Sprawled over about 40 acre of land, Lloyd Botanical Garden is one of the most unique attractions of the city. It is a delight for anyone who wishes to enjoy a vibrant display of nature’s colours. The collection of flora includes alpine plants, arum lilies, geraniums, ash, birch and lilac from China and Japan, in addition to cryptomerias, plums, cherries, magnolias and maples, weeping willows and deodars from Africa and Bulbon plants and cypress from the United States. There are as many as 150 species of cacti and succulents on display at the greenhouse here. While the entire garden is a treasure box for tourists, the Orchadium is especially worth a visit. It houses as many as 2,500 orchids, which include 50 rare varieties. Most of these have been brought here from Singalila National Park, which can be found on the way to Sandakphu, about 75 km away. There are three more distinctive sections – the upper section is where you will find the Darjeeling Himalayan vegetation; the mid-section is home to a large selection of alpine trees, ferns and conifers; and the lower section has the famous weeping willow, named as such for its drooping branches that create the illusion that the tree is weeping! The Lloyd Botanical Garden doesn’t just give you a rundown of present-day flora, it also allows to peep into the prehistoric ages through its two living fossil trees that have been brought to Darjeeling from China. Additionally, there is Student’s Section that has a plethora of literature on the vegetation of the state, a Medical Garden where you can study the different medicinal properties of certain plants, and a Rock Garden where you can take a leisurely stroll as you admire the natural beauty of Sikkim. Named after William Lloyd, a British bank owner, the garden was his gift to the people of Darjeeling, and was established in the year 1878. The main aim of this place is to preserve the indigenous species of rare flora of the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, Sikkim and its neighbouring areas.

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