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Charles Joseph Braine comes to Hong Kong for commerce.

John Charles Bowring comes to Hong Kong for commerce.

Merchant Thomas Chay Beale transports plants from Macao’s garden to Green Bank, established by Braine.

Braine commissions a pith paper drawing of the paper’s production process, which is later sent to Kew.

William Jackson Hooker, director of Kew, publishes an article, officially naming Pith Paper Plant as Aralia ? papyrifera. Bowring successfully sends two live Pith Paper Plants to Kew.

Demolition of Green Bank. The budget for the Hong Kong government to build a botanical garden is approved.



As a British colony, Hong Kong was no longer a transit point for Western naturalists, it also became a base for research. Yet, there were no botanical gardens in Hong Kong before the 1860s, and the herbarium only came into the picture in the late 1870s. Local botanical research at this time relied on support from private gardens. Specimens must be sent to Britain for classification and archiving, while only the specimens that arrived in one piece after a long, risky journey, would be recognised. From Hong Kong-based field naturalists, horticulturists, taxonomists, intermediaries to British experts, naturalists weaved together a complex network of botanical connections.