Topics: Plant, India, Botany Pages: 6 (599 words) Published: December 28, 2014

The flora of India is one of the richest of the world due to a wide range of climate, topology and environments in the country. It is thought there are over 15000 species of flowering plants in India, which account for 6 percent of the total plant species in the world. Due to the wide range of climatic conditions, India holds rich variety of flora that no other country can boast of. India covers more than 45,000 species of flora, out of which there are several species that are not found anywhere else. Since ancient times, use of plants as a source of medicines has been the inherent part of life in India. There are more than 3000 officially documented plants in India that holds great medicinal potential. India comprises seven percent of world's flora. India is divided into main eight floristic regions namely - Western Himalayas, Eastern Himalayas, Assam, Indus plain, Ganga plain, the Deccan, the Malabar and the Andamans


India has an estimated 16,000 vascular plants, 5,000 endemic species and 140 endemic genera according to the latest estimates, to be published in the forthcoming Guide to the Centres of Plant Diversity (S. Davis, pers. comm.). Areas rich in endemism are north-eastern India, the southern parts of peninsular India, the Western Ghats and the north-western and eastern Himalaya. Most of India's natural vegetation has been greatly modified by agriculture, forestry and urbanization. Over 50% of the land area is cultivated and all forests, particularly moist forest types, are rapidly being degraded as a result of population pressure and shifting cultivation. Under the Project on Study, Survey and Conservation of Endangered Species of Flora (POSSCEP), Red Data Books have been published (Nayar, M.P. and Sastry, A.R.K. (eds) 1897, 1988, 1990. Red Data Book of Indian Plants, Vols, 1, 2 and 3. Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta). The total number of threatened plant taxa in all categories is 1,331 which represents 8% of the flora (WCMC Plants database). Protection of wildlife has a long tradition in India, with establishment of forest reserves and sanctuaries. In the 1980s new laws were enacted, such as the National Wildlife Action Plan in 1983 and the National Forest Policy in 1988. According to this National Wildlife Action Plan, 1983, botanic gardens are in a good position: to rehabilitate indigenous and threatened species and restore them to protected portions of their former habitats; to exploit commercially those species which are plentiful;

to promote wildlife education to a broad range of target groups such as politicians, school and college students, and communities living in and around wildlife areas. So far, several botanic gardens and other organizations in India are members of BGCI and have active conservation programmes. These are: National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Botanical Garden Guru Nanak Dev, Amritsar, Punjab

Institute of Forest Genetics & Tree Breeding. Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu Narayana Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary, North Wynad, Kerala
Botanical Garden "Dr H.S. Gour Vishwavidyala". Sagar, Madya Pradesh Tropical Botanical Garden and Research Institute, Pacha-Palode, Trivandrum, Kerala Zoo Outreach Organisatioon/Captive Breeding Specialist Group (C.B.S.G.), Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu Magali Estates (P) Ltd., Padagiri, Kerala

BGCI also benefits from the substantial support of Williamson Magor and Co., a Gold Member of BGCI's corporate support group, The Plant Charter Group. The National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow is one of the institutes of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi and is described in this issue of BGCNews. In an earlier article in Botanic Gardens Conservation News (6: 16, 1990) Sharma and Goel from the National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow discussed the need for ex situ conservation of endangered plants from tropical India
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