Arboratum is a special initiative of SDM College, Ujire with a mandate of conservation of plant diversity. This was initiated in 1998 as a major conservation programme under the guidance of visionary president SDM Society, Dr. D. Veerendra Heggade. It is managed by the dept. of Botany, Pharmacognosy & Biotechnology. It has been putting multidimensional efforts related to conservation and enhancement of floristic biodiversity of Karnataka with special focus on Western Ghats region.

It is spread over in 10 acres with many thematic blocks like Home Remedy Plants, Wild Fruits Plants, Sacred Groove, a greenhouse and spacious nursery. An added attraction is pristine natural tropical evergreen forest amidst. More than 5000 plants of nearly 600 species are presently planted in the field, according to Bentham & Hooker system of plant classification, to the delight of Ecologists and Taxonomists. The Green House harbours more than 400 plant specimens including more than 40 Rare, Endangered, Threatened (RET) & Endemic plants of Western Ghats and nursery propagates thousands of saplings for distribution among local villagers & students free of cost every year. Demonstrations plots are there on different types of organic manure production, rain water harvesting and nursery techniques etc. Students and public, both from within and outside Karnataka pay study visits here regularly. Different target groups like Self Help Groups (SHG) & Village Forest Committee (VFC) members, Dept. of Forest officials, University students, researchers visit the Arboratum for understanding various facets of conservation biology. Nature camps are organized here for children, where they learn about plants & birds along with play in Play Yards.

Dr. B. Yashovarma, Principal of SDMC and a botanist, is the person behind this great long term institutional effort. The Karnataka Government has duly recognized this centre by bestowing 'Biodiversity Conservation Award' of Biodiversity Board.


Dr.D.Veerendra Heggade,
President, SDM Educational Society
Ujire (Dakshina Kannada)


Dr. B. Yashovarma,
Principal, S.D.M College
Ujire (Dakshina Kannada)

Implementing Department

Departments of Botany& Pharamcognosy,
Principal, S.D.M College
S.D.M College, Ujire (Dakshina Kannada)


Keshava Hegde Korse,
Lecturer in Pharmacognosy
S.D.M College, Ujire (Dakshina Kannada)

Advisory Board

It comprises eminent persons from research
Institutes, Universities, Ayurveda colleges,
Farmer community, NGO's etc.

Salient features of ARBORATUM :

  • More than 600 species of plants are planted systematically in an area of 8 acres in Benthem & Hooker system of classification.
  • A small green house is built, which has now the collection of more than 400 species of Angiosperm.
  • Special collection and conservation efforts are being done for the rare, endangered & endemic plants of Western Ghats. More than 40 endangered species are now being conserved.
  • Different blocks are maintained for home remedy plants, aquatic plants, horticulture plants etc..
  • A separate 'sacred plant' block is created, where 9 different groups like 'Rashi Vana', 'Nakshatra Vana', 'Navagraha Vana' etc.
  • As a special feature natural forest of an area of 1.8 acres adjacent to Arboratum is being retained & developed as an in-situ conservation area.
  • Research studies are conducted on different aspects of forests & agronomy like seed germination pattern & rate, manure application pattern, phenology, plant pathology etc.
  • All the facilities are being developed to make it a major education & training centre. Students, farmers, youth, women & public in general are being allowed for exposure visits & given training on several related aspects.

Ongoing activities

ARBORATUM is being developed as an educational, research and training centre on various issues of conservation and cultivation of plant resources of coastal and Western Ghats region of Karnataka. Some of the activities undertaken as part of Arboratum are briefly mentioned here. However, all the activities are being done on limited scale as it is not being funded by any external sources and it is totally supported by S. D. M. Education Society.

  • Hands on training for Medicinal Plant Biotechnology students: SDM College is offering a unique course called PARAMCOGNOSY, now modified into Medicinal Plant Biotechnology on the use and conservation of medicinal plants. It is the only such course in Karnataka, which is very well appreciated and recognized by the experts and industry people. Through this course, the Botany department has been able to accumulate technical expertise and infrastructure over the period of time.
  • Herbal Garden: A herbal gardens is developed with the intention of growing medicinal plants – both for conservation & education. Nearly 80 species are raised in this herbal garden. All plants are properly irrigated and given standard agronomic practices. This facility is meant for the conservation as well as the education purpose for the students and public. As extension programme, training sessions are being conducted by staff members to different target groups on themes like home remedy, medicinal herbs cultivation, kitchen garden, roof top garden, commercially important medicinal plants etc.
  • Folk Medicine Research Programmes: The dept. of Botany & Pharmacognosy of SDM College have taken up ' Folk Medicine Tradition' as a major area of priority for research by making use of ARBORATUM facility. Several research programme have been taken up in last 8 years, keeping Dakshina Kannada district as its area of study. Such a broad based and concrete research works have been possible here because of the excellent infrastructure facility & competent staff members. Some of the major works done in recent years are:
    • A Belthangady level folk-medicine practitioner's conference was organized in 2001. Nearly 93 different folk healers participated in it and took part in active interaction. The entire proceedings are now published.
    • An extensive database over folk healers of Belthangady is created by intensive field studies & cultural ethno-botanical approach. A directory of all 'Nativaidyas' is already brought out, which has helped for faster interaction.
    • The process is under way of publishing a book on 'Nativaidyas of Belthangady' on the basis of data accumulated over years of research.
    • A special study is done on the 'Medicinal tradition' practised by Mr. Umesh Poojary, are of the well-known herbal healers in the coastal Karnataka. His formulations are now being published in a form of a monograph.
  • Peoples Bio-diversity Register' study: (PBR) The dept. has been involved in the study called 'People's Bio-diversity register' (PBR) in villages of Belthangady taluk from 2001. These extensive studies are being done to create a database over the local flora. All ecologically and economically important species came across during these studies are being conserved in the Arboratum.
  • Nursery for medicinal and ornamental plants: As part of conservation programme, Dept. of Botany & Pharmacognosy have taken up a big nursery programme in an area of 20 cents. It has the basic facility to produce some plant lets of medicinal and ornamental value. Plants of different medicinal importance are being raised & distributed among local farmers, NGO's schools etc. free of cost. More than 20,000 such plants are distributed every year for 6 years.

For details contact:


Dept. of Botany,
SDM College (Autonomous), Ujire (D.K.)
Tel: 08256-236101, 236221
Fax: 08256-236220
e-mail: sdmcollege@gmail.com