In another feather in its cap for the University of Jammu, after having achieved the NAAC ‘A+’ grade, its botanical garden has been awarded membership of the prestigious Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), Royal Botanic Garden, Kew (London).

The head of the Botany department of the university, Prof. Yashpal Sharma, had to make a lot of effort to showcase the rich collection of rare, endangered and threatened species in the botanical garden of the university and enter the elite list of countries that have been awarded membership of the BGCI.

Prof. Sharma said the botanical garden of the university spread over about seven acres conserves nearly 400 species of plants. Separate sections for medicinal and heritage plants have also been created. The plants have systematically been arranged as per the Bentham and Hooker’s system of classification. The critically endangered species of Catamixis Baccharoides and real endangered and threatened species of Phlomides Superba that is found only in certain parts of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand can be seen here. The Pitto Eriocarpum species was being groomed under protection, Prof. Sharma said.

About 1200 plant specimen sheets have been preserved in the herbarium maintained by the Botany department of the university. About 40 tree species of J&K will be sent to the BGCI for conservation.

The BGCI is a plant conservation charity based in Kew, London. It works with 800 botanical gardens in 118 countries.