Areas of activity

The Linnaean Gardens of Uppsala’s mission includes exhibiting a well-managed and clearly labelled plant collection that is documented in a globally accessible database. The composition and arrangement of the plant collection at Linnaeus’ Hammarby and the Linnaeus Garden, aim to reflect their historic value. The Botanical Garden should primarily grow plants from natural populations, of use for teaching within the University’s courses, and for educational actities for preschools and schools. Careful labelling of all plants facilitates the use for teachers and researchers.

The rich variety of the plant collection is maintained through international exchange of seeds and donations of plant material from research expeditions. The latter source means that the plant collection also reflects current research at Uppsala University. An additional important role for the gardens is in the preservation of biological diversity.

The more than 9,000 species of plants are for the enjoyment and benefit of everyone, including interested members of the public. The Linnaean Gardens are an important destinations for Uppsala residents and visitors, who are attracted by exhibitions, guided tours and special events.

The Linnaean Gardens of Uppsala is a historically important part of Uppsala University. Preserving of the scientific heritage of Carl Linnaeus and his successor Carl Peter Thunberg is a vital mission for the Gardens.


The gardens provide plant material (seeds, plants and plant parts) that is needed for research projects at various departments. Researchers can also grow their own research material, both outdoors and in a research glasshouse.

It is not just botanists who use the gardens – earwig catching, studies of hoverflies, and psychology research also occurs here.

Seed exchange with other botanic gardens

A botanic garden grows thousands of plants that are not available at a normal garden centre. By exchanging seeds with more than 600 other botanic gardens all over the world, The Botanical Garden can obtain the rare plants needed for research and teaching. Many of these plants have never before been grown in Sweden.

The Botanical Garden’s own seed catalogue is called Semina Selecta (selected seeds). The catalogue itself has been published regularly since 1858 but the exchange of seeds goes even further back in time. Other botanic gardens can order seeds that our staff have collected from the wild or from cultivated plants from Semina Selecta. Seeds from approximately 1,000 different species of plants are dried and threshed clean each winter. About 50–100 species are chosen for inclusion in the seed catalogue.

In exchange, The Botanical Garden receives seed catalogues from all of the world’s botanic gardens. The staff orders the species they want to try cultivating, both outside and in the greenhouses. Some of the seeds are redistributed to various research projects that request plant seeds through The Botanical Garden.

Seed exchange is just one of the ways The Botanical Garden obtains plant material. Many plants are brought by researchers at Uppsala University who conduct field work abroad and bring home seeds and cuttings. Private individuals also donate individual plants or whole collections to The Botanical Garden, for example the cactus collection is based on a donation.

NB! The seed exchange is only open to other botanical gardens.
Requests should be made before April 2023 at

Please restrict yourself to 20 seed portions.
Please note that some seeds are available in very limited amounts (sometimes a single portion only).

The Botanical Garden of Uppsala University is a member of the International Plant Exchange Network of Botanic Gardens (IPEN) and recognises the legal and moral obligations imposed on its work by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Seed is supplied under the conditions that
* the material is used for the common good in areas of research, species conservation and education.
* information on the material is appropriately stored, and the connection between the information and the material is maintained.
* the material or any products arising from it is not commercialised or passed to third parties outside IPEN without prior consent from CBD authorities in the country of origin.

Download Semina Selecta 2022

Students in the Linnaean Gardens

About a thousand students from both Uppsala University and the Swedish Agricultural University visit The Botanical Garden each year as part of their courses. The students may be learning about botany, pharmacology, historically significant plants or ecology, with a view to becoming natural scientists, apothecaries, agronomists, foresters or landscape architects. The garden is also much frequented by schools and preschools.

Of course, you do not need to be studying to visit The Botanical Garden. Why not sunbathe, play boule, revise, or just sit under a tree and enjoy the view, scents, and sounds?


The Botanical Garden, The Linnaeus Garden and Linnaeus’ Hammarby form The Linnaean Gardens of Uppsala as a subdepartment of  the Music and Museums division of Uppsala University. It is managed by the University with a financial contribution from Uppsala Municipality.

The Linnaean Gardens of Uppsala have an advisory steering group with representatives from Uppsala University and Uppsala Municipality.

Last modified: 2022-12-01