CIBODAS BOTANIC GARDEN
Located in the district of Pacet, 22 kilometers northwest of Cianjur, the Cibodas Garden Park, also known as "Paradise on Earth", graces an 80-hectare area; it was founded in 1890 for natural preservation.
Cibodas Botanic Garden has a long and important history of research and conservation. The early history of Cibodas Botanic Garden is also the early history of what is now one of Indonesia's most significant National Parks and a World Heritage Area, Mt Gede-Pangrango National Park. Cibodas is renowned as one of the first tropical research stations in the world, and numerous scientists have used the station for their research on tropical rainforests. Source:
"A brief sketch of Tjibodas Botanic Garden"
C.G.G.J. van Steenis & M.J. van Steenis-Kruseman
Flora Malesiana Bulletin
A remarkable parallel exists between the development of the Bogor Botanic Garden and those of Cibodas (previously spelt Tjibodas), both being in the initial stage connected with the Palace gardens of the Governor General, both being due to the energy of J.E. Teysmann and both owing their present status and admirable scientific tradition to the efforts of Melchior Treub.
Originally there was a Palace garden at Cipanas [previously spelt Tjipanas] belonging to the country-residence of the Governor-General at ca. 1100 m altitude and about 3 km from Cibodas, after 1826 this garden was tended by the personnel of the Buitenzorg (Bogor) Botanic Gardens.
Between the years 1830 and 1839, according to Treub, Teysmann planted several fruit trees at Cibodas. Onwards of 1838 he also transferred other plants to Cipanas which were important botanically and could not be grown in the tropical garden at Bogor. Apparently Teysmann had a plan to make experiments on the acclimatisation of plants. In July 1839 he laid out another garden for the same aim on the flat ground below Cibeureum (previously Tjibeureum) Falls, at 1700 m, covering over 1 ha and in Nov-Dec 1839 another one on the summit of Mt Pangrango at 3000 m, covering originally 3 ha, extended to 7 ha in 1842. In August 1840 he laid out a fourth intermediate garden on the saddle between the peaks at Kandangbadak at 2400 m, covering 2 ha.
Teysmann also had a garden between Cipanas and Bogor, thereby completing the whole series from the tropical lowland high up into the subalpine zone. These experiments are probably among the oldest of their kind made in the tropics. Though much has disappeared, remnants of Teysmann's gardens are still to be traced; at Cibeureum a conifer is still to be found, now incorporated into the forest canopy, and a few specimens of Neomarica coerulea. At Kadangbadak Rumex alpinus and some Cupressus are still thriving. Until recently there was, on summit of Mt Pangrango, a miniature bush-like beech (Fagus silvatica) planted in 1840; also Rubus fruticosus vel. aff. and two Fragarias still maintain themselves. The beech was destroyed by a local fire some years ago.
The laying-out of these gardens was severely ostracised by F. Junghuhn who deplored the local destruction of the vegetation. Hasskarl says that the path to Pangrango summit was in a good condition in 1840 and that the ascent could be done on horse-back. The experiments with the fruit trees failed. In these wet areas these trees grew very stunted and were rapidly overgrown by lichens. Huts were apparently built near the acclimatisation gardens; in 1854 v.d. Bor found a log cabin on the summit of Mt Pangrango.
In 1852 Teysmann received a living specimen (through the Leiden Botanic Gardens) of Cinchoa calisaya, collected by Weddell. From this single specimen Teysmann grew some cuttings which he transferred to the current location of Cibodas Botanic Garden.
When in 1855 Hasskarl returned from his South American collecting tour with fresh Cinchoa seed this was sown at Cibodas and grown together with Teysmann's plants, and Hasskarl became officially in charge of this quinine plantation. Cibodas then temporarily ceased to form part of the Botanic Gardens. In 1856 Junghuhn was put in charge of the cinchona plantations. Save a few specimens the whole Cibodas stock was gradually transferred to the Priangan mountains above Bandung.
Some years later (in possibly 1856, 1860 or 1862) Cibodas was officially returned to the administration of the Botanic Gardens and this was the actual start of the present Cibodas Botanic Garden.
In 1868 the botanical garden of the Palace Gardens was abandoned and the specimens were all transferred to Cibodas. The transfer was accomplished by 1871, no less than 1300 species being represented. Cibodas had had its own European gardener since 1870, but in 1874 this man was dismissed and not replaced, the management being left to the Bogor staff, and Indonesian labour at Cibodas itself. A period of 30 years followed during which Cibodas had no manager of its own; several overseers were tried, but each worked there for a short period and with little success.
The definite lay-out of the gardens, still largely maintained to the present day, was mostly realised through the care of Dr R.H.C.C. Scheffer, Director of the Bogor Botanic Garden and his very able curator Mr H.J. Wigman, Teysmann's successor.
Treub, Scheffer's successor, gradually added to the equipment and extension and gave Cibodas its definite scientific status.
In 1889 it was officially approved that the primary forest above the gardens, with an area of 240 ha, reaching to the hot wells at 2100 m, were incorporated.
In connection with this Dr. S.H. Koorders started, with Mr H.A. des Amorie va der Hoeven, in 1890, to collect, label and measure trees in this forest reserve; many of these trees are still alive. A renewed period of numbering and labeling followed in 1898-1903. Koorders published a list of these and included them in his floras of Java and Cibodas. In the years 1921-1926 the then Curator Mr M.L.A. Bruggeman added other labeled trees and published a revised list. These data later served for a study by the later Director Prof. Dr. L.G.M. Baas Becking on the average life-span of tropical trees in connection with the natural shift in forest composition.
Since the eighties Treub had an idea for the composition of a "Flore de Buitenzorg" covering the native flora of Buitenzorg up to the summit of Mt Pangrango-Gedeh, thus including the Cibodas flora. The publication of this Flora started in 1898 and various groups of Cryptogams were revised (Penzig: Myxomycetes; Raciborski: Pteridophyta; Schiffner: Hepaticae (partly); E. De Wildeman: Algae; Fleischer: Musci). Of the flowering plants only the Orchidaceae were revised by J.J. Smith (1905). See further 1918.
Cibodas has always had some specially schooled and talented Indonesian's on its staff. In Treub's time it was the famous Arsin. He was succeeded by Sapiin, who guided many biologists. In the thirties it was Rossidi and in the fiftiesat present there was Nurta. They were often largely responsible for valuable collections.
In 1917 at the occasion of the centenary celebration of the Bogor Botanic Gardens, scientists from all over the world and many Netherlands Plantation Companies contributed funds to the erection of a new visitors' laboratory at Cibodas of which the building started in 1919; it was opened officially on Aug. 12th, 1920. A library was presented by the Director of Agriculture, Mr. J. Sibinga Mulder.
In 1918 Koorders started the publication of a "Flora von Cibodas", largely based on his "Exkursionsflora von Java". After his death in 1919 it was further edited by Mrs. A. Koorders-Schumacher.
In the same year Doctors van Leeuwen, Director of the Gardens, started studies on the biology of animals and plants living in the summit zone of the mountains. This line of research he continued until his retirement in 1932 and the observations were published in an imposing work in 1933.
In 1924 the position of Cibodas became very critical through the economic depression of the twenties. Thanks to the influence of Dr. J.C. Koningsberger, former Director of the Gardens, Prof. J. Cosquino de Bussy and Dr. Jansen, a Planter's Committee collected funds from private sources to cope with this temporary difficulty.
In 1926 the primary forest area belonging to the gardens was extended to the summits of Mt Prangrango-Gedeh covering now ca. 1200 ha.
In 1929 a field laboratory was built at 2400 m specially for scientific purposes and furnished with a local library and herbarium: Lebaksaat. In the same year a catalogue of the plants cultivated in the Hortus Bogoriensis, composed by the Curator P.W.M. Dakkus was published. In this catalogue the plants cultivated at Cibodas were incorporated.
In 1939 Mr van Woerden was transferred to Bogor; he was succeeded at Cibodas by Mr A.M. Neervoort, who remained there till early Dec. 1941 when he came under arms. He was released from the camp, Aug. 11th, 1942, keeping the status of a P.O.W., and was ordered to maintain office at Cibodas where he served (under the guard of two Korean soldiers) until about 1944 when he was again transferred to the camp. During the war Prof. T. Nakai was in charge of the Bogor and Cibodas Botanic Gardens.
When the war was over the gardens and buildings were in excellent condition, but in the disturbed circumstances following the Japanese occupation unauthorised authorities set on fire all buildings in the gardens, including the curator's house, the resthouse and the laboratory, July 7th, 1946. Through this deplorable action the new garden catalogue, all archives and files, the zoological exposition, the valuable guestbooks, the library, the local herbarium, and all instruments were entirely lost.
Late in the same year (1946) Neervoort was back at Cibodas which was put under a small guard. Under very difficult circumstances he succeeded, in two years, to rehabilitate the garden, to make a new Garden herbarium, to build an admirable new curator's house and to convert the rather bad metalled road into a good one of asphalt. Neervoort had to stay several attacks of armed groups and had on some occasions to defend personally gardens and personnel; his stengun never left him. His tremendous energy and his brave behaviour to defend at the risk of his life in this most difficult and unsettled period what is unanimously regarded as a unique cultural monument, is beyond praise.
During 1948 and 1949 the renewed volcanic activity of the Gedeh Crater was surveyed by volcanologists and by Mr A. Hoogerwerf, head of the Division of Nature Preservation of the Kebun Raya Indonesia.
In these years also a large-scale collection of Musci (3000 packets) in the forest section was organised by Neervoort. For the new local herbarium a big collection of phanerogams was made by Dr S. Bloembergen.
Early in 1950 Neervoort was replaced by a very promising young Swiss-born curator Mr Carl Schroter, a grandson of the famous former professor of botany of the same name at Zurich. Unfortunately through unfortunate circumstances he was shot, Sept. 15th, 1950 during an attack of a gang of robbers.
March 1952 the building of the new laboratory was started and practically finished by Nov. 1st . Instruments for the laboratory were granted by UNESCO arrived in 1950. A local herbarium was selected through the care of the Herbarium Bogoriense. Part of the library was supplied from the stock of the Central Library at Bogor. A score of institutions and friends of Kebun Raya Indonesia from all over the world supplied books, serials and reprints as gifts on this occasion.
The new laboratory occupies a space of approximately 1000 sq m. It is built somewhat higher on the ridge planted with Conifers and Eucalypts, close the meteorological instruments. It is a combined laboratory and resthouse. The laboratory thus affords a unique opportunity for continuing the tradition as it is well adapted to receive both native and foreign scientists.