A visit to the Royal Botanical Garden Paradeniya near Kandy, Hakgala Gardens near Nuwara Eliya and Botanical Gardens Gampaha will pay rich dividends. To the botanist, this is indeed a land of plenty. The diversified climate allows for the growth of tropical as well as sub-tropical trees. The luxuriant undergrowth and tall majestic trees of the wet-zone tropical forest contrast with the arid scrub land and talipot palms of the dry north. ... More In the hills, vegetation varies from the almost treeless patnas of Horton Plains to the dark cloud forests, wreathed with the protected Old Man's Beard Moss. From March to May, numerous flowering trees such as the fiery Poincianan regia, the white Mesua ferrera and the cherry blossom-like Tebebuia burst into bloom and flowering orchids include endemic varieties such as the protected Vanda and Wesak Orchids. National emphasis has also been placed on the human-plant relationship: official recognition has been given to the Na Tree (Mesua nagassarium) and the BlueWater Lily (Nymphaea stellatac), as the national tree and flower respectively. Along the coast bordering estuaries and lagoons, are the mangrove habitats which provide sanctuary for the island's diverse coastal fishery resources.
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