Rimba Ilmu means "The Forest of Knowledge" in the Malay language. The garden, established in 1974, occupies an area of 80 hectares. It is partly buffered by old rubber plantings and the living collections, mostly from Malaysia, are one of the most important biological conservatories in Malaysia. There are also plant species from other parts of tropical Asia, the Pacific islands, Australia, South America, Africa and Madagascar.
The Herbarium (a reference library of preserved plant specimens) is Malaysia's largest university collection containing some 63,000 accessions. In the Garden, there are several main show collections, including medicinal plants, palms, and the citrus and citroid collection. The Conservatory of Rare Plants and Orchids, opened in 2000, and the Fernery, with planting establishments made over several years and commissioned in 2003, are accessible only to special group visits and research contacts, and a new bambusetum (living collection of bamboos) was completed at the end of 2003 and generally accessible to the public. There is also a small research collection of bananas. A highlight in the development of the Rimba Ilmu is the establishment of a special arboretum (living collection of trees) beginning in 2001 as the anchor for our "Millenium Forest" project, which seeks to engage friends and concerned parties in establishing biologically diverse forest plantings in making a new forest within the city of Kuala Lumpur.RIMBA ILMU's MISSION is to generate and promote awareness and knowledge of tropical plant life and its environment, ecology and conservation through the development and management of facilities and activities appropriate to its function in a university located within Malaysia's most developed and populated landscape.
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