Sri Lanka has the highest biodiversity per 10,000 square kilometres in Asia. It offers a high proportion of endemic species in its flora and fauna. The island has a wide range of topographic and climatic variation which contributes to the special features of its biodiversity.
There are four botanical gardens in Sri Lanka, one of which is still in progress. If you have a few days to spend, visiting a botanical garden is worth it.
Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya – The Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya is the oldest of the gardens, with its origins dating back to the 14th century. It has a valuable collection of plants and trees. It is famed for its Orchid House, which has more than 300 varieties of exquisite orchids. Additionally, the Spice Garden provides knowledge about the varied trees, plants and creepers that produce the special spices of Sri Lanka. The Herbarium grows many of the plants used for the traditional Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia.
Hakgala Gardens - Hakgala Gardens is nestled near the mountainous hill country of Nuwara Eliya., Hakgala offers a cool climate. Many birds and animal species can be found in the area. Hakgala is steeped in picturesque beauty.
The gardens were first established in 1861 to grow "cinchona," a source of the anti-malarial drug quinine, and were later expanded to include a wide range of foreign species. They are also now well known for their roses. Endemic birds seen here include Sri Lankan Wood Pigeon, Sri Lankan White-eye, Dull Blue Flycatcher, Yellow-eared Bulbul and Sri Lankan Whistling Thrush.
The Gampaha Gardens - The Gampaha Gardens were laid out in 1876 to introduce rubber to Sri Lanka. Later, it was developed as a standard botanical garden by adding and developing new plants and sections.
Mirijawila Botanical Gardens - A new 300 acre botanical garden is being built in Mirijjawila, in the Hambantota district of Sri Lanka. It will be the first ever dry zone botanical garden in Sri Lanka. The aim of establishing it is to protect the plants endemic to the dry zone and to facilitate research on them.