More than 2,500 rare plants are on display in greenhouses in the city of Kunming, southwest China’s Yunnan province. Known as the “Plant Kingdom,” the greenhouses are a living showcase of how biodiversity has developed in China.
The Fuligong Greenhouses of the Chinese Institute of Botany in Kunming under the Chinese Academy of Sciences is one of the biodiversity demonstration areas for the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15), which begins Monday in Kunming.
“Fuligong” is the world’s first greenhouse with written traces. It was built in the Fuligong Palace during the reign of Wu Di in the Han Dynasty (202 BC).
In 1986, the famous botanist Wu Zhengyi named the newly constructed greenhouses of Kunming Institute of Botany the “Fuligong Greenhouses”.
To host COP15, the Fuligong greenhouses have been reconstructed to showcase biodiversity and unique ecological landscapes. The main body of the Fuligong Greenhouses occupies an area of 4,200 square meters, with tropical water areas, tropical fruits, tropical rain forests and tropical desert areas.
“We have opened an orchid room and a lichen room. There are over 100 types of lichens and mosses. [at lichen hall]. In the Orchid Hall, there are more than 300 types of orchids, mainly Dendrobium species, ”said Shan Zupeng, a staff member of the Kunming Botanical Garden of the Kunming Institute of Botany.
In the Insectivorous Plant Room, the most exotic of the Fuligong greenhouses, visitors have the chance to see 680 kinds of insectivorous plants capable of catching small insects, including pitcher plants and Roridula plants.
The Fern Hall in Fuligong Greenhouses features more than 800 types of ferns, including tree spinous ferns, an ancient species that was used to feed herbivorous dinosaurs.
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