The 87-hectare KRB, the oldest of its kind in the country, says it has the most comprehensive collection of tropical biodiversity in the world. It is also the oldest among Southeast Asian countries. Currently, the gardens host 3,456 plant species, and 22,788 low-land tropical specimens of which 255 are over 100 years old. It is also home to 200 endangered plant species, 96 butterfly species and 216 ant species.

He added that he would like to see the country’s 19 other botanical gardens expand their collections and encourage people to become involved in conservation work.