The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) is an institution set up by the Government of India in 1887 to survey the plant resources of the Indian empire. The British East India Company had already established botanical gardens at Sibpur, Poona, Saharanpur and Madras as centres for improving botanical knowledge and experimentation under the local Governments. For example, the Saharanpur botanical garden, which dates from before 1750, was acquired by the East India Company in 1817 for growing medicinal plants. Most of the EIC botanical gardens' work was for the cultivation of plants of interest in commerce and trade. It is under Ministry of Environment and Forests.
The Botanical Survey was formally instituted on 13 February 1890 under the direction of Sir George King, who had been superintendent of Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta since 1871. King became the first ex-officio Director of BSI. The Calcutta Garden became the headquarters of the Survey and was given regional responsibility for Bengal, Assam, North East, Burma, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.