Biodiv Sci ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (9): 938-944.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2017150

• On the Mandate of Botanical Gardens • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Promoting plant culture communication in a botanical garden from a natural history perspective

Huajie Liu*()   

  1. Department of Philosophy, Peking University, Beijing 100871
  • Received:2017-05-19 Accepted:2017-09-08 Online:2017-09-20 Published:2017-10-04
  • Contact: Liu Huajie


The natural history cognitive tradition that Theophrastus, John Ray, Gilbert White, Carl Linnaeus, Henry David Thoreau, and John Muir belong has facilitated the birth and development of botany, ecology, and conservative biology, and when science is increasingly specialized, it seems to inspire experts of botanical gardens to promote plant cultures communication. Restarting and incorporating traditional natural history in the operation of a botanical garden will help balance the tension between anthropocentrism and non-anthropocentrism, scientist and the public perspective, public and personal knowledge, introduced and indigenous species, and domestication and wildness. Every decision in botanical gardens should prioritize conservation and highlight native species. Meanwhile, guided tours of plants should not be restricted to areas of botanical gardens with fixed borders, and the guides of botanical garden and visitors could be able to walk on local trails to look at wild plants, enjoy the ecological landscape, and experience the beauty of nature. However, this suggestion requires reforming the administrative arrangement and staff training of most botanical gardens.

Key words: natural history, plant cultures, personal knowledge, indigenous knowledge, trails plants guide