Botanical Garden Of The University Of Potsdam

Botanical Garden Of The University Of Potsdam
Botanical Garden Of The University Of Potsdam

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I discovered this Botanical Garden by accident. Once in Sanssouci and received a map-scheme at the entrance to the park, I saw the mysterious inscription "Botanischer Garten". Having decided that this is something from the legacy of Frederick the Great, who was fond of not only music and wars, I set off in the indicated direction. Imagine my surprise when the inscription at the entrance said that this institution belongs to the University of Potsdam and is its scientific division.

The University of Potsdam is a young institution, formed in 1991 as a result of the amalgamation of several higher schools of Potsdam and Babelsberg, but it is located in magnificent historical buildings, in particular, the library and some faculties in the New Palace of Sanssouci.

Botanical garden building
Botanical garden building

Botanical garden building

Potsdam University Botanical Garden
Potsdam University Botanical Garden

Potsdam University Botanical Garden

The botanical garden itself is much older. It is located at the northern border of the park on the slopes of the terraces. Its total area is only 5 hectares, but 9000 species of plants have been collected on this small patch. Agree that it's impressive. The main purpose of the collection is to serve the education of students and the scientific activities of employees. The laboratories are located in historic buildings from the 19th century. The very territory of the botanical garden has historically been used for botanical purposes, for the cultivation of local and overseas plants. In addition, the court gardeners grew flowers there to decorate the palace during various celebrations.

Potsdam University Botanical Garden
Potsdam University Botanical Garden

Potsdam University Botanical Garden

Potsdam University Botanical Garden
Potsdam University Botanical Garden

Potsdam University Botanical Garden

The Maulberallee running from west to east divides the garden into two parts. On the south side there are buildings of a botanical garden, a greenhouse and, in part, open ground with a collection of useful plants, an arboretum and other sections. In the northern half is the "Italian Orchard", the so-called paradisgarten.

Potsdam University Botanical Garden
Potsdam University Botanical Garden

Potsdam University Botanical Garden

Potsdam University Botanical Garden
Potsdam University Botanical Garden

Potsdam University Botanical Garden

Potsdam University Botanical Garden
Potsdam University Botanical Garden

Potsdam University Botanical Garden

The south side has been used since the time of Frederick II, and figs, apricots and grapes have been grown in greenhouses. It so happened that after the construction of a large palace and, accordingly, an increase in the number of residents and guests, there was a need to constantly expand the garden and vegetable garden. The first keeper of the greenhouse, and then the collection of plants was treated as a collection of art objects, was the court gardener Philip Friedrich Krutisch. In 1748, he transferred his powers to a special greenhouse gardener, Johann Hillner, and the latter, 42 years later, in 1790, transferred the business to his son Anton Hillner, who devoted 27 years to greenhouses. Until 1840, the caretakers of the greenhouses were father and son Ludwig and Hermann Sello, who expanded the site until he ran into an alley.

Greenhouse
Greenhouse

Greenhouse

Greenhouse
Greenhouse

Greenhouse

It is known, for example, that G. Sello actively participated in exhibitions of gardeners in Berlin and from 1841 to 1859 was a member of the commission for gardening art. On his farm there was a large collection of varieties of pumpkin seeds, corn, large-fruited strawberries, calceolaria bloomed, epiphyllum cacti that had just appeared and were becoming fashionable.

Unfortunately, little is known about the subsequent guardians of this piece of paradise Ludwig Brasch (1876-1887) and Adolf Wundel (1887-1895).

In 1840, on behalf of Emperor Friedrich Wilhelm IV, the director of the garden, Peter Joseph Lehne, developed a plan for an Italian orchard, already on the northern side of the Maulbeerallei (Maulbeer means "mulberry" in German).

An interesting fact is that from 1945 to 1950 this charming corner was … a branch of the GBS RAS! At least this is what German historical sources indicate.

In 1950, the palace garden (southern part) and the Italian garden (northern part) were transformed into a botanical garden, which in 1951 was given to the Pedagogical University of Potsdam. The main directions of the garden's scientific activity are biosystematics, morphology, bioecology, geobotany. Much attention is paid to the conservation of rare plants in the garden. Their collection in the garden is quite extensive. The possibilities of their preservation and reproduction with a further return to natural habitats are being studied.

Medicinal peony (Paeonia officinalis)
Medicinal peony (Paeonia officinalis)

Medicinal peony (Paeonia officinalis)

Peony Mlokosevich (Paeonia molokosewitschii)
Peony Mlokosevich (Paeonia molokosewitschii)

Peony Mlokosevich (Paeonia molokosewitschii)

Thin-leaved peony (Paeonia tenuifolia)
Thin-leaved peony (Paeonia tenuifolia)

Thin-leaved peony (Paeonia tenuifolia)

Especially for secondary and primary school students, a so-called "Green Class" has been created, where thematic classes in biology are held, teachers clearly tell about plants and insects.

Greenhouse in winter
Greenhouse in winter

Greenhouse in winter

Greenhouse in summer
Greenhouse in summer

Greenhouse in summer

The south side currently includes the greenhouses and part of the collection. The total area of greenhouses is 3000 m 2, are collected here 4600 tropical and subtropical species. The entrance is decorated with a variety of palms and figs, including 2 tubed palms that have decorated the terraces of Sanssouci for about 100 years. A large collection of bromeliads, gesneriaceae, succulents, aquatic and marsh plants is presented. For the summer, subtropical crops are exhibited in tubs from the greenhouse. Visitors can see citrus fruits, carob, eucalyptus and much, much more.

Hibiscus in tubs
Hibiscus in tubs

Hibiscus in tubs

Carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua)
Carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua)

Carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua)

Open ground is also extremely rich. The collection includes 4000 species. The southern part includes early flowering plants and woody species of deciduous forests of Central Europe - violets, hellebores, primroses. Here you can see more than 200-year-old pedunculate oaks, as well as tree and shrub species of the Far East, East Asia and North America - trilliums, podophylls, rhododendrons. The arboretum contains a large collection of maples, and the collection of conifers affects the mammoth tree, whose seeds were obtained in 1958 from China.

Podophyllum (Podophyllum versipelle)
Podophyllum (Podophyllum versipelle)

Podophyllum (Podophyllum versipelle)

Rhododendron
Rhododendron

Rhododendron

The Arboretum is bordered by a collection of primroses and ferns, behind which is a morphology department. Plants with characteristic or modified roots, rhizomes, shoots, leaves, flowers, various types of fruits, as well as interspecific hybrids are collected here for the educational process.

Adianthum pedatum
Adianthum pedatum

Adianthum pedatum

Hemp nettle (Urtica cannabiefolia)
Hemp nettle (Urtica cannabiefolia)

Hemp nettle (Urtica cannabiefolia)

Ephedra
Ephedra

Ephedra

Badan heart-leaved (Bergenia cordofolia)
Badan heart-leaved (Bergenia cordofolia)

Badan heart-leaved (Bergenia cordofolia)

Moltkia doertfleri
Moltkia doertfleri

Moltkia doertfleri

Catnip (Nepeta racemosa)
Catnip (Nepeta racemosa)

Catnip (Nepeta racemosa)

This is followed by a collection of useful plants, which in turn are divided into groups: edible, vegetable, grain, dye, oil, medicinal and aromatic. Behind them are collected species protected in Germany: spring adonis, cross gentian, large-flowered foxglove, dictamnus, mountain arnica, anemones, and other plants.

Grain plot
Grain plot

Grain plot

Medicinal plants plot
Medicinal plants plot

Medicinal plants plot

Lantana camara
Lantana camara

Lantana camara

The Paradisgarten covers approximately 2.5 hectares and was created in the style of the Italian Renaissance. If the southern part was occupied by vegetable beds and flower crops, as well as partly by woody species, then in this part - parterre lawns and deciduous trees. The general concept of the Italian garden was based on the descriptions of Roman villas by ancient authors. The garden was full of small architectural forms, a pavilion with a mineral spring was built, the so-called atrium, a water cascade, which looks very impressive even now, giving the garden some splendor. Above the cascade there is a small fenced area for viewing all this botanical treasure at once, with one glance. The paths, in accordance with ancient ideas, are partially covered with pergolas entwined with grapes.

Atrium
Atrium

Atrium

Cascade
Cascade

Cascade

Slope next to the cascade
Slope next to the cascade

Slope next to the cascade

The garden is fenced off from Maulbeerallei by a low hedge made of sandstone blocks, on the inside it is decorated with pergolas entwined with various vines. The main entrance, following the example of the Roman villas described in Pliny's works, is decorated with four terracotta pillars carrying a pergola and a marble pool.

In the paradisgarten, the front part is occupied by systematic plantings, including sections of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants. There are 92 families of dicotyledonous plants. The collection of monocots is a variety of bulbous, lily and amaryllis. Four herbaceous expositions show the flora of the steppes, deserts, flower forest meadows and early flowering plants - crocuses, snowdrops, white flowers.

Cereals and garden fence
Cereals and garden fence

Cereals and garden fence

Cinquefoil (Potentilla rupestris)
Cinquefoil (Potentilla rupestris)

Cinquefoil (Potentilla rupestris)

The rock gardens are extensive and superbly decorated. You get real pleasure, climbing over the pebbles in the hope of taking a picture of the next flower. It was in this part of the garden that I was stuck for a long time. But what was shocking - pensioners with sticks and crutches with the enthusiasm of teenagers climbed steep, narrow and rocky paths and looked at botanical rarities! In general, the old age of their house will not be found for sure.

Haller's Backache (Pulsatilla halleri)
Haller's Backache (Pulsatilla halleri)

Haller's Backache (Pulsatilla halleri)

Zimmerman's lumbago (Pulsatilla zimmermanii)
Zimmerman's lumbago (Pulsatilla zimmermanii)

Zimmerman's lumbago (Pulsatilla zimmermanii)

Ophiopogon (Ophiopogon planiscarpus) Nigrescens
Ophiopogon (Ophiopogon planiscarpus) Nigrescens

Ophiopogon (Ophiopogon planiscarpus) Nigrescens

Numerous types of carnations, semolina, peonies, thyme, Potentilla, lumbago and some gentian bloomed. All this magnificence fascinated and did not let go. Therefore, if you are not indifferent to plants in all their diversity, I highly advise you to set aside half a day to get acquainted with this small piece in the Sanssouci Park. Even if you go there in winter, you will also find a lot of interesting things in the greenhouses.

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