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The University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden (Danish: Botanisk have), usually referred to simply as Copenhagen Botanical Garden, is a botanical garden located in the centre of Copenhagenmarker, Denmarkmarker. It covers an area of 10 hectares and is particularly noted for its extensive complex of historical glasshouse dating from 1874.

The garden is part of the Natural History Museum of Denmark, which is itself part of the University of Copenhagen Faculty of Science. It serves both research, educational and recreational purposes.

History

The Copenhagen University Botanical Gardens originates in the time after the reformation. It was first established in 1600 probably to secure a collection of Danish medicinal plants after the reformation had seen many convents and their gardens abandoned or demolished. It was located at three consecutive sites, every time being extended, before it got its current location in 1870.

Four years later in 1874 the gardens got its large complex of glasshouses at the initiative of Carlsberg founder J. C. Jacobsen who also funded it. His inspiration was that of the glass building the Crystal Palacemarker that was erected for the Great Exhibition in Londonmarker in 1851.

In 1977, the gardens including the greenhouses became listed by the Danish conservation authorities.

Copenhagen Botanical Garden today

Copenhagen Botanical Garden is an informal garden with free admission. There are conservatories, a museum and herbarium, a library (admission by appointment only) a shop plants, seeds and a small selection of garden equipment and eating place.

Collections

The botanical gardens contain more than 13,000 species, almost all of which have been collected in the wild. The garden is arranged in different sections including: Danish plants (600 species), perennial plants (1,100 species), annual plants (1,100 species), rock gardens with plants from mountaineous areas in Central and Southern Europe and Conifer Hill which is planted with coniferous trees. One of the newest inclusions is a rhododendron garden

The garden has many handsome specimen trees. The oldest tree in the gardens is a taxodium from 1806 that was moved along from the old location at an age of 60 years.

Glasshouses

The Gardens have 27 glasshouses. The most notable are the 3000 sqm conservatory complex from 1874. The Palm House at its centre is 16 metres tall and has narrow, cast-iron spiral stair leading to a passageway at the top. Plants include a palm from 1824 and a fine collection of cycads, some ogf which are more than 100 years old. A fifty metres long glasshouse house an extensive collection of cacti and other succulent whilst another one houses orchids and begonias. A modern glasshouse is dedicated to caudiciform. The garden also has a special air-conditioned greenhouse that can re-create environments suitable for Arctic plants.

Museum and seed bank

The university’s botanical museum and herbarium are housed in a building situated within the garden, giving the garden staff ready access to reference works and more than 2 million dried plant specimens.

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