Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum hold unique and internationally important species, some of which now exist nowhere else.
Our collections centre on four core key scientific themes.
Taxonomy and Evolution
Our collections are a teaching and research resource to illustrate and explain the evolution, diversity and classification of plants. In the Walled Garden, you can find our Taxonomic Beds which have been reconfigured in line with the latest DNA-based classifications. We also place a strong focus on evolution and adaptation in our glasshouse collections. Together, these collections represent a ‘living library’ for evolutionary and comparative genomics research.
Heritage and Landscape
As the oldest botanic garden in the UK, we have a unique and unrivalled heritage. Our Herbarium Room, which opened to the public in 2019, physically connects the Garden with the Oxford Herbaria and showcases some of the treasures from this internationally important scientific collection. This theme will also drive the establishment of ‘historical’ borders of plants reflecting the botanical legacies of former Professors, Keepers and Curators.
Conservation and Biodiversity
As part of our commitment to delivering objectives set by the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, we are developing and enhancing our conservation collections with a focus on local rare flora, and plants from the global biodiversity hotspots of Japan and Chile.
(Image: Temperate forest in Hokkaido, Japan, where many plant species have been collected for our Japan flora collection)
Plants and People
This theme celebrates the importance of plants to society and everyday life, and promotes the message that all life on earth depends on plants. Our 'Plants that Changed the World' collections in the Lower Garden and the Glasshouses highlighting plants that have changed the course of human civilisations across the globe.
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