Sri Lanka’s biodiversity treasure trove

In light of our field trip to the Singapore Botanical Gardens today, I was desperate to share gorgeous photos from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka from when I visited a year back.

The botanical gardens in Peradeniya is not only a biodiversity treasure for ex-situ conservation of Sri Lankan flora but is also a historical monument. It was first used for royal pleasure by King Wickramabahu III way back in 1371 (hence it’s name the Royal Botanic Gardens). The garden has  stood strong and continued to flourish amidst colonialism and industralisation. Here’s a virtual tour of this magnificent place!

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This is a lake in the middle of the gardens in the shape of Sri Lanka. My camera frame couldn’t capture the lake in its entirety but it was a spectacle.

This right here is like the red carpet into the botanic gardens. These tall tress reaching out to the skies are Cabbage Palms.

This right here is like the red carpet into the botanic gardens. These tall tress reaching out to the skies are Cabbage Palms.

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Today, we learnt about how bats pollinate certain trees and this was the picture that immediately flashed in my head. The Indian Flying Foxes are by far the numerous bat species in the Peradeniya botanical gardens. These are fruit bats that feed mainly on ripe fruits.

 
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We also learnt quite a bit about Ficus today on how they can form such large structures and are often trees that are worshipped commonly by certain religious practitioners. This is the Giant Java Willow Tree, Ficus benjamina. It is not only one of the major attractions here but also, one of the oldest trees in the garden.

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Giant Bamboo or Dendrocalamus giganteus munro.

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I saw this today in the Singapore Botanic Gardens as well but I don’t know what this is . We occasionally referred to this as the “cemetery trees” (don’t they look like the set of a funeral in a movie?) If you do know, please share your wisdom!

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Cavanillesia platanifolia has the softest wood ever recorded.

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And instead of dogs, we have cows chilling in the vicinity.

If you ever get the chance go to Sri Lanka, this is one good place to go visit!

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