As Sri Lanka’s largest garden an elegant and spacious 147-acres (60-hectares) plenty of time is needed to stroll Peradeniya’s imposing Avenue of Royal Palms.
There are some 4,000 different species of plants at Peradeniya Gardens. The 10,000 or so trees, which are the stars, are mature, lofty giants, many of them tropical timber trees. Highlights of the collection include the Giant Bamboo of Burma, capable of growing to 40 meters height (130 feet) with a 25-centimetre (10-inch) stem diameter. And it can grow by a rapid 30 centimeters a day (12 inches).
Absolutely sensational is the century old giant Javan fig tree, its tentacle like roots spread across the enormous area of about 1,800 square meters (19,375 square feet) a massive central trunk beneath the tree’s vast canopy ‘umbrella’.
The Cannonball tree is also intriguing, with its cannonball-like fruit hanging off the trunk and large open, waxy pink-white flowers. So is the Double Coconut Palm, one of 200 types of palms displayed at Peradeniya – originating from the Seychelles, this tree produces the largest seed known. Its fruits take five years to mature.
The gardens showcase all of Sri Lanka’s flora and representative species from around the tropical world. Luminaries as varied as Queen Elizabeth II , Marshal Tito and Yuri Gugarin have planted trees to mark their visits to the garden.
HAKGALA BOTANICAL GARDEN
Hakgala Botanic Gardens, about 28 hectares in extent, lie under the shadow of the Hakgala Rock. The Botanic Gardens are locally reputed for their collection, the rose garden, Magnificent trees, indoor plants, flowers. The climate of the Gardens is subtropical, cool and fresh
There are over 10,000 species of flora planted here and during the Spring season in Nuwara Eliya thousands of visitors come to see the blooms here. Number of annual visitors is around 500,000. The garden is famous for number of species of Orchids and Roses are planted there.
For more info www.botanicgardens.gov.lk/hakgala
HENARATHGODA BOTANICAL GARDEN
Henarathgoda Botanical Gardens where the first rubber tree planted in Sri Lanka is still present located close to Gampaha Town. Most notable is the Para rubber tree - Hevea brasiliensis. Here at Henarathgoda, in 1876, the first seedlings ever planted in Asia grew and flourished.
This garden is home to trees from every corner of the tropical world - especially from Brazil.
MIRIJJAWILA BOTANICAL GARDEN
A botanical garden is being established in Mirijjawila in the Hambantota district. This is the first botanical garden to be established in the dry zone in Sri Lanka
It has an extent of 300 acres. The objective of establishing this botanical garden is for the conservation of dwindling trees and shrubs in the dry zone, popularizing of unpopular trees, conservation of medicinal herbs, promotion of tourism and providing botanical knowledge to the younger generation.
The Garden will comprise ornamental flower cultivation, commercial flower cultivation and facilities to undertake studies on trees. Already planting of various trees and floral varieties has been commenced. Construction of infrastructure facilities is also nearing completion
It will also provide opportunities for eco-tourism and economic development in this area and to model dry zone landscape improvement. In the longer term, within the first 3-5 years, the garden will feature those plants that are lesser known and underutilized in the dry zone promote the herbal industry; and provide education and training on botany and floriculture in the dry zone
This garden being established in a dry landscape would provide much relief and peace of mind to the visitors
This Botanical Garden is located on the Colombo-Kataragama main road. It has the Mattala International Airport on its left side and the Hambantota Harbour on its right side, and therefore it becomes a centre point for the tourists.