Establishment of a Botanic Garden for the Protection of the Plant Genetic Resources of the Tam Dao National Park, Vietnam

A project under Funding of The Darwin Initiative for the Survival of Species

Tran Cong Khanh & Tran Van On - Center for Research and Development of Ethnomedicinal Plants (CREDEP)
Do Dinh Tien & Tran Cu - Tam Dao National Park (Vinh Phuc Prov.)
Peter S. Wyse Jackson & Fiona Dennis - Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI)

Home | Contents | Abstract | Tam Dao National Park | Methodology | Results | Table | Figure 1 | Figure 2 | Discussion | Appendix | References


A mini Botanic Garden of 1 ha, including nursery facilities, was established on 100m contour of the Tam Dao National Park (TDNP), Vinh Phuc province, Vietnam.

For the selecting of useful plant species to be planted in this botanic garden, an inventory of the 4 different types of useful plants, including medicinal plants, vegetables, fruit trees and timbers that used by native people was undertaken, using freelisting and ranking technique. As a result, 265 medicinal plants, 74 vegetables, 51 fruit trees, 151 timbers were recorded. 45, 20, 20 and 19 species of them respectively were identified as important species by three selected communities surrounding of the Park.

17 useful plant species were studied on the propagation method by stem cutting using low-tech model and 98 useful plant species were planted in the Botanic Garden to assist in the effective management of the plant genetic resources of the Park.


1. Tam Dao National Park

The Vietnamese Government established the Tam Dao National Park (TDNP), one of ten National Parks of Vietnam, on March 6th 1996.

The park is situated at the Tam Dao mountain, about 80 Km north-west of Hanoi, lies between the three different provinces of Vinh Phuc (40,6% of total area), Thai Nguyen (37,6%) and Tuyen Quang (21,8%). It covers on an area of 53,398 ha, ranges from 100 m to 1592 m about sea level (21 degrees 22' to 21 degrees 42' N, 105 degrees 22' to 105 degrees 42' E). The annual average temperature is from 180C to 2209C. The yearly average rainfall is 1640 mm to 2630 mm. The day of rainfall is 143-190 days per year.

The Tam Dao town is located on the Tam Dao mountain, within the National Park, at the altitude of 950 m (21 degrees 27' N, 105 degrees 38' E). This place was discovered by French since 1902 and has been built since 1906. It is one of mountainous resorts in Vietnam with the population of about 500 inhabitants.

The Park's Headquarter is located at kilometer 13 on the road from Vinh Yen (Vinh Phuc province) to Tam Dao town, belonging to Ho Son village.

The Park's buffer zone covers approx. 15,000 ha, in which the human population is about 16,000 people, belonging to four main tribe groups: San Diu, San Chay, Kinh and Dao.

The Flora and Fauna of this mountainous area are very rich and diversity. It is characterized by the tropical rain forest (from 100 m to 700 m altitude) and subtropical forest (over 700 m), with about 490 species of the higher plants (Pteridophyte 53, Gymnosperms 11 and Angiosperms 426) belonging to 344 genera and 130 families.

There are also 281 species of animals (Mammal 58, Birth 158, Reptile 46 and Amphibious 19) belonging to 84 families. As the free market economy develops in Vietnam much greater pressure is being placed on the National Park by the surrounding population through harvesting of useful plant species and animal for themselves and for sale. There are lot of valuable plants such as Sam bong (Amentotaxus argotaenia), Po mu (Fokenia hodginsii), Do quyen (Rhododendron spp.), Kim giao (Nageia fleuryi) etc. Medicinal plants are particularly targeted, such as Hoa tien (Asarum maximum), Ba kich (Morinda officinalis), a tonic drug and Vu huong (Cinnamomum parthenoxylon), for its essential oil.

The National Park was established only recently, therefore it has been no research undertaken about inventory of useful plant species being used by native people, as well as the extent of harvesting and nor education programs developed for local people to promote sustainable use of these valuable natural resources. No facilities currently exit in the Park for the propagation or cultivation of these native plants that are needed for conservation work, including regeneration and species recovery projects.

Following the receipt of project support from the U.K. Darwin Initiative for the Survival of Species in April 1997, work began to create a new botanic garden there in June 1997 within the National Park. This collaborative project is being carried out jointly by the Tam Dao National Park authorities, Centre for Research and Development of Ethnomedicinal Plants (CREDEP) Vietnam and Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI).


2. Methodology

2.1. Establishment of the Botanic Garden
In order to protect the plant genetic resources of the Tam Dao National Park, it has to establish at the first step a mini botanic garden of 1 ha, including nursery facilities.
2.2 . Inventory of Useful Plants

Useful plant species were recorded in interviews by freelisting technique. Each informant was asked the same question with each type of useful plant. The voucher specimens of recorded species were also collected and deposited at the Herbaria of TDNP and of the Hanoi College of Pharmacy (HNIP). Important values of useful plants were identified by ranking technique, using different criteria for each type of useful plant, including use-frequency, marketable and delicious-level for vegetables and fruit trees; durable, marketable and use-frequency for timbers. For medicinal plants, the important value was simply identified by use-frequency of the studied communities. Conservation level of each important species was identified by ranking technique, based on the average of the sum of the use-frequency, from 5-1, where 5 was mostly used; and rarity-level, from 5-1, where 5 was very rare.

2.3. Propagation of Useful Plant Species
Propagation method used was stem - cutting low - tech model. The materials were collected by different collecting expeditions and preserved in plastic bags with clean water. Collected materials were processed and placed in fine sand within a day. Rooting hormone used was IBA (Indole Butyric Acid). The moisture in propagating-frame was maintained by hand-sprayer.


3. Results

3.1. Botanic Garden and nursery facilities
The Botanic Garden was placed at the 100 m contour of TDNP, approximately 800 m from the Park's Headquarter. It covers 227 ha .

In the first step, a mini botanic garden that lies out on an area of 1 ha, including nursery facilities was established. It divided in to two zones: (a) The first zone used for nursery, including two subzones: the first subzone of 20 sq. meter is propagating frame, mainly for stem cutting with low-tech model, and the second one was used for adaptation of the saplings. (b) The second zone was divided in to 13 different subzones, used for planting timbers, fruit trees, vegetables and medicinal plants .


3.2. Propagation
Based on the results of plant inventory, 541 useful plants, including medicinal plants (265), vegetables (74), fruit trees (51) and timbers (151), that used by native people, were recorded. 450 voucher specimens of these useful plants were collected and deposit at the herbaria of TDNP and of HNIP. 17 useful plant species were selected to study with the propagation method by stem cutting, using low-tech model (Tab. 1).

Scientific name Family Use No. of cutting No. of rooting %
Asarum maximum Aristolochiaceae Me. 14 3 21.43
Camellia amplexicaulis Theaceae Or. 118 68 57.63
Cissus sp.(*) Vitaceae Me. 30 25 83.33
Dimocarpus longan Sapindaceae Fr. 50 17 34.00
Dimocarpus sp. (*) Sapindaceae Fr. 16 0 0.00
Ficus auriculata(*) Moraceae Fr. 34 28 82.35
Garcinia cowa(*) Clusiaceae Fr. 20 0 0.00
Garcinia oblongifolia(*) Clusiaceae Fr. 16 0 0.00
Kadsura sp. (*) Schizandraceae Me.,Fr. 47 17 36.17
Lonicera sp. Caprifoliaceae Me. 73 10 13.70
Melientha suavis(*) Opiliaceae Ve. 150 0 0.00
Millettia sp. (*) Leguminosae Me. 34 19 55.88
Morinda officinalis(*) Rubiaceae Me. 37 28 75.68
Rhododendron sp. Ericaceae Or. 30 16 53.33
Spatholobus sp. (*) Leguminosae Me. 140 110 78.57
Streptocaulon juventas(*) Asclepiadaceae Me. 27 8 29.63
Ventilago leiocarpa Rhamnaceae Me. 23 6 26.09

Note: Me.=Medicine, Fr.=Fruit, Ve.=Vegetable, Ti.=Timber, Or.=Ornamental (*)=Important useful species

This result shown that the lianas which have a high percentage of rooting (75-83%). The Ficus plant is easy to take root also (82%). Some trees and shrubs such as Garcinia (Clusiaceae), Dimocarpus (Sapindaceae) and Melientha suavis (Opiliaceae) are not get successful by this propagation method.


3.3. Important Useful Plant Species Selected for Planting in the Garden

Up today there are 98 species, belonging to 54 families, which were identified as important species being used as fruit trees, vegetables, medicinal plants and timbers by communities. These species belong to 8 different life forms, including tree (47 spp.), herb (22 spp.), liana (16 spp.), shrub (9 spp.), fern (4 spp.), bamboo (3 spp.), mushroom (2 spp.) and palm (1 sp.), that are shown in Fig. 1. The use-distribution is shown in Fig. 2.


Fig. 1: Life Forms of Important Useful Plants Identified by Communities


Fig. 2: Use-Distribution of Important Useful Plants Identified by Communities


4. Discussion

It is important to establish an information system, such as labels, instructions, computerized database, etc. It is important also to understand the current condition of these plants in the area, such as abundance, rarity, ecological requirement, conservation status, etc. and the development status of local communities in relation with the harvesting, use and cultivation of these plants.

At present, a multi-purpose ecological survey of these useful plants is being undertaken with the establishment of 100 quadrates of 0.05 ha within the park and with the participation of local representatives. Information relating to ecological, environment conditions and useful plant species are collected. The data will then be organized and analyzed by appropriate computer software to find out the ecological requirement, distribution, abundance, rarity, etc. of the useful plant species. The outputs of this survey will be used for the next step of development of this garden and conservation activities in the area.

Although the work is beginning, but it is very important for the conservation of biodiversity of useful plant species in the park. The garden with the nursery facilities will then be used as a model for the education of biodiversity of useful plants, for the training purposes for local communities in the area. The garden will also provide saplings of native useful plants for the Park's Botanic Garden and for the re-greening program of the Government in the area.



APPENDIX : List of Important Useful Plants to be Planted

Scientific Name Family Local Name - does not translate electronically Use
Acorus gramineus Araceae Xuong bo Me.
Adenosma caerulea Scrophulariaceae Bo Bo Me.
Adenosma sp. Scrophulariaceae Nhan tran Me.
Adina sp. Rubiaceae Gao Me.
Allospondias axillaris Anacardiaceae Xoan nhu Fr.
Amomum villosum Zingiberaceae Sa nhan Me.
Amoora gigantea Meliaceae Goi nep Ti.
Arenga pinata Arecaceae Dao Ve.
Artemisia vulgaris Asteraceae Ngai cuu Ve.
Arundinaria sat Poaceae Mang sat Ve.
Auricularia auricula Auriculariaceae Moc nhi Ve.
Baccaurea sapida Euphorbiaceae Dau gia dat Fr.
Canarium album Burseraceae Tram trang Fr., Ti
Canarium tonkinensis Burseraceae Tram chim Fr.
Canarium tramdenum Burseraceae Tram den Fr.
Centella asiatica Apiaceae Rau ma Ve.
Chukrasia tabularis Meliaceae Lat Ti.
Cinnamomum parthenoxylon Lauraceae Vu huong Ti.
Cinnamomum sp. Lauraceae Re Ti.
Cinnamomum sp.1 Lauraceae Re Me.
Cissus sp. Vitaceae Day vuong Me.
Clerodendrum cyrtophyllum Verbenaceae Dang cay Me.
Curculigo orchioides Hypoxydaceae Sam cau Me.
Dendrocalamus patellaris Poaceae Mang giang Ve.
Desmodium sp. Leguminosae Dong tien long Me.
Dimocarpus sp. Sapindaceae Nhan rung Fr.
Dioscorea persimilis Dioscoraceae Cu mai Me.
Diplazium esculentum Athyriaceae Rau don Ve.
Disporopsis longifolia Convallariaceae Sam gung Me.
Dracontomelum duperreanum Anacardiaceae Sau Fr.
Drynaria sp.1 Polypodiaceae Than lan 家 Me.
Drynaria sp.2 Polypodiaceae Tac ke 家 Me.
Drynaria sp.3 Polypodiaceae Cot toai bo Me.
Elaeocarpus sp. Elaeocarpaceae Com Fr.
Erythrophloeum fordii Leguminosae Lim xanh Ti.
Fibraurea tinctoria Menispermaceae Hoang 家ng Me.
Ficus auriculata Moraceae Va Fr.
Ficus sp. Moraceae Sung Fr.
Garcinia cowa Clusiaceae Tai chua Me., Fr.
Garcinia multiflora Clusiaceae Doc Fr.
Garcinia oblongifolia Clusiaceae Bua Me., Ve., Fr.
Gardenia sp. Rubiaceae Danh danh Me.
Gnetum montanum Gnetaceae Gam Fr., Me
Gynura crepidioides Asteraceae Tau bay Ve.
Gynura sp. Asteraceae Bau 家t Ve.
Homalomena occulta Araceae Sn thuc Me.
Houtuynia cordata Saururaceae Rau giap ca Ve.
Ilex sp. Aquifoliaceae Vo rut Me.
Illicium griffithii Illiciaceae Hoi dai Me.
Ixora sp.1 Rubiaceae Mau 峨n Me.
Kadsura longipedunculata Schisandraceae Na rung Fr.
Kadsura sp. Schizandraceae Day na rung Me.
Lactuca sp. Asteraceae Rau bao Ve.
Leea sp. Leeaceae Goi hac Me.
Lentinus edodes Pleurotaceae Nam huong Ve.
Lindera sp. Lauraceae Nanh vang Ti.
Litsea sp. Lauraceae Khao la tre Ti.
Litsea sp. Lauraceae Khao vang Ti.
Loranthus sp. Loranthaceae Tam gui sang Me.
Madhuca pasquieri Sapotaceae Sen Ti.
Manglietia fordiana Magnoliaceae Vang tam Ti.
Melianthe suavis Opiliaceae Rau ngot rung Ve.
Millettia sp.1 Leguminosae Sam trau Me.
Morinda officinalis Rubiaceae Ruot ga Me.
Musa coccinea Musaceae Chuoi rung Ve., Fr.
Mussaenda sp. Rubiaceae Day buom buom Me.
Neohouzeaua dulloa Poaceae Mang nua Ve.
Nephelium sp. Sapindaceae Vai thieu rung Fr.
Oroxylon indicum Bignoliaceae Nuc nac Me.
Passiflora foetida Passifloraceae Day lac tien Me.
Peltophorum pterocarpum Leguminosae Lim set Ti.
Phoebe sp.? Lauraceae Ba tang Me.
Pinus sp. Pinaceae Thong ba Ti.
Piper lolot Piperaceae La lot Ve.
Podocarpus sp. Podocarpaceae Thong tre Ti.
Quercus sp. Fagaceae Soi bop Ti.
Rubus sp.1 Rosaceae 吟m 席m Me.
Schefflera sp.1 Araliaceae Ngu gia bi Me.
Smilax sp. Smilacaceae Khuc khac Me.
Spatholobus sp.1 Leguminosae Huyet 家ng Me.
Spondias lakonensis Anacardiaceae Dau gia xoan Fr.
Stellaria aquatica Caryophyllaceae Xuong ca Ve.
Stemona tuberosa Stemonaceae Day ba muoi Me.
Streptocaulon juventas Asclepiadaceae Ha thu o trang Me.
Strychnos sp. Loganiaceae Ma tien day Me.
Talauma gioi Magnoliaceae Gioi Ti.
Tamarindus sp. ? Euphorbiaceae Chua me rung Ve.
Tinospora tomentosa Menispermaceae Day 家u xuong Me.
Toona surenii Meliaceae Lat khet Ti.
Trevesia palmata Araliaceae 吟 席 rung Me.
Unknown Asclepiadaceae Hong luc Me.
Unknown Unknown Ma thanh Me.
Unknown Unknown Cai tay Ve.
Unknown Sapindaceae Dai Fr.
Unknown Unknown Moi Fr.
Vatica odorata Dipterocarpaceae Tau mat Ti.
Vernonia aff. andersonii Asteraceae Rau rau Me.
Vitex sp. Verbenaceae Bun sung Ti.

Note: Me.=Medicine, Fr.=Fruit, Ve.=Vegetable, Ti.=Timber


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  2. CREDEP, Report of activities of project "Protection and sustainable use of the plant resources of the Tam Dao National Park", Vietnam. Period of April 1997 - June 1998.
  3. Gary J. Martin, 1995. Ethnobotany. A 'People and Plants' Conservation Manual.
  4. John W. Wrigley, Murray Fagg, 1995. Australian Native Plants.
  5. Stephen P. Borgatti, 1996. ANTHROPAC 4.0 - User's Guide. Analytic Technologies.


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