Beijing Botanical Garden, lying in the foot of the West Hill of Beijing, has by tradition been engaged in the conservation of the native flora, especially plants from northern, northeastern and northwestern China. It is an important organization to undertake botanical research, public education, plant germplasm conservation and utilization. It also serves as a tourism, relax and recreational place for the public. Excellent displays are made monthly in the main conservatory, the penjing (bonsai) garden, the arboretum and 11 outdoor gardens: tree-peony garden, peony garden, rose garden, ornamental peach garden, lilac garden, crabapple-contoneaster garden, magnolia garden, fall color garden, perennial garden, bamboo garden and mume flower garden.
Beijing Botanical Garden was founded in 1956 with financial support from central government. During the recent 20 years, lots of projects were carried on the garden, especially after 1990. New collection areas are extended and more plant taxa are collected, and at present over 10,000 taxa and 1,500,000 plants have been cultivated in the garden.
Several gardens are very outstanding in China because the selective collections are the best sites for research and education. Most gardens are also very instructive for local people to understand botany and horticulture. Actually, every garden is excellent if you are interested in the collection.
About 700 rose cultivars are grown in the rose garden, covering an area of 7 ha. With a European style, a hidden fountain and a cascade make an open theatre with hybrid tea roses, miniature roses, antique roses and wild roses along the pathway.
Ornamental peach is very decorative by Chinese tradition. The ornamental peach Garden was completed at the beginning of 1980's, covering an area of 3.4 ha. 70 cultivars are collected at present. Flowering plum, forsythia and cherries sent by Japanese friends can be found in the garden too. Rich multicolored flowers cover the entire hillside during blooming spring. A new breeding program is carried on for cultivars with new color and early blossom.
China is believed to keep the most species of lilac in the world. Lilac has long been grown as one of the ornamental plants. The lilac garden, covering an area of 3.5 ha, was first completed in the end of 1950's and then extended at the beginning of 1980's. 22 species and cultivars of lilac are collected here currently. The blooming time may last 6 weeks depending on different varieties. We are hunting new cultivars from North America and Europe and looking forward to financial support for the project.
The arboretum is also a highlight in the garden. It is composed of conifers, maples, poplars, magnolias and many other tree species. The woods make much relaxation and comfort for visitors. It is also one of biggest conifer collection in China.
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