Fascinating plants from the whole world

Almost 9 000 species of plants are grown in the Linnaean Gardens. Here we have collected short information about some of them.

Follow the links below to learn more about them. The information will be shown at the website of the garden where the plant is cultivated.

Santa Cruz waterlily, Victoria cruziana

One of the most spectacular plants in the Botanical Garden is the giant waterlily. Summer time the leafs, lying flat on the water’s surface, may reach a diameter of two meter or more. The large, attractive flowers can only be seen at night in July-September. They are creamy-white on opening and become light pink on the second night. 

Read more about Santa Cruz waterlily.

Santa Cruz water lily, Victoria cruziana, with a large pink flower, in The Tropical Greenhouse.
Santa Cruz water lily, Victoria cruziana. Photo Per Erixon, Uppsala University.

The Linnaeus Bay Trees

Some of the oldest plants in the Botanical Garden are four bay (laurel) trees which Linnaeus ordered from Holland during the 18th century. In the past, all the leaves and twigs used in the laurel wreaths given to those who were awarded doctorates by Uppsala University were cut from Linnaeus’ bay trees.

Read more about Linnaeus' bay trees.

Laurel wreath at doctoral conferment ceremony.

A Spruce with a famous genome

A spruce tree has a genome seven times bigger than that of a human being. The Botanic Garden is home to one of the spruce trees used for mapping the spruce genome.

Read more about the spruce genome.

Aloe from the Horn of Africa

In the mid 1980s, Mats Thulin from the Department of Systematic Biology collected seeds of an aloe during an expedition to Somalia. The next year the seeds were sown in the Botanical Garden. Twenty five years later it flowered for the first time and proved to be a species new to science.

How the new species Aloe nugalensis got its name in 2011.

Aloe nugalensis in bloom with orange red flowers in the cactus department in The Orangery of The Botanical Garden.
Aloe nugalensis in bloom in the cactus department in The Orangery.

Tulipa sylvestris – Wild Tulip

The wild tulip is a botanical heritage from the time of Olof Rudbeck the elder. It has a lovely fragrance and blooms almost every year both in the Linnaeus Garden and at Linnaeus’ Hammarby.

Read more about the wild tulip, Tulipa sylvestris

No Bleeding Heart in Linnaeus's Garden

Carl Linnaeus really wanted to grow bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis) in the botanic garden. But from the seeds that he had received by letter from Russia grew Siberian corydalis (Corydalis nobilis).

Read more about Siberian corydalis, Corydalis nobilis

The Jonsboda Lime

Carl Linnaeus’ father Nils Ingemarsson grew up in Jonsboda in Vittaryd parish in Småland. While a seminary student in Växjö he took the name Linnaeus after a lime (linden) tree that grew in a ”stone heap” on his father’s farm.

Read more about the Jonsboda Lime.

Toadflax – or not?

When Carl Linnaeus discovered the ”peloria” he touched momentarily on the idea that new species can arise in nature, as opposed to the then prevailing view that all species were created by God on a single occasion. He thought that ”peloria” was a new species that had arisen from toadflax, Linaria vulgaris.

Read more about Linnaeus and Peloria

'Linnaeus’ Apple'

At Linnaeus’ Hammarby we grow about 30 varieties of fruit, mostly from the Mälaren valley. An exception is the variety ”Linnaeus’ Apple”, which was registered at the horticultural research stations of Alnarp and Balsgård under this name and is said to have come originally from Stenbrohult.

Read more about 'Linnaeus' Apple'.

Last modified: 2023-08-14