Jardín Botánico Lankester

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Costa Rica - Cartago - Cartago

Institution Code: JBL

International Agenda Registration: Yes

BGCI Member: Yes

About the Jardín Botánico Lankester

Officially founded in 1973, the mission of the University of Costa Rica's Lankester Botanical Garden is to promote conservation, enjoyment and sustainable use of the epiphytic flora through scientific research, horticulture, and environmental education.

Lankester Botanical Garden was established as a center for the exhibition, conservation and research of tropical epiphytic plants, with a special interest in orchids. On 11 hectares, the field collections, collections in greenhouses and secondary forests host over 3,000 species of plants.

The origin of Lankester Botanical Garden goes back to the 1910's when the British naturalist Charles H. Lankester (1879-1969) became interested in the study and cultivation of Costa Rica's epiphytic plants. As an amateur botanist, he collaborated with the most prominent orchidologists of his time and dedicated his life to the creation of a private garden in his farm. After his death, the importance of preserving his garden became evident. Through the joint efforts of the American Orchid Society and the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, the garden of “don Carlos” was donated to the University of Costa Rica on March 2nd, 1973, with the promise to transform it into a botanical garden. With dedication and much effort, the Lankester Botanical Garden has become one of the most active and important botanical institutions of the Neotropics.

Main Address:
Jardín Botánico Lankester
Universidad de Costa Rica
Cartago 302-7050 Costa Rica

Telephone: (506) 2511-7931
Fax: (506) 2511-7937
URL: www.jbl.ucr.ac.cr
Primary Email: jardinbotanico.lankester@ucr.ac.cr

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Adam Karremans
    Curator's Name: Jorge Warner
    Plant Records Officer's Name: Jorge Warner
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 9
    Educational Staff Number:
    Research Staff Number: 7
    Administration Staff Number: 8

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Private: No
    Status: State: Yes
    Status: Educational: Yes
    Status: Municipal: No
    Status: Satellite: No
    Status: Trust: No
  • Date founded: 1973
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 5 Hectares
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 6 Hectares
  • Total Area: 11 Hectares
    Latitude: 9.8396
    Longitude: -83.8885
    Annual Rainfall: 2000 mm
    Altitude: 1370.00 Metres
    Total area of shadehouses: 1400 Metres
  • Locality: Information
  • Locality: Garden Name: Jardín Botánico Lankester
  • Local Address: Carretera de Cartago a Paraíso, kilómetro 4. De la fábrica PLYCEM 500 metros al sur y 100 metros al oeste.
  • Locality: City: Cartago
  • Locality: State:

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: Yes
    Herbarium: Number of Specimens: 13000
    Arboretum: No
  • Micropropagation/ Tissue Culture Facilities: No
    Seed Bank: Yes
    Published Plant Catalogue: No
    Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: No
    Retail Outlet: Shop: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: Yes
    Disabled access: Yes
  • Number of Visitors: 25000
    Number of Volunteers: 1

Plant Collections

  • Accession Number: 15000
    Cultivation Taxa Num: 1500
  • Special Collections:A general collection of tropical trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials, containing particularly rich collections of the following families:

    The Garden cultivates more than 15,000 scientific documented specimens from close to 1,000 species, most of which are native to Mesoamerica.


    Cactaceae and Succulents
    The Garden's collection is located in a recently updated area thanks to the sponsorship of the Alonso Guzmán family. In this area, visitors can see plants from diverse families with adaptations to minimize water loss.

    The Garden has a collection of native and exotic species of Heliconiaceae that grow along with similar species such as Strelitziaceae, Marantaceae, Musaceae, Zingiberaceae and Costaceae.

    At the Garden, visitors may enjoy one of the most important collections in the country as well as a small forest of Phyllostachys aurea.

    The Garden has a small collection of palms from diverse origins.

    Second-Growth Forest
    The pre-montane secondary forest existing in the Garden represents one of the few recovered areas in the urban area of Cartago. In 1973, the year the garden was inaugurated, most of the area was composed of pastures and abandoned crop fields. The natural succession received human assistance through planting native and introduced species. With an area of approximately six hectares, visitors can find native species adapted to the secondary forest, tree species from the country's humid areas, ornamental ground plants, numerous epiphytes, and climbing araceae. The secondary forest is also home to a large number of bird species, small mammals, reptiles, and insects.

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: Yes
    Medicinal Plant Programme: No

Research Programmes

  • Plant Breeding: No
    Conservation - Biology: Yes
    Conservation - Genetics: Yes
    Data Management Systems and Information Technology: Yes
    Ecology: Yes
    Ecosystem Conservation: No
    Education: No
    Ethnobotany: No
    Exploration: Yes
    Floristics: Yes
    Horticulture: No
    Invasive Species Biology and Control: No
    Molecular Genetics: Yes
    Pollination Biology: Yes
    Restoration Ecology: No
    Seed/Spore Biology: Yes
    Systematics and Taxonomy: Yes
    Sustainability: No
    Pharmacology: No
    Agriculture: No
    Land Restoration: No
    Urban Environments: No

Education Programmes

  • Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Permanent Public Displays: Yes
    Special Exhibitions: Yes
    Courses for School Children: No
    Courses for University/College Students: Yes
    Courses for General Public: No
    Education Programme: No