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Wuhan Botanical Garden (WBG) has undergone many ups and downs over the past six decades(1956-2016).  To better implement basic research to meet the national strategic needs, WBG is continuously optimizing its organizational structure.  

Innovations in organizational structure of WBG over the past 50 years.  




September 13, 1956 

The founding of the preparatory committee of WBG 


November 11, 1958 

The official establishment of WBG,  Chinese Academy of Sciences  

Chinese Academy 

of Sciences 

July 22, 1963 

Renamed Central South Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences  

Chinese Academy 

of Sciences 

July, 1970 

Transferred to province level, and renamed  Hubei Botanical Garden in December 

Hubei Province 

July 1, 1972 

Renamed  Hubei Institute of Botany 

Hubei Province 

December 18, 1978 

Renamed Wuhan Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences  

Chinese Academy 

of Sciences 

October 16, 2003 

Renamed Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences  

Chinese Academy 

of Sciences 

The development of WBG over the past 60 years can be roughly divided into four stages: 

(Ⅰ) Pioneering stage (1956-1965) 

In July, 1951, a proposal was suggested in the First national congress of the Botanical Society of China that institutes of botany including botanical gardens should be established in different regions of China, and was adopted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Since the 1950s, botanical gardens have been initially established in areas including Beijing, Kunming, Jinghong, Guangzhou and Wuhan.  

Wuhan Botanical Garden of Chinese Academy of Sciences was established in September, 1956 under the cooperation of several distinguished botanists and horticulturists, including Professor ZHANG Wencai, Professor CHEN Fenghuai, Professor SUN Xiangzhong, and Professor ZHONG Xinxuan. On November 11, 1958, the twelfth executive meeting of Chinese Academy of Sciences officially admitted the establishment of WBG under the lead of Chinese Academy of Sciences. On July 22, 1963, WBG was renamed Central South Institute of Botany, CAS, and several research groups were subsequently set up, including seed physiology, plant taxonomy, plant conservation and breeding and landscape. 

() Tortuous development stage (1966-1976)  

During the tortuous development stage, WBG developed several research laboratories such as plant taxonomy, phytochemistry and plant cultivation following the open-door policy of the science and technology development and research purpose aimed for the development of agriculture. In this period, significant achievements have been made in research fields such as the introduction test and popularization of oil olive and utilization of plant resources. 

Owing to the Cultural Revolution from 1966 through 1976, a large number of cadres and scientists were seriously tortured and the development of WBG was greatly inhibited, WBG was heavily destructed, such as herb collecting, firewood gathering, and grazing, and became dilapidated. In July, 1970, the Wuhan Botanical Garden was transferred to province level, and renamed Hubei Botanical Garden in December, and then renamed Hubei Institute of Botany in July, 1972.

 ()  Rejuvenation stage (1977-1997)  

On June 22, 1978, Hubei Institute of Botany was returned to Chinese Academy of Sciences, and renamed Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences under the lead of CAS and the support of Hubei Provincial Government. On December 18 of the same year, Wuhan Botanical Garden was renamed  “Wuhan Institute of Botany” under the approval of CAS, and that WBG was designated a unit affiliated to the Wuhan Institute of Botany, representing the first step towards rejuvenation. By the year of 1977, the institute consisted of the following departments: research laboratories for plant taxonomy and phytoecology, aquatic plants, economic microalgae and resources plants, center for the development of resources plants, botanical garden, library and information science, and the editorial office of Journal of Wuhan Botanical Research.

() Rapid development stage (1998-present)  

In 1998, Chinese Academy of Sciences launched the pilot project of the knowledge innovation program, and Wuhan Institute of Botany was selected as one of the second batch of pilot units in May, 2002. On October 16, 2003, Wuhan Institute of Botany was renamed Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences in line with the development strategy of CAS. The garden consists of three main sections, i.e. research center, research and development centre and horticultural center. Five theme gardens were constructed to preserve aquatic plants, wild fruit trees, archaic and relic plants from Central China, medicinal plants, and orchids, respectively.  

In 2016, 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. 

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