Our visit to the Kunming Botanical Garden started off with a warm welcome from executive director Dr. Wei- Bang Sun and his staff. After a quick set of introductions, they treated our group to an overview of Kunming Botanical Garden’s history, and its mission of research, conservation and public education of the flora of the Yunnan Province. Established in 1938, Kunming Botanical Garden has had a long history of research on the native flora of China, with a particular interest in both rhododendrons and camellias. The garden’s three main areas of research are rhododendrons, endemic plants to the Yunnan Province, and economic plants. Kunming Botanical Garden is comprised of 44 hectares with over 6,000 taxa of plants. Some of the main collections we were able to tour were rhododendrons, camellias, a 1,000-taxa medicinal plant garden, and the only rock garden in China.
After lunch we embarked on a short tour of the World Horticulture Expo-Garden in Kunming. Opened to the public in 1999, the Expo- Garden has many beautiful displays of annual color, including unique topiaries that were placed throughout the garden’s grounds. A few particularly impressive spots were the bonsai garden, flower avenue, medicinal herb garden, and a bamboo garden.