Botanical Survey of India (BSI)
The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) is the apex research organization under the MOEF for carrying out taxonomic and floristic studies on wild plant resources of the country.
BSI was established on 13th February, 1890 with the basic objective to explore the plant resources of the country and to identify the plants species with economic virtues.
Sir George King, the then Superintendent of the ‘Royal Botanic Garden’ Calcutta was appointed as First ex-officio Honorary Director of the BSI.
After independence, the department was reorganized in 1954 by Government of India as a part of scientific development of the country. Its functional base was further expanded to include various new areas.
Units of BSI
Indian Botanic Garden was established in 1787 by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Kyd.
Its 273 acres unique landscape design was initiated by Sir George King in 1872.
It is considered to be one of the best in the botanic gardens of the world with undulated land surfaces, artificial lakes and moats interconnected with underground pipes receiving water from the river Hooghly. It was known as East India Company’s Garden or the ‘Company Bagan’ or Calcutta Garden and later as the Royal Botanic Garden which after independence was renamed as the ‘INDIAN BOTANIC GARDEN’ in 1950.It came under the management of the Botanical Survey of India on January 1, 1963.
Great Banyan Tree
The 260 years old Great Banyan Tree (Ficus bengalensis L.) is located in the Indian Botanic Garden, Howraw. It has 2800 prop roots and spread in 1.5 hectares.
Central National Herbarium, Howrah
CNH is one of the oldest and one of the largest herbaria in the world, was established in 1795 by Dr. William Roxburgh. Dr. N. Wallich (1815 – 1846), the successor of William Roxburgh developed this herbarium to a great extent. Central National Herbarium possesses about 2.5 million of herbarium sheets belonging to nearly 350 families of plants, which are arranged according to Bentham and Hooker’s system of classification. The area under the jurisdiction of Central National Herbarium is confined to the states of West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand.