The Garden of Useful Plants

The Collection of Useful plants is shown in two different garden areas, separated by the Carl Troll Street. A total of about 2,000 different plants from the tropical and temperate climate zones are cultivated here. These also include rare crop varieties typical of the Rhineland.

Especially in summer

The best time to visit the Garden of Useful Plants is mid-May. Then, even the non-hardy Mediterranean and tropical species are standing outdoors again.

In Part 1 of the Garden of Useful Plants there are the greenhouses with tropical and subtropical plants, which are unfortunately not accessible. The beds are neatly bordered by grass strips - and here you can find spice and edible plants as well as vegetables, fiber plants, dye-producing species and 40 species of wild vegetables.

Our mild climate also allows almond, fig, pistachio and cork oak to grow outdoors all year around.

Garten of Useful Plants - Part 1 from above © Volker Lannert / Universität Bonn
Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
Cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao) © W. Lobin / Universität Bonn

Tropical treasures

The greenhouses house a remarkable collection of tropical-subtropical useful plants - one of the largest of its kind in Germany. Cocoa tree, nutmeg tree, pepper, tea, coffee, capers, sugar cane and many other plants from distant countries grow here - including one of the three orchid species not grown for its beautiful flowers, vanilla (Vanilla pompona).

In the summer months, the large collection of citrus plants can be seen outside. This is one of our special collections, where about 25 species and varieties are cultivated.

Local crop varieties

More and more varieties and species of cultivated plants are disappearing. The full shelves in the supermarkets hide the fact that the diversity of crop varieties has long since fallen victim to industrialized food production.

Regional varieties, bred over centuries for local conditions, are well adapted to native soils and relatively undemanding, but unfortunately they are hardly ever grown anymore.

Native wild species and conservation crops are on display in Garden of Useful Plants Part 2.

Runner beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) in the Garden of Useful Plants Part 2 © I. Fuchs
Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
From the bee exhibition: the yellow loosestrife bee (Macropis) on yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris) © U. Sobick

Room for exhibitions

Our large plant exhibitions on various themes are all held in the Garden of Useful Plants Part 2.

A very special exhibition was our exhibition about flowers for bees. Plants that are important for wild and honey bees were shown on twelve beds.

Wird geladen