University of Oxford Botanic Garden

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United Kingdom - Oxford

Institution Code: OXF

International Agenda Registration: Yes

BGCI Member: Yes

Victoria cruziana and Euryale ferox in the Lily Pond
Victoria cruziana and Euryale ferox in the Lily Pond

About the University of Oxford Botanic Garden

The University of Oxford Botanic Garden is based in the historic centre of Oxford and is the oldest Botanic Garden in the United Kingdom and has recently celebrated its 400th anniversary..

Founded in 1621 as the 'Oxford Physic Garden' it was renamed the Botanic Garden in the 1830s by Sherardian Professor Charles Daubeny to reflect its growing focus on experimental botany and taxonomy. In 1946 the Garden was expanded with the lease of a further three acres from Christ Church at the southern end adjacent to Christ Church Meadow.

In 1963 the Botanic Garden expanded further by taking on the management of eight acres of pinetum at the University’s Nuneham Estate at Nuneham Courtenay which then expanded to become the 130 acre Harcourt Arboretum.

The Walled Garden has a taxonomic collection aligned to the APGIV system, Medicinal plant diplays and Geographic collections from South America, New Zealand and Japan (conservation program). The Lower garden has a large Rock garden comprising species which illustrate John Sibthorp's Flora Graeca and extensive Prairie style plantings with flora from South Africa's Eastern cape, North America and the Mediterranean. A Plants that Changed the World feature provides an education resource on cultivated food and economic crops.

Glasshouses (built 1970) hold collections of economic, arid, carniverous and tropical plants as well as a heated water-lily tank constrcuted in 1853. There is a particular research focus on Nepenthes and Victoria species.

Currently there is an active focus on local native species conservation through the propagation of critically endangered freshwater habitat plants. A reference collection of Orobanche and parasitic plants has been cultivated and forms part of the gardens research program.

Main Address:
University of Oxford Botanic Garden
Rose Lane
OX1 4AZ United Kingdom

Telephone: 01865 286690
Fax: 01865 286693
Primary Email:

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Prof Simon Hiscock
    Curator's Name: Mark Brent & Kate Pritchard
    Plant Records Officer's Name: Sarah Edwards
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 12
    Educational Staff Number: 5
    Research Staff Number: 3
    Administration Staff Number: 4

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Private: Yes
    Status: Educational: Yes
    Status: Satellite: No
    Status: Trust: No
  • Date founded: 1621
  • Physical Data
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 2 Hectares
  • Total Area: 2 Hectares
    Latitude: 51.750971
    Longitude: -1.247689
    Annual Rainfall: 680 mm
    Altitude: 67.00 Metres
    Total area of glasshouses: 883 Metres
    Total area of shadehouses: 50 Metres
  • Additional Locations
  • Satellite Garden Names: University of Oxford Harcourt Arboretum, Nuneham Courtenay, OX44 9PX

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: Yes
    Arboretum: No
  • Seed Bank: Yes
    Published Plant Catalogue: Yes
    Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Shop: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: Yes
    Disabled access: Yes
  • Number of Visitors: 175000
    Number of Volunteers: 30

Plant Collections

  • Accession Number: 8746
    Cultivation Taxa Num: 5756
  • Special Collections:HERBARIUM: Situated in Plant Sciences Department.
    TAXA: 1,482 genera, 4885 taxa, 7706 alive accessions.

    Araceae, Acanthaceae, Brassicaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Fabaceae, Rosaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Iridaceae, Nymphaeaceae.
    Bluebells, Euphorbia stygiana, Apium repens.
  • Invasive Species Monitoring: Yes
    Plant Collection Policy: Yes

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: Yes
    Medicinal Plant Programme: Yes
    Ex Situ Conservation Programme: Yes
    Reintroduction Programme: Yes

Research Programmes

  • Biotechnology: No
    Plant Breeding: No
    Conservation - Biology: Yes
    Conservation - Genetics: Yes
    Data Management Systems and Information Technology: No
    Ecology: Yes
    Ecosystem Conservation: Yes
    Education: Yes
    Horticulture: Yes
    Systematics and Taxonomy: Yes
    Pharmacology: Yes

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: Yes
    Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Public Lectures/Talks: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Permanent Public Displays: Yes
    Special Exhibitions: Yes
    Courses for School Children: Yes
    Courses for University/College Students: Yes
    Courses for General Public: Yes
    Education Programme: Yes