Denmark’s Native Flora

In any botanical garden there is usually an area reserved for native plants. There are two aims for this:

1) show visitors something of the native flora, especially for guests that may not know so much about the native wildlife and

2) Conserve rare species which are threatened in their natural environment.

Conservation is an important function of botanical gardens everywhere and, similar to the way zoological gardens try to prevent species extinction by, for example, planning breeding programs, research in botanical gardens, together with effective propagation, can help ensure that generations to come are also able to enjoy as diverse a flora as possible.

The shelterbelt along Understedvej, is planted with “Bangsbo-pine”, planted by children from Bangsbostrand school in 1992. The trees are progeny of a variety of pine that grew in parts of Denmark and southern Sweden after the last ice age. The trees here, originate from a parent-tree growing on the island of Læsø and the seedlings were planted at Bangsbo in collaboration with The Arboretum in Hørsholm (part of The University of Copenhagen).

The northernmost edge of this area is linked to The Rose Garden with an informal hedge of the rose cultivar ‘Kew Gardens’. The rest of the area is divided into beds for displaying different plant-communities or plant-themes. There are beds with representatives of, for example, Denmark’s threatened (“Red-listed”) plants, edible-plants, poisonous-plants, bee and butterfly-plants, plants used for dying, witches’ herbs, herbs used in schnapps, and scented-plants. The transverse beds and paths are separated by hedges, creating garden-spaces in a similar way to those in The Botanical Area.

Beside the native plants in this area, at the western woodland edge, is a collection of cultivars resulting from Danish research aiming to find plants most suitable for Danish gardens. Marketed under the designation “Dafo”, short for “Dansk Forskning” (“Danish Research”). All of these cultivars have undergone a long selection process, paying attention to a range of characteristics to ensure the selection of the best varieties suitable for growing in Denmark. The actual plants here have been chosen in close cooperation with former research leader, Poul Erik Brander, who worked for many years on the “Dafo” project for Danmarks Jordbrugsforskning (now part of the “Danish Centre for Food and Agriculture, Aarhus University).

There is yet another plant collection at the eastern edge of this part of the garden, which includes specimens collected from Japan and North America by Poul Erik Brander himself and moved here from his private garden near Rebild in Himmerland in 2020.

Near the centre of this area, Denmark’s Native Flora, is a pavilion covering about 30 m2, a place for visitors to find shelter in bad weather and shade on a hot day. Information boards relating to Bangsbo Botanic Garden are placed around this pavilion.

All the paths have a firm gravel surface suitable for wheelchairs and illuminated by “Bysted” lamps, as in other parts of the garden.

Images from Denmark’s Native Flora