Vienna Botanical Garden

Vienna Botanical Garden
Vienna Botanical Garden
Video: Vienna Botanical Garden
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The entrance to the Vienna Botanical Gardens is located on Rennweg street (14), along which you can get from the city center. One side of the garden directly adjoins the Belvedere palace and park ensemble (B elweder), founded in 1700 and located on a hillside.

Entrance to the Vienna Botanical Garden
Entrance to the Vienna Botanical Garden

Entrance to the Vienna Botanical Garden

Medicinal plant site with Belvedere Palace
Medicinal plant site with Belvedere Palace

Medicinal plant site with Belvedere Palace

Garden plot
Garden plot

Garden plot

The botanical garden was founded in 1754, when Empress Maria Theresia, daughter of Charles VI, decided to create a medicinal plant garden in Vienna - "Hortus Medicus". However, the organization of the garden and the further care of the plants, requiring professional experience, was entrusted to Nikolaus von Jacquin (1727-1817), at which the first greenhouse was built, and from 1796 all activities in the garden were headed by his son Joseph (Joseph von Jacquin, 1766-1839). In 1977, in memory of the founders of the botanical garden, two marble plaques with the names of the father and son of the Jacquins were exhibited. They are made according to a single pattern, crowned with flower wreaths, and snakes symbolizing medicine are depicted on top. At the foot of the monument are planted violets, evergreen boxwood, climbing ivy and poisonous, but medicinal,scopolia carniolica (Scopolia carniolica).

Main entrance to the Vienna Botanical Garden
Main entrance to the Vienna Botanical Garden

Main entrance to the Vienna Botanical Garden

Memorial plaques to the founders of the garden
Memorial plaques to the founders of the garden

Memorial plaques to the founders of the garden

For many centuries, floral collections have served as a training base for future physicians, pharmacists and chemists. The activities of many renowned scientists and botanists are associated with the Vienna Botanical Gardens. Stefan Endlicher (1804-1849) laid the foundations for understanding the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin. The researcher of the Austrian flora Eduard Fenzl (1808-1879), being the director of the garden, supported and developed the ideas of evolution until the last days of his life.

The famous botanist and author of the 2-volume Life of Plants, published in Russia in 1896, Professor Anton Joseph Kerner von Marilaun, 1831-1898, who studied vegetation geography, taxonomy and hybridization, is also closely related to the garden. He was not only the director of the garden, but also taught medicine at the University of Vienna.

In the book "The Life of Plants" (v. 2., pp. 264-265) A. Kerner spoke about the appearance of the beloved and revered in Austria lilacs, as well as the horse chestnut: "Around the middle of the 16th century, new varieties entered the gardens of Vienna … from Constantinople beautiful plants, of which lilacs, horse chestnuts and tulips are especially remarkable. Anger Ghislen Busbeksky, as ambassador of Ferdinand I, achieved an armistice in Asia in 1555 with Sultan Suleiman II and stayed in Constantinople as an envoy from 1556 to 1562. One of the shrubs, which the Turks called "lilak", especially riveted his attention … In 1589, the lilac, our present lilac, Syringa vulgaris, which was then called Turkish viburnum, bloomed for the first time in Vienna."

Further, A. Kerner tells us the following (ibid., Vol. 2., p. 765): “The seeds of the horse chestnut, whose homeland must be considered the mountainous countries of northern Greece, were brought by Busbek in 1559 to Constantinople and from there were delivered by David Ugnad to Vienna where Clausius raised the first trees from them. Now the horse chestnut is a common ornamental plant in all gardens in southern and central Europe."

At the end of the 19th century, spacious greenhouses with an area of ​​about 1.5 thousand square meters appeared in the Vienna Botanical Garden, but during the World Wars the greenhouses were repeatedly bombed from the air and destroyed. Years later, new construction and restoration of botanical collections began. On the basis of the university in 1905, an institute of botany was opened, the director of which from 1970 to 1995 was our contemporary, Friedrich Ehrendorfer, well known to the botanists of Russia.

Vienna Institute of Botany
Vienna Institute of Botany

Vienna Institute of Botany

Spring
Spring

Spring

Greenhouse and cacti
Greenhouse and cacti

Greenhouse and cacti

The territory of the botanical garden is 750 m long, with a width of just over 100 m, and covers an area of ​​about 8 hectares. The collections contain more than 9.5 thousand species of plants. There is a large rock garden right at the entrance, where various ground cover and perennial grasses grow. On an elevation, a squat mountain pine (Pinus mugo) has grown in breadth, very popular when creating alpine slides. Walking along the gravel path, you can spend hours looking at miniature groups with rezuha, thyme, stonecrop, chickweed, starworms, mountaineers and other "Alpines", placed between granite blocks. It is interesting that the rock garden has survived to this day in the form in which it was equipped in 1930. Neat and well-groomed curtains with geraniums, volzhanks, anemones, gravilates, lungwort and ferns;there are more than 500 alpine species of all colors and shades from the natural flora.

Rock garden
Rock garden

Rock garden

Rock garden
Rock garden

Rock garden

Rock garden
Rock garden

Rock garden

Rock garden
Rock garden

Rock garden

Rock garden
Rock garden

Rock garden

The winding garden paths beckon deep into the garden, heralding a meeting with the amazing. Indeed, among the trees, Kolkwitzia amabilis blooms luxuriantly, the bushes are buried in an abundance of delicate bell-shaped flowers with a sweet aroma. The mild climate of Austria is beneficial to the blooming Weigela (Weigela florida), which does not tolerate the harsh Russian winters. This part of the botanical garden is landscaped. Clusters of vibrant rhododendrons with pink and bright crimson flowers magnetically draw visitors' attention.

Pleasant colquition
Pleasant colquition

Pleasant colquition

Weigela blooming
Weigela blooming

Weigela blooming

Rhododendrons
Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons

In an open area, one can see a flowering bush of the box-leaved curl (Atraphaxis buxifolia), which is very vulnerable in nature and is described by A. Kerner in the book "Plant Life" (vol. 2. p. 29): "A strange development of spare buds is also observed in the (Caspian) steppes of the Atraphaxis shrub. In the axils of each leaf, four closely packed buds appear simultaneously, one very small immediately above the base of the leaf, one large above it, and two medium-sized ones on the right and left. A large bud turns into a leafy shoot, a small one into a flower, both lateral buds remain in the form of spare buds until the second, on occasion, and until the third year."

Rhododendrons
Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons

Not far from the coniferous exposition, on an area of ​​300 m 2, bamboo (Phyllostachys viridi - glaucescens) has been grown since 1893 - the record holder for growth rate, the height of annual stems reaches 12 m. In the book "Life of Plants" (vol. 1. p. 290) Kerner describes the bamboo leaf: “The upper, stomataless, green and smooth surface of the leaf is wetted throughout, retains its color and appears glossy. On the contrary, the lower, covered with stomata, blue-green side of the leaf does not allow water to displace the air adhering to it, and therefore it seems under the water shiny and polished like silver …"

Bamboo
Bamboo

Bamboo

Alla Kuklina in the Vienna Botanical Garden
Alla Kuklina in the Vienna Botanical Garden

Alla Kuklina in the Vienna Botanical Garden

In the garden, you can see a tall ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba), which lived on Earth 150 million years ago. However, the most valuable specimen of ginkgo was planted near the fence of the Institute of Botany, its age is 200 years - this is the oldest tree in the garden.

In the Vienna Botanical Garden, I saw Amelanchier ovalis, brought from the mountain slopes of the Alps, with small jagged leaves, practically absent in the gardens of Russia, and not at all like A. Spicata, which is so common in our forests and parks.

Irga oval-leaved
Irga oval-leaved

Irga oval-leaved

Irga spiky
Irga spiky

Irga spiky

Maple gray
Maple gray

Maple gray

It is impossible not to notice the tall and spreading gray maple (Acer griseum) with bright chestnut bark, peeling off the plates. In the same way, many centuries ago, its beauty attracted the attention of the inhabitants of Central China, especially in the fall, when its crown became scarlet like a flame. Today this maple is considered one of the honorable specimens in gardens in the West. Unfortunately, in Moscow, gray maple does not bloom and for 30 years of cultivation in the GBS RAS barely reached a height of 1 m

Another unusual tree from the Chinese flora is Davidia involucrata, with bright heart-shaped leaves and white, outstretched bracts, resembling the wings of an invisible creature, sometimes called the "ghost tree." In Austria, white davidia wings are compared to a "handkerchief" (German Taschentuchbaum), or they call it a "pigeon tree" (German Taubenbaum).

The conditions in the Vienna Garden are comfortable for exotic witch hazel. Here there is not only spring witch hazel (Hamamelis vernalis), but also the mysterious virgin witch hazel (H. virginiana), which blooms in late autumn before the fall of leaves, and bears fruit in early spring; corilopsis (Corylopsis veitchiana) with hazel-like leaves; amber tree, or liquidambar resinous (Liquidambar styraciflua), fothergilla (Fothergulla gardeni), rarely found in the gardens of Russia. You can also find Persian Parrotia (Parrotia persica) from the Caucasus, thermophilic and slowly growing, with very heavy wood sinking in the water. Among the unusual inhabitants is the Caucasian persimmon (Diospyros lotus) from the ebony family, which gives small dark brown fruits with a bluish bloom. This species, due to its relative unpretentiousness and winter hardiness,usually serves as a good stock for the valuable subtropical culture - oriental persimmon (Diospyros kaki).

Fothergilla Gardena with fruits
Fothergilla Gardena with fruits

Fothergilla Gardena with fruits

Gunner's sleeve
Gunner's sleeve

Gunner's sleeve

In the Vienna Botanical Garden, there has long been a collection site covering an area of ​​2 hectares, here the plants are planted according to the taxonomy developed by Karl Linnaeus. There is a plot with medicinal and aquatic plants. Among the marsh and moisture-loving species, I was lucky to see the flowering of the exotic Eliot Zantedeschia (Zantedeschia elliotiana) from the aroid family, better known to us as a houseplant - "golden calla" with original speckled leaves. Gunnera (Gunnera manicata) from the rain forests of South America grew right there. Because of its large leaves, which reach 1.2 m in diameter, this perennial is called the "Brazilian giant rhubarb", but it is not edible at all and is covered with sharp spines.

Zantedeschia Eliot
Zantedeschia Eliot

Zantedeschia Eliot

Water
Water

Water

In the greenhouses, tropical and subtropical species are collected, including Gesneria (about 100 species), pineapples, palms and ferns, and cocoa trees bear fruit. Cacti and succulents can be viewed not only in greenhouses, but also outdoors.

Crops in tubs
Crops in tubs

Crops in tubs

Succulents
Succulents

Succulents

Succulents
Succulents

Succulents

A special pride of the Botanical Garden in Vienna is the collection of orchids, numbering about 700 species. In the book "The Life of Plants" (v. 2. p. 768) A. Kerner writes: "At present, tropical orchids are in vogue. Every year whole ships loaded with them are sent to the harbors of England and northern Germany, and from there these plants are sent to the greenhouses of the mainland."

All comers have the opportunity to purchase living exhibits here as a keepsake in small pots and then watch their development. Right in the garden, there is a showcase with funny handicrafts made from natural materials, the result of the skill of the young members of the Green School club.

Student crafts
Student crafts

Student crafts

The modern botanical garden of the University of Vienna, which emerged in Austria from a small garden of medicinal herbs, having survived adversity and destruction, has turned into a treasury of unique floristic wonders.

Photo by the author

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