| Purwodadi Botanic Garden is located at Purwodadi, in the countryside of Pasuruan, East Java and is situated on the main road which connects three cities in East Java; Malang, Surabaya and Pasuruan. It is about 24 km from Malang, 30 km from Pasuruan and 70 km from the capital Surabaya. It covers an area of 85 ha which is at an altitude of about 300 m above sea level. The average annual rainfall is 2366 mm.|
Purwodadi Botanic Garden was established in 1939 by Dr D.F. van Slooten, as one of three branches of the Indonesian Botanic Gardens.
Tasks and Functions
The main task of Purwodadi Botanic Garden is to inventory, explore and conserve semi arid lowland plant species of scientific value.
In conducting this task, Purwodadi Botanic Garden has functions such as :
1. To inventory, explore and conserve species which have scientific value, especially the Indonesian flora requiring a relatively dry climate and growing in lowland areas;
2. To provide guidance, research and education facilities;
3. To make the garden available as a place for recreation.
Collections and Facilities
Purwodadi Botanic Garden is used as a place for conservation and research on semi arid lowland plant species. In December 1995, the garden had a collection of 3,323 species, from 940 genera in 149 families. This collection consists of Orchids 525 species, Zingiberaceae 40 species, Dioscoreaceae tuber crops 6 species, Fabaceae 160 species, Moraceae 133 species, ferns 80 species, bananas 3 species and 150 cultivars, and medicinal herbs 300 species. The facilities in the garden include a library, seed collections, nurseries and glass houses.
Besides being a place for conservation and research, the garden is also a place for public recreation. Recreational facilities provided include lawns, seats and shelters which all encourage visitors to sit, relax and enjoy the serene surroundings. Visitors can also jog on the roads while enjoying the fresh air and admiring the diversity of flora in the garden.
A small guest house is available especially for researchers and colleagues. Bookings can be made through the office during work hours at least two days in advance.
Introducing the Garden
The main gate of Purwodadi Botanic Garden was built using the architecture of a Penataran Temple and is specific to East Java. After entering the gate, we are on the main road of the garden. The road divides the garden into two regions, namely Region I (on the right) and Region II (on the left). Species such as Jacaranda obtusifolia H.B.K., Cassia fistula Linn., Ficus lyrata Warb., Bombax ceiba Linn. and Carmona retusa (Vahl.) Mas have been planted as wayside trees and fence plants. From the main road Mt Baung can be seen in the distance.
The Palm Area lies near the main gate, just some metres from the main gate on the right hand side (in Region I). There are 40 genera and 80 species of palms planted in this area. They have potential uses as carbohydrate, oil, sugar and fruit producing plants. Metroxylon sagu Rottb. is a source of carbohydrate which is a food staple in Irian Jaya and the Maluccan Islands. Arenga pinnata (Wurmb) Merr. can be used for many purposes such as flour (from the inner stem), brushes/brooms (from the leaf rachis and fibres), palm sugar (made from the juice from male flowers), and fruit from the female flowers is called “kolang-kaling” commonly eaten in a sweet syrup. Elaeis guineensis Jacq. os one of oil-producing species which is widely cultivated in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Salacca zalacca (Gaertn.) Voss & Vilm., which is native to Java, produces edible fruits. The are also some ornamental palms such as Licuala grandis H.A.Wendl., Veitchia merrillii (Becc.) H.E. Moore and Raphis excelsa (Thunb.) Henry ex Rehd.
Adjacent to the palm area, the are some interesting plants such as the medicinal plant Altonia scholaris (L.) R.Br. or “pule” the bark of which is used as a tonicum; Musa ferrea L. of which the seed oil is used to treat scabies; and the Sapindus rarak DC. or “Klerak” from which the fruit are used to wash batic clothes.
In this area is also the largest flower in the world, Amorphophallus titanum Becc. which reaches1.8-2.0 metres high and about 30-40 cm in diameter. Flowers smell like carrion. Unfortunately this species produces flowers only once every 3-4 years.
On the southern edge of the palm area are planted Syzygium cuminii (L.) Skeels, also known as “Juwet” or “jemblang”. The fruit are edible, but not as popular as other species. There are many “juwet cultivars in the garden including “juwet daging”, “juwet gentong”, “juwet kerikil”, “juwet hitan” and “juwet putih”. The fruit, particularly of “juwet putih” is used to treat diabetes.
The Mexican Park is in Region II. The park is not far from the main gate, walk a few metres then turn left and pass the sealed road lined with the rare tree species Aegle marmelos (l.) Corr., Limonia acidissima L., Santalum album L. and Manilkara kauki (L.) Dubard. Santalum album L., commonly known as “sandalwood” or “cendana”, is native to Timor and the eastern islands of Indonesia. The oil produced from this species is commercially valuable.
Most species planted in the Mexican Park originate from Mexico, such as cacti and agave. Other genera found in the park include Sansevieria, Ophiopogon, Cereus, Euphorbia, Jatropha and Plumeria. Next to the park there is the “Giant Sengon” (Enterolobium cyclocarpum (Jacq.) Griseb.) which is the biggest tree in the garden with a trunk diameter of 2.60 metre. The wood of this species is used for pulp and the seeds are edible after frying.
Across from the Mexican Park there are 5 ponds in which are various aquatic plant species. “Seroja” or Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn., is one of the interesting collections because of its beautiful flowers. The young leaves and seeds can be eaten. Other species include Typha angustifolia Linn., Fimbristylis sp., Neptunia plena (L.) Bth., Sagittaria lancifolia Linn., Thalia geniculata Linn., Echinodorus radicans Engelm and Ceratopteris thalictroides (L.) Brongn. (swamp fern). In the middle of the pond there is a plant of Stelechocarpus burahol (Bl.) Hook.f. & Th. which is known as “kepel”. The fruit of “kepel” is edible, sweet and fragrant. In the past, “kepel” fruit were popular as a deodorant because of the reduction in body odours which occurrs after eating the fruit. However, at present “kepel” is endangered.
Around the ponds there is a lawn planted with trees and shrubs such as Nicolaia speciosa (Bl.) Horan. or “kecombrang” which has edible flowers; Petrea volubilis Linn. which is a climbing plant and beautiful as a pergola plant; Maniltoa grandiflora Scheff. which has attractive leaves which hang down like a handkerchief, white or pink in colour; Dillenia philippensis Rolfe. which is a medicinal plant; Kigelia africana (Lamk.) Bth. or “sausage tree”; and Barrintonia asiatica (L.) Kurz or “peace tree”. The combination of the trees, shrubs, lawn and ponds make this a favourite area for many people who visit the garden.
The Fern Collection lies next to the ponds, about 200 metres from the main gate. Here is a shady place created by a mixture of canopy-forming trees such as Terminalia ivorensis A. Chev., Oroxylum indicum (L.) Vent, Spathodea campanulata Beauv. and Elaeocarpus grandiflorus J.E. Smith. Beneath the canopy are growing about 80 species of ferns, belonging to 18 families. Asplenium nidus Linn. is well known as the “Bird’s Nest Fern” and grows as an epiphyte. The leaves form a shape similar to a bird’s nest which collects leaf-litter that is used by the plant as a source of nourishment. Cyathea contaminans (Hook.) Copel is a tree fern often used as an ornemental plant, for building materials and media for growing orchids. Because of the high demand for this species it is becoming endangered. Lygodium circinnatum (Burm.f.) Sw. or “string fern” is a climbing fern used for making handicrafts.
After entering the main gate, pass the Mexican Park and walk to the north side of the garden where the legume (Fabaceae) collection is. Here are planted native and exotic legumes such as Adenanthera pavonina Linn. or “segawe” which produces a red seed often used for decoration; Parkia javanica (Lmk.) Merr. or “kedawung” which is a medicinal plant; Parkia speciosa Hassk. or “pete” the seed of which is eaten as a vegetable; Cynometra cauliflora Linn. or “nam-nam” which is a rare species and has an edible fruit. There are also some climbing legumes such as Derris elliptica (Roxb.) Benth., Lysiphyllum binatum (Blanco) De Wit. and Phanera lingua (DC.) Miq.
The Bamboo Area is not far from the Mexican Park. Some of the species in the collection come from Java, such as Gigantochloa manggong Wijaya (endemic to East Java); G. atroviolaceae Wijaya or “black bamboo”; Dendrocalamus asper (Schult.f.) Backer ex Heyne or “pring petung” the young shoots of which can be eaten as a vegetable; Schizostachyum blumii Ness or “pring wuluh” which is used for making handicrafts and “seruling”, a kind of musical instrument.
The Garcinia Lawn lies about 300 metres from the main gate. Some Feroniella lucida (Scheff.) Swingle which are well known as “kawisto kerikil”, are planted along the western edge of the lawn. The growth habit of this species is suitable for bonsai. Some interesting trees on the southern edge of the lawn are “mundu” (Garcinia dulcis (Roxb.) Kurz.), a rare species which produces sweet fruit; “jati belanda” (Guazuma ulmifolia Lmk.) which is used to assist weight loss (slimming). On the northern edge of lawn can be seen Crescentia cujete Linn. or “majapahit” which has an historical account in the Majapahit period (an important Kingdom in the past), and it’s wood can be used for making handicrafts. There are also Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) Swartz, Hydnocarpus sumatrana (Miq.) Kds., Cerbera manghas Linn. and Acacia leucophloea (Roxb.) Willd. that the Javanese call “pilang” and is a well-known semi-arid lowland species.
Across this lawn there is a stand of teak (Tectona grandis Linn.f.) which lose their leaves during the dry season and grow again during the rain season. Teak wood is high quality, hard and strong, and is very good for construction and furniture.
In the rain season, the Bungur Avenue is very beautiful when the Bungur trees (Lagerstroemia thorelii Garnep.) are flowering. However, in the dry season the leaves fall and the trees are bare. This avenue is about 500 metres from the main gate, on the left side. The avenue also functions as the border between the Lauraceae and Annonaceae collections. Passing the avenue, in the northern part of the garden there are a number of collections from families such as Simaroubaceae, Burseraceae, Rutaceae, Sapindaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Malvaceae, Clusiaceae, Myristicaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Malpighiaceae and Sterculiaceae.
Orchid Collection and Nurseries
The Orchid Collection is located in three glass houses which are located to the south of the garden’s office. There are 525 species of orchids in the collection, such as Paphiopedilum glaucophyllum J.J.S. which is endemic to East Java and has beautiful flowers in the shape of women’s slippers; Dendrobium phalaenopsis Fitzg.; Ascocentrum miniatum Lindl. which is becoming rare in nature; Phalaenopsis amabilis (L.) Bl. which is the floral symbol “puspa pesona” of Indonesia because of its beautiful flowers; Dendobium rumphianum T. & B. which is often used for breeding stock because of the long-lived flowers (up to 49 days).
There are 2 nurseries in the garden. The first nursery is next to the Orchid Collection and consists of 3 glass houses. If we walk 100 metres to the east from this nursery we will arrive at the Gymnosperm Collection. This collection consists of 11 genera, belonging to 7 families: Juniperus, Cupressus, Araucaria, Agathis, Taxodium, Thuja, Gnetum, Cycas, Podocarpus, Zamia and Dioon. The second nursery is in this area. Around the nursery can be seen the Bromeliad and Agave collection. In this area the Yam Collection of Dioscorea alata L., D. esculenta (Lour.) Burk., D. hispida Dennst., D. pentaphylla L., D. nummularia Lamk and D. bulbifera can also be seen.
If we walk along the main road about 800 metres from the main gate, on the right side we will find an arboretum. We can also reach the arboretum from the second nursery by following the sealed road (in front of the nursery), turn right into the Kenitu Avenue (Chrysophyllum cainito Linn.) and pass a square lawn. Some seeldings from the nurseries are planted in the garden as collections, but the rest are planted in the arboretum. The arboretum is dominated by Swietenia macrophylla King, Piptadenia peregrina Benth., Dalbergia latifolia Roxb., Schleichera oleosa (Lour.) Oken, Millettia xylocarpa Miq. and Lagerstroemia spp. One of the aims of the arboretum is to display natural forest succession.
Just after the arboretum is the Mango Collection. In this collection are 4 species and 37 cultivars of mangoes, Mangifera indica Linn., M. foetida Lour., M. odorata Griff., and M. minor.
To the east of the Mango Collection, is a pond surrounded by species such as Canarium indicum Linn. which produces wood used in construction; Excoecaria cochinchinensis Lour. a medicinal species; Peltophorum pterocarpum (DC.) Back. which produces tannin; and the ornamental species Stifftia chrysantha Mikan, Canna sp., Gardenia jasminoides Ellis and Firmiana malayana Kosterm. The pond is also used to irrigate plants in this area. After enjoying the scenery around the pond, we walk past the Diospyros Avenue. Near this avenue is a collection of Ixora showing the variety of habit, leaf size and flower colour.
The Banana Collection lies in the north-eastern corner of the garden. To reach the collection, walk along the main road for about 1 km, turn left, and walk past the Acanthaceae, Bignoniaceae and Verbenaceae collections. There are 150 cultivars of banana planted in this collection. Some are native to Java while others have been collected from other islands in Indonesia. Musa acuminata x balbisiana or “pisang kates” is one of the rare and threatened cultivars in the collection.
Purwodadi Botanic Garden is open to the public from 7:00 am until 4:00 pm, Monday – Sunday. The office is open Monday-Thursday from 6:00 am until 3:00 pm and Friday 6:00 am until 10:00 am. Visitors wanting information about the garden, the collections, seed or plant sales, and botanical research are welcome to visit the office during work hours.
There is a small admission charge. Parking is available for motorbikes, cars and buses. Cars are permitted to enter the garden with a special admission fee with the exception of Sunday and public holidays.