Did you know that Shastri Bhavan and UK Deputy High Commission on Anderson Road in the city were once home to exotic and native plant species? James Anderson, a British botanist, maintained a verdant botanical garden in those areas, .

A host of such interesting facts were part of the talk by Pauline R.Deborah, assistant professor, Department of Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology, Women's Christian College, here on Monday. Delivering a lecture on ‘Fascinating World of Plant Kingdom' at the Government Museum, Egmore, she listed out the number of rare plant species found on the Museum's premises.

“Baobab tree, one of the mammoth trees native of Madagascar, grows at this place. This is one of those rare trees with incredibly broad girth. Its trunk doubled up as a prison in a few countries. Botanist Hugh Cleghorn, who worked as a professor of Botany in Madras Medical College, was so fascinated with the plant species at the Government Museum that he collected a lot of samples from here for his herbarium,” she added.

The Giant Water Lily, which can hold the weight of a baby, is now being grown at Semmozhi Poonga, coming up on Cathedral Road, she said.

The lecture was organised by the Government Museum as part of the World Heritage Week.

A series of workshops and exhibitions on archaeology, coins and plants are also planned as part of the week. The exhibits would be taken to all the 20 district libraries for display, said Principal Secretary and Commissioner of Museums T.S.Sridhar.

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