2. Establishment of a Thematic Botanic Garden in the campus of Shiv Nadar University | Center for Environmental Sciences & Engineering

2. Establishment of a Thematic Botanic Garden in the campus of Shiv Nadar University

Goal: Thematic Botanic Gardens are unique as besides playing a crucial role in conservation and research on various genotypes they provide an opportunity to people to see a range of plants belonging to the same category at one place which is otherwise not possible in classical Botanical Gardens. The main Goal of the project is to establish a unique Thematic Garden in SNU with the following themes:

Theme 1: Endemic and RET Species Garden
Theme 2: Orchidarium (Green House)
Theme 3: Fruit Plants Garden
Theme 4: Bamboo Garden (Bambusetum)
Theme 5: Palm Garden (Palmetum)
Theme 6: Ficus Garden
Theme 7: Medicinal Plants Garden
Theme 8: Gymnosperms Garden
Theme 9: Aromatic and Essential Oil Plant Garden
Theme 10: Anticancer Plants Garden
Theme 11: Antimalarial and mosquito repellant plants Garden
Theme 12: Anti-Oxidant Plants Garden
Theme 13: Aquatic Plants Garden and Conservation Area
Theme 14: Xerophytes Garden (Arid & Semi-Arid Zone Plants)
Theme 15: Cacti and Succulents Garden (Green House)
Theme 16: Thallophyte & Bryophyte Garden (Cryptogams Garden)
Theme 17: Fern and Allies House (Green House)
Theme 18: Butterfly Garden

The Thematic Botanical Garden is being established in an area of 4.33 ha (10. 63 acres) adjacent to the wetland area of the Campus, including 3.28 acres (1.33 ha) of low lying wetland area; the land area of   the Garden is 7.45 acres (3.00 ha) in the Campus of Shiv Nadar University. The wetland part, which provides habitat for aquatic life – flora and fauna, especially the migratory and other aquatic birds, amphibians, fishes, reptiles such as tortoise and  snakes are common. The wetland side of the Garden having a number of aquatic species (Sagittaria sp., two species of Potamogeton sp., Hydrilla sp., Nitella sp.(Algae), Chara sp.(Algae)., Marsiliea sp.(Pteridophyte) also provides conservatory for natural populations of two species of Equisetum i.e., Equisetum ramossisimum ssp.and Equisetum ramossisimum ssp.debile .
Plant diversity introduced

After preparing the area by grass and debris removal and soil filling and leveling planting initiated as per the layout plan. The Garden was provided with a bio-fencing of Carrisa carandus (Karonda) plantation on all the four sides. Till date more than 435 plant species have been introduced in the Botanical garden.

The Garden has been provided with a bio-fencing of Carrisa carandus (Karonda) on all the four sides. There is a boundary plantation around the Botanical Garden consisting of a mix of perennial shrubs, small and large trees. Except a few, all species are indigenous or endemics. The boundary plantation consists of a total of 84 plant species belonging to 37 plant families. Out of 84 plant species; 46 belong to large trees, 21 small trees and 17 shrub species. T A total of 469 plant species (including varieties) have been introduced in Thematic Botanic Garden. All these species belong to 110 plant families and 320 genera. The main thrust is to introduce as many as rare, endangered and threatened plant species in the Garden such as Commiphora weightii (Guggul), Saraca asoka, etc. from the conservation point of view.

Tree species: There are a total of 70 tree species in the Garden of which 47 species are part of the boundary plantation.
Small Trees and Shrubs:The Garden has 18 small or large shrub species planted in the boundary.

Layout plan of planting the boundary plants
In planting scheme a combination of large trees, small trees and shrubs was adopted for planting small trees and shrubs in between large trees of boundary plantation. The details are given in Annexure 1. The distance between larger trees is 7 m and in between there is a smaller tree. In between larger tree and smaller tree shrubs have been planted. It has been ensured that different trees flowering at different times of the year and of different colours are scattered all over the boundary .On wetland side boundary Salix tetrasperma and Salix babylonica plants have been planted at an espacement of 5 m.

Proposed Themes to be established in the Thematic Botanical Garden
The following eleven themes are proposed to be established in the Garden. Taxonomically identified plants of each theme will be collected from various research institutions and purchased from standard nurseries, wherever available and planted systematically in the four thematic genepool gardens. Emphasis will be to include as many as possible RET species in each theme.

Theme 1: Endemic and RET Species Garden
Theme 2: Fruit Plants Garden
Theme 3: Palm Garden (Palmetum)
Theme 4: Bambusetum (Bamboo Garden)
Theme 5: Medicinal Plants Garden (including, Anticancer , Antimalarial and Anti-Oxidant    Plants)
Theme 6: Aquatic Plants Garden and Conservation Area
Theme 7: Arid and Semi-arid zone plants (Xerophytes) Garden
Theme 8: Cacti and Succulents Garden (Green House)
Theme 9: Cryptogams (Bryophytes and Fern & Allies) Garden
Theme 10: Gymnosperms Garden
Theme 11: Butterfly Garden

Theme Gardens being established

Of the 18 themes proposed the following eight Theme Gardens have been established in the Botanical Garden which include a total of 323 plant species (Fig. 27). Plants of various species under eight different themes such as Fruit Plants Garden (60 variety of plant species), Palm Garden (32 species), Gymnosperms Garden (29 species), Bamboos Garden (10 species), Medicinal Plants Garden (132 plant species), Xerophytes Garden (36 species), Hydrophytes Garden (16 species), Ficus Garden (14 species) were planted. Since, Gymnosperms and desert plants will be planted on a soil mound to give a feeling of a hill or sand dunes all the plants are maintained in large pots at respective places.

  1. Fruit Plants Garden
  2. Palm Garden (Palmetum)
  3. Gymnosperms Garden
  4. Bamboo Garden (Bambusetum)
  5. Medicinal Plants Garden
  6. Xerophytes Garden (Arid & Semi-Arid Zone Plants Garden)
  7. Hydrophytes Garden
  8. Ficus Garden

In each theme more plants are added regularly.

(i) Fruit Plants Garden

A total of 60 variety of fruit plants such as Aonla, Amra, Apple, Bel, Ber, Banana, Barhal, Chinese Orange, Custard apple, Fig (3 types), Grape, Guava  (4 types),  Jack fruit, Jamun, Rose apple (Jamba), Jangal Jalebi, Karaunda, Khirni, Lasoora, Lemon, Lychee, Kagzi neebu/lime, Sweet lemon, Mandarin (Kinnow), Orange, Mango (Amrapali and Dasheri), Papaya, Passion fruit (purple and red), Pear , Phalsa, Pomgranate, Pomelo (Chakotara), Star fruit (Kamrakh), Sapota, Walnut, West Indian Cherry, Wood apple (Kaith), etc. have been planted in the Garden.The fruit plants represent temperate, tropical, sub-tropical and arid climatic zones of the country.

(ii) Palm Garden

Altogether, 32 species of palms have been introduced in Botanical Garden, the largest collection in NCR region such as;  Areca catechu (Supari palm), Beaucarnea recurvata (Nolina Palm), Bismarckia nobilis (Bismarckia palm), Butia capitata (Jelly palm), Caryota mitis (Fish tail palm), Chamaerops humilis (Chamaerops palm), Copernicia prunifera (Copernicia palm), Dypsis lutescens (Areca palm), Livistona sp. (Livistona palm), Phoenix sylvestris (Date palm), Ravenala madagascariensis (Travellers palm), Rhapis excelsa (Rhapis palm), Roystonea regia (Royal palm), Trachycarpus fortunei (China palm), Wodyetia bifurcata (Fox tail palm), et. These palms show a great variety of phenotypic characters and size.

(iii) Bambusetum (Bamboo Garden)

          A beginning has been made by planting a few species of bamboos in the Bambusetum to show the bamboo diversity. A total of 10 taxa are introduced in Botanical Garden viz; Bambusa nana (Thai silk bamboo), Bambusa vulgaris (Buddha belly), Dendrocalamus asper (Edible bamboo), Dendrocalamus strictus (Desi bamboo), Golden bamboo, Variegated Bamboo, etc. More species of bamboos will be procured and planted in the Bambusetum.

(iv) Medicinal Plants Garden

Since, the diversity of medicinal plants is dwindling rapidly due to over exploitation and anthropogenic factors to conserve the local medicinal plants for awareness and research about 130 plant species of known medicinal value have been assembled in the Medicinal Plant Garden in pots.

Some of the important medicinal plants introduced in the Garden are: Abutilon indicum (Kanghi), Achyranthes aspera (Latjeera), Ageratum houstonianum (Blue weed), Alpinia galangal (Kulanjan), Artemisia scoparia (Seeta-bani), Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi), Barleria prionitis (Vajradanti), Boerhaavia diffusa (Punarnava), Butea monosperma (Pharash), Cannabis sativa (Bhang), Chenopodium album (Bathua), Clerodendrum phlomidis (Arani), Clitoria ternatea (Aparajita), Croton bonplandianus (Ban Tulsi),  Eclipta prostrata (Bhringraj), Ellitaria cardemomum (Elaichee). Euphorbia hirta (Dudhi-Asthma plant), Hyptis suaveolens (Vilaiti Tulsi), Nymphaea pubescens (Water Lily), Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi), Phyllanthus maderaspatensis (Bhuiamla),  Phyllanthus amblica (Amla), Piper betle (Pan), Ricinus communis (Castor oil plant), Santalum album (Chandan),  Senna occidentalis (Coffee weed), Solanum americanum (Mokoi), Terminalia arjuna (Arjun), Terminalia bellerica (Bahera), Tribulus terrestris (Gokharu), Trianthema portulacastrum (Bishkhapra), Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha), etc.

These will be augmented to include more herbal plants and planted according to the disease/ailment-wise. For example all the plants used in curing Asthama, Liver diseases, Skin infections, Heart diseases, Kidney diseases, Eye diseases, Bone related diseases, Cancer diseases, Malaria, etc. will be grouped separately.

(v) Arid and Semi-Arid Zone Plants (Xerophytes) Garden       

The Garden has a collection of about 40 species of Xerophytes (Arid & Semi-Arid Zone Plants). Some of the examples are: Jatropha curcas, Acacia sp., Cactus sp., Euphorbia tirucalli (Pencil Tree), Opuntia dillenii (Nagphani), Prosopis cineraria (Khejri Tree), etc.

(vi) Gymnosperms Garden

The Garden has a total of 29 Gymnosperms (7; cycads and 22; others including pines) belonging to 18 genera. The important Gymnosperms are; Abies pindrow (West himalayan fir), Agathis robusta (Queensland kauri pine), Araucaria bidwillii (Bunya pine), Araucaria cunninghamii (Hoop pine), Cedrus deodara (Devdar), Cryptomeria japonica (Japanese cedar), Cycas circinalis (Queen sago), Cycas revoluta (Japanese sago palm), Dioon edule (Chestnut dioon), Dioon spinulosum (Giant dioon), Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair tree), Juniperus indica (Black juniper), Pinus kesiya (Khasi pine), Pinus roxburghii (Chir pine), Podocarpus neriifolius (Brown pine), Taxus baccata (English yew), Zamia furfuracea (Mexican cycad), etc. More plants belonging to missing taxa, especially RET species will be procured and planted in the Garden.

(vii) Hydrophytes (Aquatic Plants) Garden

A total of 16 species of wild hydophytes such as Ceratophyllum demersum, Hydrilla verticillata, Lemna perpusilla, Nymphaea pubescens, Nymphoides cristata, Potamogeton crispus, Pistia stratiotes, Sagittaria guayanensis, Spirodela polyrrhiza, Stuckenia pectinata, Utricularia stellaris, Vallisneria spiralis have been introduced in the Hydrophytes Garden. The serious aquatic weed, Eichhornia crassipes (Water Hyacinth) is also introduced in the Garden for education and research purpose. In addition, one species of macro algae (Chara sp.) and 2 species of ferns (Ampelopteris prolifera, Marsilea quadrifolia) are also included in the Hydophytes Garden.

(viii) Ficus Garden

Ficus is an important genus in the family Moraceae. Many of the Ficus or fig trees have their role as keystone species in various ecosystems and provide home to numerous species of birds, butterflies, monkeys, bats and insects. The Ficus religiosa, native to the Indian subcontinent, is one of the religious trees of India worshipped among Hindus a well as followers of Jainism and Buddhism. A total of 14 species of Ficus have been assembled in the Ficus garden, including Ficus. benghalensis, F. benjamina, F. elastica, F. hispida, F. lyrata, F. natalensis subsp. leprieurii, F. racemosa, F. religiosa, F. retusa, F. virens, etc.

RET species in the Botanical Garden

Among Gymnosperms and Angiosperms assembled in the Garden there are 10 and 15 species, respectively which belong to different IUCN categories. There are 10 species belonging to Gymnosperms and 18 species of Angiosperms which belong to least concern category of IUCN.

Wild Fauna in and around areas of Thematic Botanic Garden

The various species of wild fauna were sighted and recorded inside the Thematic Botanic Garden and surroundings of SNU campus. This includes several species of Butterflies (Common Castor, Painted Lady, Blue Pansy, Plain Tiger etc.), Dragonflies (Common Picturewing, Red Dragonfly etc.), Indian and migratory birds (State bird of Uttar Pradesh- Sarus crane,  Bulbul, Batair, Peacock, Jungle bubbler, Pond heron, Titihari, Indian Cormorant, Ibis, Siberian crane, Purple Moorhen, White Wagtail, Painted Stork etc.), Reptiles & Amphibians (Monitor Lizard, Tortoise, Chameleon, Snakes, Frogs etc.), Mammals (Indian Hair, Nilgai, Deer, Black Buck, Jackal, Mongoose, Jungle Cat etc.), Fishes (3 species), Insects/Arthropods (Honeybees, Bug, Wasp, Leaf insects, Spider, etc.).

  • Botanic Garden- Boundary plantation 2015
  • A wild species of Cassia sp.
  • Passiflora (Passion Fruit) in the Fruit Garden
  • Blooming Chrysenthemum in the Garden during winter