BEIJING — In an interview with The Associated Press, a botanists group says the National Botanical Gardens of the United States are “too expensive” and the cost of maintaining them is “not worth the effort” for an international community of botanistic enthusiasts.
The Botanical Society of America said the National Garden of the Americas, which has about 300 acres of land, has a long history of botany research and botany-related products that are now sold in the United Kingdom and China.
It also has plants in China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, South Africa and Australia.
The Garden has a reputation as a major breeding ground for species that have only recently been catalogued in the U.K. and in China.
The Garden is not currently cataloguing the new-found varieties of the same species.
In the United Arab Emirates, a new genus of plant, a member of the dahlia family, was recently discovered in the Garden, and scientists believe the plant was created in the gardens laboratory.
The U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, which protects biodiversity in the world, requires the world’s botanical gardens to catalog and preserve species that are not already on sale in the marketplace, according to the organization’s website.
It’s not known how much the Garden collects from the sale of the new species.
The garden said it has not collected any new species since it was founded in 1863.
The garden’s current inventory of plants is limited to those species that were not already in the market, said the Society of Botanists of America.
The organization said the collection is also limited to plants that are currently being sold, such as a dahlias-type plant that the Garden is currently breeding in China.
“I think it’s a mistake to think that the botanical gardens are a monopoly that can’t be sold or sold for free,” said Steve Pomerantz, a professor of botanical biology at Harvard University.
The group has been lobbying for the Garden to release the information on its new-born species, arguing that the National Parks Service, which manages the gardens, has the power to stop it.
The NPS did not respond to a request for comment.