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. The traditional taxonomy beds are currently being reconfigured in line with the latest DNA-based classifications. We are also placing 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

herb room

As the oldest botanic garden in the UK, we have a unique and unrivalled heritage. Our ‘Herbarium Room’, which will open to the public later this year, will physically connect the Garden with the Oxford Herbaria and showcase collections not currently accessible to the public. 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

plants that changed the world summer

This theme celebrates the importance of plants to society and everyday life, and promotes the message that all life on earth depends on plants. A series of new plantings with engaging interpretations will include our new ‘flagship’ collections of ‘Plants that Changed the World’ in the Lower Garden.

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