That Bengaluru’s trees, lining its roads and lanes, are disappearing due to the wilful felling of them is common knowledge. But what is strange and just being discovered is that trees have disappeared from the Lalbagh Botanical Garden as well. A team of four taxonomists (plant taxonomists study, classify and catalog plant species) led by Dr Ravikumar Kaliamoorthy from Foundation of Revitalization of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT) has surveyed the Lalbagh Botanical garden and found that around 500 species are missing. These species found a mention in the book ‘Plant Wealth of Lalbagh’ by MH Marigowda and M Krishnaswamy in 1968. But today, out of the 1,303 species including trees, herbs, shrubs and climbers listed in 1968, only 760 are seen. The reasons for the missing trees are many. Ravikumar Kaliamoorthy says one of the reasons could be the death of trees. “They could have fallen off. Many names of the species have been modified or merged under the new classification of plants. So, that could also be a reason why some are missing. Earlier, the experts relied on books. If the books are wrong, they would have identified them wrongly. Weeds which were once listed have been removed now. These are the reasons for the reduction in the number of species,” he says. About 232 old tree species that were listed in the book (Plant Wealth of Lalbagh) by MH Marigowda and M Krishnaswamy in 1968 cannot be found. Some new ones have been added Ravikumar Kaliamoorthy, the lead taxonomist The taxonomists say native species such as Borassus flabellifer (Asian palmyra palm which gives palm jaggery), Garcinia gummi-gutta, Garcinia morella (called kudampuli and used in fish curries ) and Radermachera xylocarpa with medicinal uses, are missing. In 1968, 606 trees were listed and now only 510 trees are found. “About 232 old tree species that were listed in the book by Marigowda cannot be found. Some new ones are added,” says Ravikumar. Also, of the 29 species of Acacia, only 10 species can be found now, he adds.