This remarkable new 207-hectare botanical garden was opened in 2010 as part of the Shanghai Expo. Set amidst the fast-developing suburbs of Shanghai (population 25 million), it provides both a green resource for the city and a new centre for plant science. Created through collaboration between Shanghai's Municipal Government, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and the State Forestry Administration, Chenshan Botanical Garden has a particular focus on East China's highly urbanised environment.

The botanical garden has already established itself as a popular public attraction with three spectacular glasshouses, a calendar of festivals and 26 themed areas. We also have a large and growing education programme for children and teenagers.

Horticulture must be at the heart of every garden and with expert guidance we are now striving to achieve world-class standards. Horticultural training is also high on our agenda, both to meet our own needs and those of others.

More than 10,000 living taxa have been collected, with an emphasis on conserving the region's flora. Laboratory and plant breeding work is targeted at sustainable utilisation, particularly of those plants that are significant in East China; 200 papers have been published and two Chenshan-bred varieties have won RHS approval.

We have begun working with Shanghai universities and the CAS Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences, aiming to accelerate progress in genomics and bioinformatics.

We are now keen to extend our overseas collaboration so that Chenshan can become a full and active participant in global research, horticulture and conservation initiatives.

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