Add:1111 Longwu Rd, near Baise Rd
About 2 kilometers southwest of Longhua Pagoda is the Shanghai Botanical Garden. Opening in 1978, it is the largest municipal botanical garden in the country. It took about four years to complete the project, which occupies about 81 hectares.
The garden serves as a platform for research, education, tourism and production. It consists of a dozen spacious sections, featuring magnolias, peonies, azaleas, roses, osmanthus, ferns, bamboo, maples, and conifers. Visitors can find more than 5,000 species of plants in the garden, including 108 rare species or those on the verge of extinction. Plants cultivated by the garden have won a number of awards in several international flower shows in Canada and Holland.
More than 300 species of orchids grow in the orchid room. Some of the precious plants were donated by famous general Zhang Xueliang and Japanese friends. Some gardens like the orchid room and the bonsai garden enjoy international fame for their rich collections.
The bonsai garden ranks among the largest in the world, collecting over 2,000 bonsai featuring Shanghai style. This hallmark displays bonsai in a large complex of corridors, courtyards, pools, and rockeries. There is a “Rock Bonsai” display as well, in which rocks are carved and glued together to form miniature mountains that are placed in trays of water, forming China's largest “potted landscape park”.
A large greenhouse featuring tropical forests and interior plants is also a major attraction that has become a hot spot for photographers in Shanghai. The cherry zone in the rose garden boasts more than 20 species of cherries, the largest number in Shanghai. There is also a traditional herbal medicine garden, with more than 600 species of herbs.
The Exhibition Greenhouse is a newly developed modern botanical greenhouse. It consists of two smaller greenhouses, one for tropical plants and the other for sand plants. The former focuses on gardens in which flowers of all seasons are displayed and tropical rain forests, producing a vivid view of blossoming flowers. The sand house is a collection of the world's strangely-shaped cactuses and rare succulent plants, vividly displaying the feeling of tropical plains. Surrounded by sand, camels, and the setting sun, visitors may feel as if they were walking in a desert.
The Exhibition Greenhouse not only provides tourists with guides, but also with rooms for science popularization, thus enabling visitors to learn more about the secret life of plants while experiencing the beautiful views.
The grounds are extensive, punctuated with restaurants, exhibition halls, vendors' stalls and several children's playgrounds.
Every spring and autumn, special displays are held in the garden. This October saw the blossoming of sweet osmanthus, for the third time of this year. More than 10,000 of these sweetly scented flowers are scattered in the garden, sending fragrance to every corner.
The garden also has a memorial temple, originally built in 1728. It is dedicated to Huang Daopo, who supposedly kick-started Shanghai’s cotton industry by bringing spinning and weaving techniques from Hainan Island.