Areas of activity

The Linnaean Gardens’ role includes exhibiting a well-cared for and clearly labelled plant collection that is documented in a globally accessible database. At Linnaeus’ Hammarby and the Linnaeus Garden, the compostion and arrangement of the plant collection should 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. All plants are carefully labelled so that they may be used by 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 9000 species are for the enjoyemnt adn benefit of everyone, including interested members of the public. The Linnaean Gardens are an important destination for Uppsala residents and visitors, who are attracted by exhibitions, guided tours and special events.

The Linnaean Gardens are a historically important part of Uppsala University. The preservation of the scientific legacies of Carl Linnaeus and his successor Carl Peter Thunberg is a vital role of the Gardens.


The Gardens provide plant material (seeds, plants and plant parts) that is needed by research projects at various institutions. 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 occur 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 over the whole world, Uppsala Botanical Garden can obtain the more unusual 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 from Semina Selecta seeds that our staff have collected from the wild or from cultivated plants. Seeds from approximately 1000 different plant species 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 and orders the species that it wants to try growing, both outside and in the greenhouses. Some of the seeds are shared further with various research projects that request plant seeds through the Botanical Garden.

Seed exchange is just one of the ways in which the Botanical Garden obtains plant material. Many plants have been brought by researchers at Uppsala University, who conduct field work abroad and come home with seeds and cuttings. Private individuals also donate individual plants or whole collections to the Botanical Garden: the cactus and clematus collections are both donations.

NB! The seed exchange is only open to other botanical gardens.
Requests should be made before April 2019 at

Please restrict yourself to 20 seed portions.
Please note that some seeds are in very small 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 2018

Students in the Botanical Gardens and by Linnaeus

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


Together, the Botanical Garden, Linnaeus Garden and Linaeus’ Hammarby form the Uppsala Linnaean Gardens and are administratively part of the 'music and museums' division of Uppsala University and run by the University with financial help from Uppsala Municipality.

The Linnaean Gardens have an advisory steering group that contains representatives from Uppsala University and Uppsala Municipality.