Cryptogamic Garden: Know About Cryptogams
By : Neha Dhyani
Updated : Feb 24, 2022, 9:46
India opened its first cryptogamic garden in Uttarakhand's Dehradun district on July 11, 2021. The park houses 50 species of cryptogams commanding a height of 9,000 ft. Social activist Anoop Nautiyal inaugurated India's first cryptogamic garden.
The cryptogamic garden is located 2700 meters above sea level and is spread over 3 acres. The area's low pollution level and moist conditions are conducive to cryptogams' growth. Besides, Deoban is home to the majestic forests of Deodar and Oak. This creates a natural habitat for cryptogamic species.
As per Dehradun's state forest department, the garden has been opened to increase awareness about primitive cryptogamic species and promote their growth.
What are Cryptogams?
- Cryptogams are primitive plant species that have existed since the Jurassic era.
- The well–known species of cryptogams include algae, lichens, moss, liverworts, ferns, and fungi.
- The word cryptogame means 'hidden reproduction.' This infers that the species produce no seed or flowers while reproducing. Instead, they reproduce through spores.
- Cryptogams thrive in a moist environment.
Why was Uttarakhand selected for the Cryptogamic Garden?
Uttarakhand is a state rich in biodiversity.
Uttarakhand's tourism data reveals the availability of 4000 plant species in the district. The species belong to 1198 genera and fall under 192 families.
In regards to cryptogams, Uttarakhand boasts the following numbers:
- Algae-346 species
- Pteridophytes-365 species
- Bryophytes- 478 species
- Lichens- 539 species
Cryptogams Found in the Cryptogamic Garden
Few Cryptogams found in the Cryptogamic Garden in detail:
- India's first cryptogamic garden houses several algae species.
- Algae can survive in seawater and freshwater bodies.
- Algae are also used as food as they are rich in fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
- Algae is a good source of vitamins like A, B, C, and E. It also contains essential minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, and zinc.
- People of the United States, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, China, and Japan consume algae.
- Algae also act as good biofertilizers. They can be used in liquid form to repair nitrogen levels in the soil.
- Algae have medicinal properties and are used for obtaining a large number of medicines. Sargassum and Laminaria are iodine-rich brown algae.
- Moss is a species of Bryophytes, the simplest and primitive land plants.
- Mosses are a good indicator of pollution. They help prevent soil erosion by binding soil particles together.
- Mosses have a high water retention capacity. This property becomes useful while packaging and transporting plants to far-off places.
- They also have antimicrobial properties.
- Ferns are ornamental plants. They are used to decorate gardens and rooms.
- Ferns indicate the moisture regime of an area.
- Ferns accumulate heavy metals that are too toxic for other plants and thus can be used to clean mineral-rich soil and groundwater.
- Surprisingly, ferns and horsetail have remained unchanged since the Jurassic era.
- Lichens represent a symbiotic relationship between two organisms- algae and fungi.
- These cryptogams are highly sensitive to atmospheric pollutants and thus can be used as pollution monitors.
- Lichens are also a vital ingredient of many dishes like Hyderabadi biryani.
- These useful species can cure jaundice, fever, diarrhoea, epilepsy, hydrophobia, and various skin diseases.
- Lichens have an aromatic substance present in them called a thallus. Hence, they are used to prepare many cosmetic articles, perfumes, dhoop, etc.
FAQs About Cryptogamic Garden
- Where is India's first Cryptogamic Garden?
Ans: India's first Cryptogamic Garden is located in the Deoban area of the Dehradun district, Uttarakhand.
- When was India's first Cryptogamic Garden opened?
Ans: India opened its first Cryptogamic Garden in Uttarakhand on July 11, 2021.
- What is the altitude and area measurement of India's first Cryptogamic Garden?
Ans: The Cryptogamic Garden is located at an altitude of 2700 meters above sea level and spreads over 3 acres.