Gothenburg Botanical Garden Collections
Bulbs have been cultivated since the opening of the Garden. Our collection of botanical bulbs was started in the 1960s when Per Wendelbo became Director. His botanical interest was mainly focused on countries like Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan – regions particularly rich in geophytes. During his work on "Flora Iranica", he investigated genus like Corydalis, foxtail lilies or desert candles (Eremurus), hyacinths (Hyacinthus), irises (Iris) and tulips (Tulipa). Much material gathered in the wild was added to our collections.
Botaniska's Head Curator Emeritus Jimmy Persson and his wife Karin Persson have for many years made a vast number of trips mainly to the Mediterranean region and Turkey to study and collect bulbs. Jimmy has focused especially on crocuses (Crocus), irises (Iris) and fritillaries (Fritillaria). The Autumn crocus genus (Colchicum) has been collected and treated taxonomically by Karin Persson. The result is the most complete collection of autumn crocus in the world, growing here in Botaniska. Karin has also investigated the Hyacinthella genus, first with Per Wendelbo and then with Jimmy, as well as a number of other genus belonging to the hyacinth family (Hyacinthaceae) and also tulips (Tulipa).
Per Wendelbo's interest in Corydalis was carried further by Magnus Lidén in a research project. Apart from its scientific publications, the project has resulted in two popular scientific books produced in cooperation with the Garden's staff. Henrik Zetterlund is the horticultural curator in Botaniska and one of his special fields of interest is Corydalis.
During his time as Botaniska's Director in 2001-2008, Arne Strid contributed unique collections mainly from Greece to the flora project "Flora Hellenica". Guest researchers from Latvia, Iran and Turkey are studying our collections of Irises, Fritillaries, Colchicum and Crocuses. Our collection has great status internationally, and parts of it are distributed annually to researchers and bulb-lovers all over the world.
Per Wendelbo was the Director of Botaniska in 1965-1981. He started the Garden's interest in bulbs.
A collective name for bulbs and tubers is geophytes, which comes from the Greek geos = jord and phyton = plant.