botanical garden

or botanic garden

Originally, a collection of living plants designed to illustrate relationships within plant groups. Most modern botanical gardens are concerned primarily with exhibiting ornamental plants in a scheme that emphasizes natural relationships. A display garden of mostly woody plants (shrubs and trees) is often called an arboretum. The botanical garden as an institution can be traced to ancient China and many Mediterranean countries, where such gardens were often centers for raising plants used for food and medicines. Botanical gardens are also reservoirs of valuable heritable characteristics, potentially important in the breeding of new varieties of plants. Still another function is the training of gardeners. The world's most famous botanical garden is Kew Gardens.

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Botanic is an electoral ward of South Belfast, named after Botanic Gardens, a local park. It was created in 1985, largely as the successor to the abolished University ward. It consists of the Lower Ormeau and the areas around Queen's University.

A tightening of laws on electoral registration resulted in the ward losing over 41% of its electorate (possibly due to new laws making it more difficult for students to register in two constituencies) As a result the review of Local Government in Northern Ireland originally recommended that the ward be renamed University ward but after public enquiries the ward is to be expanded and in future will include much of the current Windsor ward.

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