MSSRF’s work on Biodiversity in Kerala has resulted in collection and conservation of many endangered plant species and little-known species and varieties of food, nutrition, and health value found in the Western Ghats. These collections came from on-farm to wilderness and forests which were later brought in the form of a Botanic Garden named as ‘M. S Swaminathan Botanical Garden’ with distinct components for agro-biodiversity, medicinal plants, RET species of trees and so on. It spreads across 20 ha of land with 30 minor components and diverse representative species of tropical flora consisting of crop wild relatives, wild orchids, medicinal plants, and germplasm of food plant varieties like roots and tubers, legumes, citrus, and wild edible greens.
The Garden pays special attention to conservation of Wild Food Plant species and ‘RET’ species, especially to the trees of southern Western Ghats/Malabar region. Presently, a total of 2,033 live plant species have now been conserved in the Garden, in which about 200 are tree species, 512 are endemic to Western Ghats and 579 falling under IUCN’s threatened plant species category. The Garden became a member garden of the Botanic Garden Conservation International (BGCI), and one of the Lead Gardens promoted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India for conserving RET plants of Western Ghats.
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