San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

State Upgrades Botanical Garden to National Status

COSTA Rica named Lankester Botanical Garden of the University of Costa Rica the National Center for Plant Conservation and the National Epiphyte Sanctuary on Dec. 1, the daily La Nación reported.


The “promotion” of the botanical garden, which has sponsored the study, identification and conservation of plant life since 1973, means that future studies and projects undertaken by the institution will be an affair of national interest, according to the daily.


Situated on approximately 11 hectares in Paraíso, in the Cartago province east of San José, Lankester Botanical Garden houses more than 3,000 species of plants, including 1,483 types of orchids – 80% of the total number of orchid species known to inhabit Costa Rica.


The garden also coordinates a “genetic bank” of tissue samples from more than 400 different orchids, according to La Nación.


Officials from the botanical garden have been involved in compiling descriptions of indigenous plant species to assist national park officials and Environment Ministry authorities in recognizing the plants to aid in deterring their illegal commercialization. For more information, call 592-1806 or 555-3247.

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