Nagaon, March 11: Karbi Anglong district in Assam will house the largest medicinal garden in the state.
Built in 1998 with the aim of preserving indigenous herbs and medicinal plants found in the district, the recreation and bio-diversity park has added 28 rare varieties of such plants.
“Till 2006 we had 523 varieties of plants. As many as 49 new items were collected for the garden from the remote areas of the hill district between 2006 and 2011 and thus the total collection rose up to 572. During a special programme, the new varieties were collected from the Singhason hill area eight months back and we successfully added those in the garden,” a source said.
The 20-hectares park — 5km from Diphu — now has 600 varieties of indigenous herbs and medicinal plants.
Karbi Anglong chief conservator of forest Abhijit Rabha said the new collections of plants also include the rare alom bilom (Agathis Rabesta).
“We collected some items from the Singhason hill area and later identified one of them to be kauri pine which is not found in India,” he said.
At present, the park has 27 species of bamboo, 35 species of orchids and 110 species of indigenous fruit trees.
The officer-in-charge of the recreation park, Ranjan Borua, said some of the varieties collected in the garden are yet to be identified.
“Scientists from different Indian institutions or abroad visit the gardens to find study some of the unknown variety of plants,” he said.
“Our mission is to collect and preserve all indigenous plants and herbs available in Karbi Anglong forests,” said a forest official.
Forest minister Rakibul Hussain said Dispur planned to go set up more medicinal and horticulture garden in different parts of the state. “Our resources should be preserved at any cost,” he said.