Hortus Botanicus Leiden

Hortus Botanicus in Leiden, the Netherlands celebrated their 434th anniversary this week.

Historic image of the botanic garden in Leiden, the Netherlands.
credit: Hortus Leiden

The Hortus Botanicus Leiden is the oldest botanical garden in the Netherlands. Founded in 1590, the garden is located at the heart of the city of Leiden, encompassing 10 acres of special collections, carefully collated and acred for, over four centuries.

Known for its collections of Asian Araceae (amongst which the Giant Arum Amorphophallus titanum), Hoya, Dischidia, Nepenthes, ferns, the Leiden Hortus has one of the biggest collections of Asian orchids in the world. The garden and its greenhouses display a myriad of plants and collections originating from China, Japan, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries.

Set up initially as the herb garden for the Leiden University (1575), by the botanist Carolus Clusius (1526–1609), the Hortus Botanicus developed and expanded into a rich, garden boasting plant collections of important historical value that are still standing tall. The old Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera) at the entrance of the garden was sown in 1716, the Date plum (Diospyros lotus) dates from 1739, the Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) from 1785, and Golden Chain (Laburnum anagyroides) from 1725 to 1818.

An ever popular destination, in 2023 the botanic garden had a record 240,000 visits. For details of the Hortus Botanicus, their collections and visitor information, we refer you to their website.