Regional Plant Resource Centre was established in 1985 as a recreational garden and with an aim to provide a green lung for the inhabitants of Bhubaneswar – the capital city of Orissa. Gradually it became a dynamic and vibrant research organization of the State Government with a focus on the conservation of plant biodiversity. Over the year, it has made significant contributions in the field of ex situ and in situ conservation and assessment of genetic diversity of various groups of plants and its related aspects. With strengthening of scientific manpower and laboratory facilities, it expanded its areas of research which witnessed large outputs in terms of analysis of genetic assessment of plant groups through cyto-taxonomic and molecular techniques.
As a reference center for all matter pertaining to plant resources of the region, RPRC is endeavoring to collect conserve and propagate species of specialized and unique plant communities. The center boasts of a diverse collection of medicinal plants, bamboos, trees of rare & endangered species in its arboretum. The Centre’s collection of cacti (850var.) continues to be one of the major attractions for naturalists. The living collection of Orchid got a boost during the year, by addition of 43 number of wild orchids species, made possible due to arduous exploration undertaken to unexplored forests areas of Orissa and adjoining states. An innovative venture initiated during the year led to germplasm collection of 52 species of wild fruit plants of the state, and it’s nutrient and anti-nutrient quality is being investigated, so that domestication and breeding potential can be recommended. All the living collections, seed accessions, herbarium collections etc was also recently put on a web for access to the public. The thrust of the research in the institute has been realigned to make it socially relevant.