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Chinese botanists to visit a plant collection unique to the UK

Press release issued: 17 October 2007

Chinese botanists will visit Bristol to see the only plant collection of its kind in the UK.

Chinese botanists will visit Bristol to see the only plant collection of its kind in the UK [Wednesday, October 17].

The Angiosperm Phylogeny display, at the University of Bristol's Botanic Garden, has been designed to reflect modern theories on the evolutionary relationships and classification of the many families of flowering plants as determined from the DNA sequences of their genes.

The paths within this display take the form of a branching family tree (phylogeny) of the flowering plants beginning with the most primitive groups, so called 'basal angiosperms', from which the other major lineages of flowering plants diverged.

The Angiosperm Phylogeny display is part of the plant evolution collection, one of four plant collections at the garden. Rare and Threatened Natives, Mediterranean Plants and Useful Plants are the other three.

During their visit the Chinese delegation, which includes Professor He Shanan, Director of the network of botanic gardens in China and Professor Xia Bing, Director of the Najing Botanical Garden, will have the opportunity to tour the garden. They will also plant a sacred bamboo at the moongate, a traditional Chinese front entrance to the Chinese medicinal herb collection in the garden, which is in the shadow of an established Ginkgo.

The garden also includes European Herb Gardens, a rock garden, a pool surrounded by native plants, together with a large glasshouse divided into four climatic zones; Sub Tropical, Warm Temperate, Cool and the Tropical Glasshouse zone.

Professor Simon Hiscock, Director of the Botanic Garden, said: "This is a very exciting and important visit to the Botanic Garden.

"The Chinese delegation wishes to create an Angiosperm Phylogeny display at Nanjing Botanical Garden and having heard about our display they are here at Bristol seeking inspiration and advice. We look forward to helping them create a variation of the Bristol Angiosperm Phylogeny display back in Nanjing."

Further information

The Chinese medicinal herb collection was started in 2000 as a partnership between the University of Bristol Botanic Garden and the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine.

When the University Botanic Garden moved to The Holmes in 2006, the opportunity was taken to greatly enlarge the size and scope of the Chinese medicinal herb collection.

Please contact Joanne Fryer for further information.
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