Date: 22.10, Sunday, 11.00
Place: H.Sienkiewicza St.
Tour leader: Magdalena Mularczyk
The Botanical Garden of the University of Wrocław was set up in 1811 on the land covered by former fortifications of the so-called Jumping Star, at the feet of the Gothic churches of Ostrów Tumski, which was donated to the university by the Prussian king Frederick William III. Since 1974 it has been inscribed on the list of Lower Silesian monuments, and since 1994 it has been under protection due to being situated in the historical centre of the city. It is among the leading European gardens in terms of the number of the floral collections and the way of their presentation. On an area of 7.5 ha, including 1,870 m2 under glass, around twelve thousand species and varieties of plants from all over the world have been gathered. The eastern part, the arboretum, has the character of the English park with a free arrangement of paths, while the central part is divided into irregularly shaped quarters. The picturesque corners offering respite from the hubbub of the city influence the image of the garden as much as the little fields used for didactic and broadly-defined educational purposes.
Of special interest among the cultivated plants is the collection of water and marsh plants, which is one of the most impressive in the world, the taxonomy section that presents the entire variety of vascular plants, the rich collection of trees, which includes 25 natural monuments, shrubs, creepers, mountain plants and succulents. In the 1960s, in the western part, which was built up before the war, a section presenting ornamental plants was established, including a pool for water plants that had been designed by architect Tadeusz Zipser. Six collections have the status of National Collections (Anubias, Echinodorus, Hedera, Paeonia – herbal varieties, Bromeliaceae, Nymphaeaceae – evergreen taxa). Apart from living plants, the garden presents a paleontological exhibition “Panorama of Nature” with interesting fossils of plants and animals, and a unique model of hard coal deposits from 1856. During the season, which lasts from March to November, there are thematic walks, festivals, fairs, exhibitions and concerts.
Since 1988 the Wojsławice Arboretum in Niemcza has been a branch of the Botanical Garden. Set up in the 19th century and expanded by the famous plant collector Fritz von Oheimb (1850-1928), thanks to the efforts of the Botanical Garden its area has increased from 5 to 62 ha. It is famous for its collection of rhododendrons and azaleas, rare species of coniferous and deciduous trees, and vast plantings of perennial plants (ca. 2 ha). The floral collections number around twelve thousand taxa, including many perennial plants. It is dominated by the National Collection of the Hemerocallis genus, which numbers over three thousand species and varieties. The two other National Collections include the Buxus and Rhododendron genera – varieties of the historic Lusitanian flora (Seidl’s varieties). The arboretum also comprises a 12-ha orchard with historic varieties of fruit trees, mainly cherry, apple and pear trees, an educational centre in the renovated manor farm, and recreational areas.