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UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research
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UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research

Canada's oldest continuously operating university botanic garden, UBC Botanical Garden was established in 1916 under the directorship of John Davidson, British Columbia's first provincial botanist. The original mission of the garden was research into the native flora of British Columbia.

Over the past nine decades, the mission of UBC Botanical Garden has broadened to include research, conservation, teaching and public display of temperate plants from around the world, particularly Asian, alpine and native plants.

The oldest and one of the finest botanical gardens in Canada, the UBC Botanical Gardens and Centre for Plant Research is really five gardens in one. Each has a different theme and character. Spread over 28 hectares (70 acres), a visit to the gardens is the perfect day trip to the botanical world.

The Asian Garden, located amongst a second-growth coastal forest of firs, cedars and hemlocks, has delicate magnolias and more than 400 varieties of brilliant rhododendrons – the largest collection in Canada. Climbing roses and flowering vines twine around the trees and the rare blue Himalayan poppy and giant Himalayan lily also bloom here.

The BC Native Garden, displaying more than 3,500 plants indigenous to British Columbia, offers more than three hectares (eight acres) of diversity, complete with water meadows, dunes, bogs and a desert.

The Alpine Garden lives up to the challenge of growing high-elevation plants at sea level. Specially imported soil, boulders and rocks give protection for vibrant, rare, low-growing, mountain plants from Australia, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

The Physick Garden re-creates a 16th-century monastic herb garden. The traditional plants, which grow in raised brick beds, are all used for medicinal purposes.

The Food Garden is a brilliant work of efficient gardening. Condensed into a third of a hectare (.75 acre), it's a mosaic of a dozen raised beds and more than 180 fruit trees. The trees successfully grow a wide variety of crops. Fruit and vegetables are harvested regularly and donated to the Salvation Army. Regular lectures are given for gardeners, covering topics from pruning to growing trees in tubs, ideal for urban living.

The gardens are open March 16-October 16, 2006, every day from 10 am to 6 pm, for summer hours. Admission fees are CAD $6.00 per adult; free for UBC students, children under six, and disabled persons; discounted for seniors. Dual passes are also available to enter the nearby Nitobe Memorial Garden.

The UBC Centre for Plant Research is the research arm of the UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research. World-class research on topics including plant adaptation, evolution, genomics, plant physiology and biotic interactions, phytochemistry, plant biotechnology and plant breeding contribute to the University of British Columbia's reputation as one of the leading research institutions in North America.

Location: University of British Columbia, Vancouver Point Grey

Ph: +1 604 822 9666

Accessible by public transport, car, bike.

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