NORWAY: The University of Oslo Botanical Garden – making the public aware of the importance of plant diversity since 1814

The University Botanical Garden, which is part of the Natural History Museum of the University of Oslo, is the oldest botanical garden in Norway. Founded in 1814, it has promoted awareness of plant diversity and has housed more than 5, 500 species coming from the Arctic to the Tropics.  Aside from the greenhouses, there are also several gardens and willow sculptures. Together with a new-found friend from Greece, I visited the botanisk hage for the first time on a beautiful summer day.

University Botanical Garden

It is really amazing how typically cold countries could gather different plant species from all over the world and create a similar type of habitat for them. The greenhouses at the University Botanical Garden are divided into zones, each zone possessing an almost similar climate with that from which the plants orginally came from. The tropical zone is the largest with almost 2,000 square meters in size.

Coming from a tropical country, I know how animal and plant species can be so diverse! The Philippine waters, for example, has been recorded to have the highest level of marine biodiversity in the world. There are also plenty of wildlife that is endemic in the country. It made me very impressed to see tropical plants in the botanical garden, like papaya, banana, tropical shrubs and bushes, and the makahiya (lit. “shy”)! Or mimosa pudica. The said plant is very sensitive and it closes its leaves to the slightest touch. My friend had a fun time playing with it!

Tropical plants
A common flowering plant in the Philippines
The makahiya plant, or mimosa pudaca, or shameplant
The makahiya plant, or mimosa pudaca, or shameplant
Papaya!
Luscious greens, University Botanical Garden
University Botanical Garden
University Botanical Garden
University Botanical Garden

AND here are some shots taken from the other zones. They have desert plants, Mediterranean, North and South American, etc. One of the things that awed me and my friend is the Amazonian giant water lily in the Victoria House. The giant water lily can keep a small baby afloat!

The giant water lilies
The giant water lilies
Just me with the giant water lilies
The giant water lily up close, with a live butterfly on its stem!
University Botanical Garden
University Botanical Garden
University Botanical Garden
Desert plants, University Botanical Garden
Desert plants, University Botanical Garden
Just me and the cacti

Outside the greenglasses are amazing and well-kept gardens! They have the Viking garden, the Systematic garden, Great Granny’s garden, the Rock garden, the Herb garden, the Scented garden dedicated for PWDs, and the Arboretum. Read more about the different gardens here.

University Botanical Garden
University Botanical Garden
University Botanical Garden
Me and my Greek friend, University Botanical Garden
A straw horse!
Viking Garden, University Botanical Garden

And oh, the willow sculptures! There are five willow sculptures in the garden. Created by the British willow artist, Tom Hare, the sculptures were installed in May 2014 during the bicentenary celebrations. The biggest of them is the Moe’s willow bench. Then, there’s the Apple of Knowledge, a group of mushrooms, a small flock of sheep, and a row of giant maple fruits. They’re all amazing!

Moe’s willow bench
Willow sculpture
W.C. Brøgber, a Norwegian geologist and mineralogist, University Botanical Garden

It was a beautiful trip to the University Botanical Garden in summer, a must-see for those who are visiting Oslo and are staying for a couple of days. For an instant map of the botanical garden, click here. What more? There’s no entrance fee to the botanical garden, as of March 2017. The rest of the Natural History Museum have admission fee though, so check first before you enter a building. Check rates here. 😀

This is all for now. Cheers to plant diversity and well-maintained botanical gardens! 😉 #spreadlove

Just me with an Arbeiderpartiet advocate

PS. The photo above doesn’t promote any political agenda. We met this wonderful woman on our way back, and she was giving out roses, along with flyers campaigning the Norwegian Labor Party. 😀 I liked looking at the photo and reminiscing about that whole day. 😉

University Botanical Garden
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