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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 73.djvu/207

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203
THE BOTANICAL GARDENS OF CEYLON

east, in other words, in those parts placed as outlying districts at right angles to the directions of both monsoons.

The climate at Peradeniya is such that the botanist can live there in comfort and work regularly. It is a good place to begin the study of tropical plant life, as it is not extreme in either rainfall or temperature. From Peradeniya it is easy to reach the various parts of the island with their remarkably different floras. Traveling is not expensive and as English is the regular commercial language it is easy to get around.

Although the different plant formations of Ceylon are almost without number, yet a rough classification may be made as follows: (1) lowland evergreen rain forest; (2) upland evergreen rain forest; (3)

PSM V73 D207 Government house near the garden entrance.png

Fig. 7. Government Rest House near the Entrance to the Garden. photograph by the author.

From a mountain evergreen rain forest; (4) monsoon forest (half deciduous). There is no plain or prairie of any extent. Our first named formation is in the southwestern part of the island extending from Galle to Colombo and inland for twenty to fifty miles. Peradeniya is situated in the upland evergreen rain forest. Nuwara Elliya and Hakgala (about 6,000 feet altitude) may be taken as examples of our third region. These points are easily reached from Peradeniya by rail, the trip taking about half a day. Above these points the mountains rise 2,000 or 3,000 feet higher, but there is no true alpine vegetation anywhere in Ceylon. At Nuwara Elliya the general aspect of vegetation is much like that of temperate America or Europe. The trees are much