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Botanic Garden of Warsaw University

Botanic Garden of Warsaw University, Poland

The first botanic garden in Warsaw was set up in 1811 near the university in the old town. It was moved in 1818 to the so called Royal Garden where it occupied a space of 22.5 ha and was officially opened in 1825. The Garden developed very rapidly (in 1824 it already had 10,000 species) until 1834 when the Russian administration took two thirds of the area. The Garden revived in the years between the two world wars, when Poland regained its independence but during World War II (1939-45) all the buildings (greenhouses and observatory) were destroyed, as well as a major part of the collection. However, due to the devotion of its pre-war director, Boleslaw Hryniewiecki the Garden was restored.

Many innovations have been made under the present director, Hanna Werblan-Jakubiec (from 1987): renovations of buildings were made, paths were covered with gravel and some collections were greatly enriched or new collections were added (Polish woody cultivars, ecological groups, alpinarium, flower carpet).

The Garden is located in central Poland, in the North-European Lowland. Its climate is milder than in other parts of central Poland due to its location in the heart of a large city. The mean temperature in July is 19C and in January -3C.

The present area of the Botanic Garden is 5 ha, within which the park constitutes 4 ha and 1,500 m2 is occupied by the greenhouses. The Garden is open to the public from April until October.

The Garden is on a high terrace above the Wisla river, so that in spite of its lowland location it has a very interesting relief. The area of the Botanic Garden may be divided into two parts: the western side which is flat and divided into regular quarters for single species or ornamental flowerbeds with single trees, and the eastern side which has the character of a landscape park with denser tree cover and more irregular arrangement of herbaceous plants and shrubs.

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