Ornamental plants of JNTBGRI form a variety of collections of water plants, annuals, roses, orchids, hedges and lawn.
Botanic Gardens, although mainly aim on the acquisition and diffusion of botanic knowledge; they should also have an aesthetic quality without which they would not attract the wider public. Hence landscape development and Ornamental Gardens are integral features of Botanic Gardens. JNTBGRI have an undulating natural landscape with merging natural forest vegetation. In order to adjust the natural landscape, planting in a ‘natural style’ that could incorporate maximum species is adapted. Building and pathways are developed with minimum disturbance to the natural landscape and ornamental gardens and collections are developed for beautifying these artificial features. Suitable ornamental plants are also used in interior and exterior decoration of buildings, road sides and the main entrance.
The present collection in JNTBGRI comprises about 800 species of ornamental plants, both indigenous and exotic origin, which serves as a tropical ornamental plant germplasm conservatory.
Many indigenous plants like Acrotrema arnottiana Wight, Amherstia nobilis Wall. (“India candelabra tree”), Filicium decipiens (Wight & Arn.) Thwaites, Mesua ferrea L., Barringtonia racemosa Roxb., Cassia fistula L., Cochlospermum religiosum (L.) Alston, Diploclisia glaucescens (Blume) Diels, Firmiana colorata (Roxb.) R. Br., Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers. (“Pride of India”) etc. and exotic plants like Adansonia digitata L. (“Baobab tree”), Congea griffithiana Munir, Gustavia augusta L. (“Majestic Heaven Lotus”) Nolina stricta (Lem.) Ciferri & Giacom(“Pony tail”), Parmentiera cereifera Seem. (“Candle-fruit-tree”), Ravenala madagascariensis Sonn. (“Traveler’s palm”), Strelitzia reginae Ait. (“Bird of Paradise”), Yucca gloriosa L. etc. are few among the collection catching attraction with their aesthetic, educational and conservation value.
Cacti and Succulents:
The popular plant group ‘Cacti & succulents’ is a group of xerophytic plants that are variously adapted to store water as well as to check the water loss from the plant body. Plants belonging to the family Cactaceae constitute the major share. Besides Cactaceae certain species of Agavaceae, Aizoaceae, Amarillidaceae, Apocynaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Bromeliaceae, Crassulaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Liliaceae, Scrophulariaceae, etc are also adapted to be included in the group. A range of adaptations to reduce the leaf surface to check the water loss as well as modification of stem to perform photosynthesis and water storage makes the group curious in shape and patterns.
JNTBGRI have a collection of about 350 species of succulents including around 100 species of Cacti. Plants are kept in specially landscaped natural style Rock Gardens provided with proper drainage and sunlight. Plants intolerant to heavy rains or the intense heat of sun (high altitude plants) are kept in the Glass House. A range in habit from herbaceous Rhipsalis capilliformis F.A.C.Weber to sapling of the huge tree Adansonia digitata L. (Baobab) tree are represented in the collection.
The endemic species Frerea indica L. of South India and Euphorbia neohumbertii Boiteau of Madagascar form plants with endangered status. Fruit plants Hylocereus undatus (Haworth) Britton & Rose and Pereskia aculeata Mill. and highly ornamental Cereus peruvianus (L.) Mill. Echinocactus grusonii Hildm., Euphorbia stenoclada Drake, Pachypodium lamerei Drake, Hatiora salicornioides (Haw.) Britt. & Rose etc are attractions of th collection.
Bromeliads are plants belong to the monocotyledonous family Bromeliaceae mostly leading epiphytic, saxicolous life with special adaptations. These plants living on tree tops and rock crevices absorbs water and water dissolved nutrients collected in the middle of the leaf whorls by means of unique features called trichomes or scales through capillary action. However a minority including the most popular member Pineapple (Ananas comosus) leads terrestrial life. Bromeliads that keeps a wet and cool atmosphere in between their leaves supports a diverse and complex plant and animal community in the ecosystem. There are tadpoles specifically breeding in the ‘water cup’ Bromeliads and reptiles, liverworts etc find summer shelter in between their leaf axils. This Tropical American group of plants with unique characteristics strange to Indians turns to be a curiosity for the botany students as well as the general public.
In JNTBGRI we have a bromeliad collection of more than 40 species/ cultivars. Plants are kept in a natural style being fixed on tree tops, drift woods and crevices of rubble works. Aechmea bracteata(Swartz.) Griseb., Billbergia pyramidalis var. concolor L., Pitcairnia tomentosa Dietrich and Tillandsia cyanea Linden ex C. Kochan in the collection terminate with attractive inflorescence, where as Cryptanthus beuckeri E. Morr., Neoregelia corolinae (Beer) L.B.Sm., N. spectabilis (T.Moore) L.B.Sm., Nidularium sp. etc are beautiful foliage plants. Tillandsia chaetophylla Mez, T. usneoides L. and many others catch the attraction with their unique forms.