The National Botanical Garden in Mirpur, Dhaka is conserving 226 rare plant species to protect biodiversity, preserve plant specimens and prevent the plants' possible extinction.
The administrative activities to conserve the ecology of the national garden started last year as a part of a project adopted in 2018. The authorities said conservation work on different species started in May this year and about Tk10 lakh has been spent so far.
Among 226 rare species: there are 100 rare plant species, 26 species of shrubs, 50 species of orchid, and 50 species of cactus.
Meanwhile, 600 rare trees of 100 species, 26 shrubs, 600 cacti, and 600 orchids have been planted. As such, a total of 1,826 rare species of plants and shrubs have been planted in the National Botanical Garden since last June under this project.
Moreover, instead of keeping many trees of one species, saplings of new species will be planted in the future.
The authorities are quite optimistic about the implementation of this project, and they hope it will help students and researchers conduct research on rare species.
The list of rare species of trees taken for conservation includes: kunjabat, rita, magnolia, uriam, rudraksha, kutchi, naglingam, cesium, udal, ponial, oregonia, boharbain, madhumanjuri, bashurilta, nilmoni, and rasundiya.
There are various types of cacti including: Cleistocactus, natto, euphorbia, bisu, star, gomolia, ferro and purusk. Orchids include Dendarium, ross, haya, cecilia, lipstick, receblue, Pereskia bulu, and catolia.
At the national garden, there is complete information about the plants – including the scientific names, English names and whereabouts. Information about endangered species is pasted on them in red letters.
"There were many plants in Bangladesh which are no longer available. All these have been researched and surveyed in the country at different times. Different types of work are being done for conservation and our initiative ongoing. Hopefully, we will succeed in the plan," Haque Mahbub Morshed, the director of the National Botanical Garden, told The Business Standard (TBS).
"Initiatives have also been taken to develop strategic management methods for how to protect native plant species and forest resources from the harmful effects of invasive foreign trees in the park," he added.
He also said if a rare species of plant can be preserved artificially, either in a suitable conservative environment or its natural habitat, it can be useful for expansion.
Though some activities of the project have been disrupted due to the pandemic, around 600 rare medicinal plants will be planted in June next year.
According to the latest calculation for December 2019, there are 1,041 species and about 80,000 plants in 57 blocks in the 208-acre botanical garden.
According to the Bangladesh Forest Department, there are about 5,000 species of plants in different botanical gardens in Bangladesh.
The collection and preservation of seeds and seedlings of foreign trees started in the 1970s at the National Botanical Garden, the only botanical garden and living plant archive in the country.