Botanic Gardens Conservation International
BGCI provides a global voice for all botanic gardens, championing and celebrating their inspiring work. We are the world's largest plant conservation network, open to all. Join us in helping to save the world's threatened plants.

BGCI welcomes the South China Botanical Garden as a Patron Member

9 September 2016

BGCI is delighted to welcome the South China Botanical Garden (SCBG) as a Patron Member. As a Patron, SCBG joins a growing number of the world's largest and most influential botanic gardens and will play a key role in guiding BGCI's future programme.

South China Botanical Garden (SCBG), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), formerly known as Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, Sun Yat-Sen University, was founded in 1929 by Woon-young Chun, a renowned botanist and scholar in CAS. It was renamed South China Institute of Botany, CAS in 1954, and then to its present name in 2003 in compliance with a new CAS developmental plan.

As one of the top botanical research institutions in China, SCBG has many research achievements in the fields of ecology, systematic and evolutionary botany, plant resources, biotechnology, as well as landscape and gardening. Since 1954, a total of 375 monographs have been compiled and published by SCBG. These include the Flora of China, The Vegetation of Guangdong, Studies on the Tropical and Subtropical Degraded Ecosystem and Its Rehabilitation, Rare Plants of China, and Introduction to Restoration Ecology. Up to the end of 2015, over 2440 scientific papers have been published in internationally peer-reviewed journals including highly prestigious titles such as “Nature” and “Science”; 390 research achievements have been obtained, of which 285 were awarded prizes at various levels, including a first and a second prizes of National Natural Science Award, and five second prizes of National Science and Technology Advance Awards. The research achievements were twice honored as "Top Ten Basic Research News in China" in 2000 and 2006, respectively. In total 285 patents have been filed, of which 153 have been licensed. In addition, 88 new plant varieties have been validated or registered internationally since 1988.

Among the largest, most comprehensive gardens in China, SCBG consists of three divisions: 1) a nursery and exhibition zone, viz. the arboretum, occupying an area of 282 ha. It was designed mainly for plant ex-situ conservation with more than 14,000 plant taxa growing in 37 special living collections, including magnolias, bamboos, palms, gingers, orchids, medicinal plants, etc.; 2) a research and residential zone, covering an area of 37 ha. It features a herbarium with more than 1,100,000 plant specimens being conserved and a state of the art laboratory complex; and 3) Dinghushan National Nature Reserve, established in 1956. This was the first national nature reserve in China and the only reserve affiliated to CAS. Over 2,400 plant species are conserved in situ in an area of 1,155ha. In addition, SCBG runs three field research stations, including Dinghushan National Field Research Station of Forest Ecosystem, Heshan National Field Research Station of Forest Ecosystem, and Xiaoliang CAS Field Research Station for Restoration of Tropical Coastal Degraded Ecosystem.



At present, SCBG has 402 staff members, including 307 professional researchers. It offers Master’s and Ph.D programmes in botany, ecology, and biochemistry & molecular biology. SCBG also offers Master’s programmes in ornamental plants & gardening, and biological engineering.  Currently, 213 Master students and 150 Ph.D students are enrolled. In addition, 32 postdoctoral fellows are currently working at SCBG.

In the past decades, SCBG has established several extensive and productive exchange and collaboration programs with research institutions in dozens of countries, hosting 100 international visiting scholars each year. SCBG has successfully organized 12 international conferences since 2002, including Symposium on Theory of Ecosystem Succession and Practice of Ecological Restoration, Third International Conference on Vetiver, Symposium on Theory and Methods of Carbon Equilibrium and Circulation in Ecosystems, International Symposium on Artemisia and its Allies, BGCI China Program Workshop, IABG conference, Second International Symposium on Family Magnoliaceae, and 23rd New Phytologist Symposium: Carbon Cycling in Tropical Ecosystems.

In tune to national strategic objectives and the frontiers of sciences, SCBG will continue to carry on fundamental, strategic and cutting-edge basic research projects in above fields together with conservation and sustainable utilization of plant resources.  

As a National 4A Tourist Attraction, SCBG receives about 1 million visitors per year. SCBG has paid great attention to science education to the general public with advanced knowledge produced in fields of tropical and subtropical plant research, species conservation, and sustainable resource utilization. SCBG is a National Popular Science Education Base, the Most Popular Base for Popular Science in Guangzhou, and a Patriotic Education Base.

Back to news archive