The 156 year old Singapore Botanic Gardens has recently gained fame by being Singapore’s first landmark to be inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as Asia’s first botanical site to be acknowledged by the World Heritage Committee.
One thing we got to ask ourselves though is how much we really know about the world heritage site growing right in our own backyard; now that we have more reasons to learn about the Singapore Botanic Gardens, read on to find out the 5 things that you might not have known about the Singapore Botanic Gardens (I know I didn’t when I wrote this article!).
The idea of Singapore Botanic Gardens
Believe it or not, the Singapore Botanic Gardens was actually thought of by Sir Stamford Raffles, a well-known historic figure in Singapore history; he had imagined the place to evaluate cultivation crops that could be grown here and be traded abroad.
English botanist Henry Ridley experimented with planting rubber trees in the Singapore Botanic Gardens, and convinced planters in Malaysia to adopt his methods and made the country the number one producer and exporter of rubber.
First Singapore UNESCO World Heritage Site, what else?
Other than being the Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is also the first and only tropical botanic garden to be on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list and the third botanic gardens to be inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pretty impressive for a small island country with most of it urbanized, isn’t it?
Singapore Botanic Gardens, just a park?
We go to the Singapore Botanic Gardens to fly kite, have a picnic or a family gathering and basically laze under the sun on a Sunday morning and when we are there, we see many foreign workers there for a day of relaxation from their daily work grind; but is there all there is to the Singapore Botanic Gardens? Apparently not, as it is also a world-renowned leading centre for plant research.
We name our orchid hybrids
No, we’re being serious right here. We have more than 200 orchid hybrids we name after celebrities like Jackie Chan and foreign dignitaries like Margaret Thatcher.