Directors and head gardners

A botanic garden is a place for both botany and horticulture, developed and maintained through the collaboration of botanists and gardeners. The Directorship of the Botanical Garden  was initially included in one of the University’s professorships; as the number of professors increased over the years, and their subject areas became more narrowly specialised, the Directorship was associated in turn to the professorships of medicine, botany and systematic botany. Since 1977 the garden has been a separate institution with its own Director. In 1983 the Director’s remit was expanded to include responsibility for the Linnaeus Garden and Linnaeus’ Hammarby.

Read more about previous directors.

Directors of Hortus Botanicus 1653-1783, before the relocation

The dates indicate the years during which the directors were active.

Olof Rudbeck the elder, 1653-1701

Olof Rudbeck was professor of medicine, a subject that also included botany and zoology. In 1653 he founded the first botanic garden in the country and filled it with plants, many purchased in Holland. Together with his son he worked on a gigantic multi-volume flora, Campus Elysii, which was to contain all known plants of the world. The plant genus Rudbeckia is named after Olof Rudbeck.

Olof Rudbeck the younger, 1701-1740

Olof Rudbeck the younger was at first very interested in botany, and an excellent botanical illustrator. After the botanic garden had been badly damaged by the fire of 1702, his interest waned and he devoted himself to other areas of research.

Carl Linnaeus, 1741-1778

Read more about Carl Linnaeus on Linnaeus Online.

Carl von Linné (Linnaeus) the younger, 1778-1783

Succeeded his father as professor of medicine. He died young and was only active as director of the Botanic Garden for a few years. During this period he carried out research on ferns and mosses, and described new vascular plants from South Africa and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) which he had cultivated in the botanic garden.

Prefect during the relocation of the Garden

Carl Peter Thunberg, 1783-1828

Thunbergia alata, svartöga, namngiven efter Carl Peter Thunberg.During the 1770s Carl Peter Thunberg undertook a long expedition to South Africa and Japan. He was an enormously productive researcher and wrote, among other things, the first floras for Japan and South Africa. His scientific collections form the foundation of the Herbarium and the Museum of Zoology (now part of the Museum of Evolution). It was thanks to Carl Peter Thunberg that king Gustav III donated Uppsala Castle garden to the University, along with a large sum of money for the construction of a new department building incorporating an orangery. He is commemorated by the genus Thunbergia (picture), to which the popular garden climber Black-eyed Susan belongs.

Some head gardeners in Hortus Upsaliensis before the relocation

Olof Carlsson Falck, 1697-1716

Very little is known about the first head gardener of the botanic garden. According to the minutes of the Konsistorium (the University’s governing body), Olof Falck was ”essential for the garden”. In 1707 he petitioned the Konsistorium that something must be done for the dromedary that was lving in the garden.

Dietrich Nietzel, 1739-1756

Very little is known about the first head gardener of the botanic garden. According to the minutes of the Konsistorium (the University’s governing body), Olof Falck was ”essential for the garden”. In 1707 he petitioned the Konsistorium that something must be done for the dromedary that was lving in the garden.

Head gardener during the relocation

Lars Broberg, 1764-1795

Lars Broberg was a very skilled head gardener who was greatly appreciated by the Konsistorium. He not only looked after the plants of the garden but also its animals, which included marmosets, cranes, peacocks, parrots, an ostrich and a cassowary. He was succeeded by his son, Gustaf Adolf Broberg, active during the years 1795-1813.