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The cultivation of plant life has been engrained in human culture for thousands of years. Agriculture was one of the first key factors to the foundation of cities and civilizations because this allowed the ability for people to create their own food sources without having to hunt or gather for existing food sources. With such a reliance on agriculture throughout the rise and fall of human civilizations it only became natural that botanical gardens would be created to display the wondrous array for plant species across the world.

The first primitive botanical gardens date back to the 8th century on Botanical Gardens in the U.S however the ones we are familiar with in modern day first arose in the 16th century, although these did differ slightly and were typically referred to as tropical gardens. Perhaps the first truly modern garden of this type was created at the University of Pisa by Ulisse Aldrovandi in 1544. The collection of plants were donated by the prestigious botanist who was a former professor at the University. The origin of the botanical garden came about from the research of naturalists and botanists and were typically founded by either Universities of scientific associations. These served as an area of research for many scientists who wished to learn more about plant life and information about species that could be found around the world.

Shortly after their formation these tropical gardens became a symbol of cultural heritage and scientific prestige. During this time in the 16th and 17th century these became the early research grounds for genetic studies. Cross breeding plants in facilities such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the real Jardin Botanico de Madrid attracted many researches who were interested in learning more about genetic heredity and how to breed new species of plants. Throughout the 19th and 20th century public gardens became vastly popular throughout England and these helped to revive the popular opinion of gardens.

The United States created their first botanic garden in 1730 in Philadelphia named Bartram’s Garden however the most famous was created in 1859 called the Missouri botanic garden. The scientific uses for this garden were simplistic and primarily categorized the plants for the public along with distributing seeds worldwide for consumers in the scientific community. This would lead to another stint of popularity followed by a decline. However in the past few decades there has been yet another re-emergence of these facilities in an attempt to conserve species of plants whose habitats are in decline.

Botanical gardens in recent years have become an excellent source of conservation for plants as they educate the public and scientific communities alike while raising funding to further plant research. The study of botany is constantly finding new useful ways to utilize chemicals found in plants for human benefits. Today there are over 1775 botanical gardens in existence worldwide spanning across 158 different countries. These facilities ultimately help to preserve the beauty of nature in a manner which can further the conservation of delicate species in danger of extinction.

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