The Government Botanical Garden is a botanical garden in Udhagamandalam (Ooty), Tamil Nadu state, India laid out in 1848. The Gardens, divided into several sections, cover an area of around 22 hectares, and lie on the lower slopes of Doddabetta peak. The garden has a terraced layout. It is maintained by the Tamil Nadu Horticulture Department.
It ascends the slopes of the hill at an elevation of 2250–2500 metres above Mean Sea Level. The garden enjoys a temperate climate, with an average rainfall of 140 cms, the most of which is received during south-west monsoon, with frosty nights from November to February. The maximum and minimum temperatures are 28 °C and 0 °C respectively.
The Gardens have around a thousand species, both exotic and indigenous, of plants, shrubs, ferns, trees, herbal and bonsai plants. In the centre of the Gardens lie a fossilized tree trunk estimated to be 20 million years old. The Gardens consist of several lawns with flowering plants, ponds with lilies, beds of flowers and ferns laid out in an Italian style, several plots of flowering plants, a variety of medicinal plants.
The Fossil Tree Trunk:
The fossil tree trunk displayed in the garden is from 20 million years old. Trees carried by rivers and deposited in inland lakes were transformed with replacement of the woody matter by silica give rise to fossil tree trunks (see Polystrate fossil). The fossil tree was presented by the Geological Survey of India, from the National Fossil Park, Tiruvakkarai, South Arcot district, Tamil Nadu.