The Wuhan Botanical Garden (WBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) was founded in 1956 and opened to the public in 1958. As one of three research-oriented botanical gardens in China, WBG’s mission is to develop and maintain plant collections for display, conservation, education and research.
As one of the primary ex-situ conservation institutions in China, WBG now boasts more than 10,000 plant species and varieties and has 16 specialty gardens. The Kiwifruit Garden and the National Kiwifruit Germplasm Repository conserve more than 70 percent of the kiwifruit species in the world, and the Aquatic Plant Garden is the largest of its kind in the world. Likewise, the Wild Fruit Garden, the Rare and Endangered Plant Garden, and the Medicinal Herb Garden are among the largest in China and primarily conserve respective species from central China.
WBG carries out research on biodiversity conservation and sustainable utilization, aquatic botany and freshwater quality, and watershed ecology and ecological security related to major hydraulic engineering projects. WBG hosts three key laboratories, i.e., the CAS Key Laboratory of Aquatic Botany and Watershed Ecology, the CAS Key Laboratory of Plant Germplasm Enhancement and Specialty Agriculture, and the Hubei Provincial Key Laboratory of Wetland Evolution and Ecological Restoration. Additionally, WBG manages five field research stations including the Three Gorges Reservoir Research Station, the Danjiangkou Wetland Research Station and the Qinling Watershed Ecology Research Station.
WBG also hosts the Horticulture Branch of the CAS Research Center for Green Agricultural Technology and the Hunan Provincial Research Center for Horticultural Engineering and Technology. WBG is the home of the Kiwifruit Section of the Chinese Society of Horticultural Science and the Botanical Society of Hubei Province. It also hosts the editorial office of the scientific periodical Plant Science Journal.
Currently, WBG has a total of 282 staff, including 162 research scientists. WBG is authorized to award the M.S. degree in botany, ecology, horticulture, biotechnology, and environmental engineering, and the Ph.D. degree in botany and ecology, as well as offer postdoctoral training programs in biology and ecology.
As a national AAAA Tourist Attraction, WBG has also made outstanding contributions to tourism and popular science education. It has been named a National Popular Science Education Base and a National Youth Education Base for Science and Technology. It is also a Municipal and Provincial Popular Science Education Base, Environmental Education Base and Patriotic Education Base.
As the leading institution in the CAS Sino-African Joint Research Center, WBG leads more than 10 CAS institutions in conducting cooperative research and activities with a number of African countries in the fields of science, technology and education. Also, the Wuhan Botanical Garden has collaborative research agreements with universities and research institutions in more than 40 countries and regions, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. In 2007, WBG hosted the Third Global Botanic Gardens Congress.