Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Hokkaido University Botanic Garden

After attending the Sapporo Flower Festival and visiting the Ainu Museum last Sunday, we continued with a walk around the gardens.  If I lived in Sapporo, I think I would visit often. The brochure says “around 4,000 taxa of plants native to Hokkaido can be found here in the 13.3 hectare garden.”  I didn’t know what the word “taxa” meant, so I checked it out on
Taxa is the plural of taxon, which is defined as a taxonomic category or group, such as a phylum, order, family, genus, or species.  (Ted already knew what the word meant.)  A hectare is a unit of surface, or land, measure equal to 100 ares, or 10,000 square meters: equivalent to 2.471 acres. (One of those metric things.)  That means 13.3 hectare is almost 33 acres.
Seeing the reflections in this pond made me think of the Monet piece I am stitching.

Hokkaido’s oldest museum (built in 1882) is also on the botanic garden grounds. The building and display cases inside have been designated as National Treasures.  Most of the display cases were filled with dead animals including the only existing specimens of the Ezo wolf and many endangered animals.

 The Rose Garden features 20 varieties of roses and over 200 rose bushes. I do like roses and they smelled so wonderful.

The Canadian Rock Garden was opened in 2001 and contains around 150 species of wild plants from North America.  The Alpine Plants Rock Garden was designed as a copy of habitat near the summit of Mt. Tomuraushi in central Hokkaido and was opened in 1938.  There are about 600 species of alpine plants typical of Hokkaido here.The Northern Peoples Ethnobotanical Garden has about 200 species of plants used by indigenous people from North East Asia in ways such as for clothing (weaving and dying); food; material for housing, utensils and other everyday objects; medicine; ritual and hunting. I’m not sure of which photos came from which of these three gardens or the walkways and don’t want to get it wrong, so they are all together.

If you are in Sapporo and it’s not winter, this is definitely a place to visit.

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