Tuesday, 21 February 2017
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Calicut University Botanical Garden

(CUBG)

Arboretum : This three hectre area on the southern part is undisturbed natural forest allowing the succession in a natural way. This is the ‘core’ area where visitors are not permitted to disturb the vegetation. A Banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis) is spreading with its prop roots and plenty of epiphytic plants and arboreal animals. The wild plants include Sterculia guttata, Olea dioica, Mimusops elengi, Hugonia mystax and Memecylon unbellatum. Some forest trees such as Schefflera, Ochlandra are grown along the border region of the Arboretum. Many climbers like Anamirta cocculus, Gymnema sylvestre, Tinospora, Calycopteris and epiphytes such as Drynaria, Pyrrosia and Acampe give a feeling of ‘Tropical wet ever green forest’ inside the arboretum.
 
Aroids : A good collection of wild and ornamental aroids forms a major attraction of the Green House. More than 50 spp. of aroids including the RET and endemic ones are well displayed in the Green House which include species of Amorphophallus, Anaptythum, Arioprms, Colocasia, Alocasia, Xanthosoma, Lagenandra, Cryptocoryne, Theriophonum, Trppmium etc. and ornamental aroids such as Aglaonema, Anthurium, Caladium, Setismatoglithis, Zamioenless, Dieffenbachia, Spathiphyllum, etc. In addition, epiphytic climbers like Philodendron, Epipremnum, Monstera, Rhaphidophora, etc. are growing well on trees elsewhere in the garden.
 
(Prof. M. Sivadasan, Senior Faculty of the Department is an authority on Indian Aroids).
 
Aquatic Plant collection : About 30 aquatic plant species of Kerala are maintained in small tanks. These include the floating Azolla, Salvinia, Pistia, Eichhornia, Lemna, Spirodela, Wolffia, and emergents like Nelumbium, Alisma, Thalia and Lagenandra. Submerged aquatics like Hydrilla, Ceratophyllum, Vallisneria, Blyxa, Cryptocoryne, Cabomba, Microsorum, etc. are displayed in the garden.
 

Bamboosetum : On the northern sloppy area a good collection of 11 species of bamboos are well maintained. The yellow bamboo (Bambusa striata) Budda’s belly Bamboo, (B. vamin), the thornless Bamboo and Bush bamboo are the major attractions.

 

Bryophytes: over 20 spp. of bryophytes (Liverworts,hornworts and mosses) naturally occur in CUBG. Riccia, Cyathodium and Riccardia are the common liverworts. Anthoceros and Notothylas are Hornworts and Hyophila, Octoblepharum, Bryum and Fissidens are the common mosses.

 
Cacti and succulents: Many large cacti and succulents like Euphorbia antiquorum, E.nivulia, Cereus, Opuntia, Stapelia, Caralluma, Pedilanthus, Sansveireria, etc. are cultivated on the rocky area of the western slope of the Garden.
 

Ferns and Fern Allies (Pteridophytes): These non-flowering, primitive plants are exquisite for their magnificent leaf architecture. The CUBG has the biggest collection of wild pteridophytes among the University Botanical Gardens with over 100 species. The club mosses (Lycopodium), Little club mosses (Selaginella) tree fern (Cyathea), Royal fern (Osmunda), edible fern (Athyrium), Spleen worts (Asplenium), Stag-horn ferns (Patycerium), Moon worts (Botrychium), Maiden hair ferns (Adiartum) mosquito ferns (Azolla) and Salvinia are grown in the garden. Most of the rare ferns of the Western Ghats are under conservation in the CUBG.

 

(Prof. P. V. Madhusoodanan, Senior faculty member of the Department is specialized in South Indian Pteridophytes and Bryophytes).

 

Gingers : A good collection of graceful gingers (Zingibereaceae) is maintained in the Ginger House and in the “Ginger Zone” of the Botanical Garden. The collection includes gingers from Andaman and Nicobar islands and exotics from China, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. About 70% of the total Indian gingers are represented in CUBG. About 150 taxa and over 700 accessions are displayed in the Garden. The wild relatives of economically important genera such as Alpinia, Curcuma, Elettaria, Hedychiun, Zingiber, etc. are conserved in field simulating its natural habitat.

 
(Dr. M. Sabu, Reader and Officer in charge of CUBG is specialized in the AsianZingibers).
 

Gymnosperms : In addition to the native Gnetum (2 male and 1 female plants) and Cycas circinalis, the cycads like Zamia floridana and Z.furfuracea and conifers like Podocarpus, Araucaria, Cupressus, Juniperus, Agathis, and Abies represent the naked seeded plants of the Garden.

 

Medicinal Plants : The Western Ghats of Kerala is well-known for its medicinal plant wealth and the tradition of indigenous system of therapy (“Ayurveda”). A fairly good collection of plants (over 200 taxa) used in Ayurveda are preserved in the “Medicinal Plant House”. These include “Nalpamara” (4 Ficus spp.) Dasamoolam (10 medicinal root plants) and Dasapushpam (10 sacred plants of Kerala tradition and culture). Rauvolfia serpentina (the source of reserpin) Sida spp. (Kurunthotti used in the Ksheerabala) Acorus calamus(Vayambu) an aquatic aroid, are some of the important medicinal plants. The rare ‘Maramanjhal’ (Coscinium fenestratum) is well growing in the Medicinal Plant House as well as in the open garden.

 
(Dr. A.K. Pradeep, Curator of the CALI (Herbarium) is specialized in the Taxonomy of Medicinal Plants of Kerala).
 

Mushrooms and other macro fungi : The Calicut University Botanical Garden is remarkable for the very high diversity of mushrooms and other macrofungi most of which are well-documented. It is home to several hundreds of agaric species belonging to genera such as Agaricus, Termitomyces, Marasmius, Collybia, Entoloma, Amanita, Lentinus, Pleurotus, Hygrocybe, Coprinus and Mycena. A number of gasteromycetes such as puffballs (Pisolithus, Lycoperdon), earth stars (Geastrum), bird’s nest fungi (Cyathus) and stink-horns (Dictyophora) are seen here. Several genera of coral fungi (Clavaria, Ramaria), gelly fungi (Tremella, Auricularia) and bracket fungi (Ganoderma,Hexagonia, Phellinus, Microporus, Polyporus) are encountered in the garden. Ascomycetes genera such as Xylaria, Daldinia, Rhopalostroma, Trichoglossum Microglosum and Peziza are frequently seen. Specimens of most of these fungi are preserved in the Mycology Laboratory of the Department of Botany.

 
(Dr. P. Manimohan, Reader, is specialized in Mushrooms and other macrofungi)
 

Orchidarium : Over 50 species of wild orchids such as Acampe, Rhynchostylis, Aerides, Geodorum, Oberonia,Habenaria, Malaxis and Calanthe are grown in the green house. Endemic species like, Acanthephippium bicolor, Paphiopedium druri, Ipsaea malabarica, (Malabar daffodil) are conserved in the orchidarium. Ornamental orchids like ‘Soniya’ (Dendrobium), spider orchid (Arachnis), Dove orchid (Peristeria), Dancing girl (Oncidium) are the attractions of the orchidarium.

 
Ornamental Plants : A good number of ornamental plants (both foliage and flowering) are displayed in the garden. The alluring leafy ornamentals include a large collection of Croton (Codiaum), Calathea, Maranta, Aroids, Bromilias, etc. The Major flowering plants are: Cosmos, Tagetes, Gerbera, Verbena, Lantana, Zinnia,Dianthus, etc. In addition there is a good collection of shoe flower (Hibiscus, ca 30 varieties).The garden has 6 varieties of Plumeria.
 
Palms : In addition to the coconut, avenues of Royal Palms and Oil Palms, many palms are introduced in the garden. Rhapis, Licuala, Areca, Chrysalidocarpus, Arecastrum, Cyrtostachys, Zalacca, etc. are attractive palms of the garden. Caryota occurs naturally in the garden.
 
Spices : CUBG has one of the oldest Vanilla plantations. Nutmeg (Myristica) Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Clove, Cardamom Ginger are the other spices grown in the garden.
 

Trees and Lianas:Mangifera (Mango), Artocarpus (Jack fruit), Anacardium (Cashew), and coconut palms were present in the garden area before its acquisition. Many tree species are introduced. Timber plants like Teak (Tectona), Rose wood (Dalbergia), Mahogoni (Swietenia), Maruth (Terminalia), Irul (Xylia) are well grown in the garden. The African Baobab (Adansonia digitata) is a curious tree. Other important trees are: Adenanthera, Pterospermum, Michelia (Champaka), Ochroma (Aeroplane tree), Sausage tree (Kigelia), Iron wood tree (Mesua), African tulip tree (Spathodea) and the Rudraksha tree (Elaeocarpus). The beautiful flowering trees include Cochlospermum, Lagerstroemia, Delonix, Peltaphorum, Spathodea, Erythrina, etc. Arabidia,Adenoclymma, Bignonia, Bougainvillea,Quisqualis, Allamanda, etc. are the attractive climbers with graceful flowers.