WELCOME!

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Children explore the Tertiary Pond
Children explore the Tertiary Pond


Whether you are out to explore the fascinating diversity of plants from all over the world or whether you just want some peace and quiet in nature, the Botanic Garden of the Ruhr-University Bochum is a beautiful exotic oasis that's worth a visit at all year round. Since 1971 the Botanic Garden spreads across the south slope of the Ruhr-University Campus in the suburb of Querenburg on the south-eastern outskirts of Bochum. Covering an area of 13 hectares and harbouring over 10,000 different plant species, it is one of Germany's largest botanic gardens.


THE GREAT GLASSHOUSES

As part of the Ruhr-University Bochum the Botanic Garden's purpose is, first and foremost, research and education. However, members of the public are also welcome to visit if they want to learn more about science and plants or simply seek a place to relax and enjoy nature. After all, besides often breathtaking beauty, there are a lot of exciting and interesting facts to discover about the plants of our planet. Visitors can begin their journey of discovery in the centrally located glasshouse complex. On more than 1,700 square metres, exotic plants from different tropical and subtropical habitats from all corners of the Earth are on display. The Tropical Glasshouse shows plants from the tropical rainforests of America, Asia and Africa. In the Desert House, plants from arid regions such as cacti and other succulents are on display. Finally, the Savannah House gives an impression of the unique floras of Australia and South Africa.

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View of the Tropical Glasshouse
View of the Tropical Glasshouse


Useful Tropical Plants

In the Tropical Glasshouse, visitors encounter exotic plants from the tropical rainforests of America, Africa and Asia. Apart from different species of fig trees, mangroves, palms, ferns, bromeliads and orchids, there are also many well-known tropical fruits and other crops on display. One examples is the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao, Malvaceae). Without it, life would be unbearable, for there would be no chocolate. Other wonderful exotic gifts of nature to experience in the tropical glasshouse are the marvellous vanilla plant and the immensely important coffee shrub which doesn't need any further explanation.


Insiders will be amazed by the East-African miracle berry (Synsepalum dulcificum, Sapotaceae) or the allegedly so healthy (but bitter tasting) noni or Indian mulberry (Morinda citrifolia, Rubiaceae). The miracle berry contains "miraculin", a substance that confuses our sense of taste. A few seconds after chewing one of these rather bland tasting little fruits, sour or bitter things suddenly taste wonderfully sweet. A wonderful party trick! The health benefits of the perhaps less illustrious noni, however, are questionable. Whether or not the revolting tasting noni juice is good for you is not scientifically proven.

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Inside the Desert House
Inside the Desert House


From the Tropical Gasshouse, visitors can venture straight into the Desert house and the Savannah house. In the Desert House, plants from arid regions display astonishing strategies as to how to survive in these extreme habitats with very little rainfall, high temperatures and a lot of sunlight. Almost everyone knows that cacti store water in their swollen, succulent stems. However, the fact that cacti naturally only occur in the Americas and the Caribbean is new to many visitors. The cacti we see on our holidays in the Mediterrean or Canary Islands do not belong there!
More astonishing still, many of the plants in the African part of the desert house, especially members of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae) look just like cacti but, actually, are not closely related to them at all.

The most unusal plant in the world

In the Desert House, visitors can also meet the arguably most unsual plant in the World, the weird and wonderful Welwitschia mirabilis (Welwitschiaceae) from the Namib desert of Namibia and Angola. Almost unbelievably, the plant is a gymnosperm. This means it belongs to the same group of plants as conifers and cycads. Upon germination, the seedlings' two cotyledons (seed leaves) are followed by a pair of opposite foliage leaves which are the only leaves the plant will ever produce in its life. The two leaves keep growing from the base whilst slowly dieing and whithering from the tip. During the course of its long life, the leaves of Welwitschia can become several metres long.


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Welwitschia mirabilis in habitat in Namibia
Welwitschia mirabilis in habitat in Namibia


The Savannah House shows mainly sclerophyllus (hard-leaved) plants as they are typical of the floras of the dry regions of Australia and South Africa. Accordingly, in the Australia House many species of acacias and eucalyptus trees can be found whereas in the South Africa House, highlights include the colourful bird-of-paradise flower (Strelitzia reginae) and members of the protea family, some of which we recognize from exotic cut flower arrangements.

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Bird-of-pardise flower (Strelitzia reginae, Strelitziaceae)
Bird-of-pardise flower (Strelitzia reginae, Strelitziaceae)


OUTDOOR HIGHLIGHTS

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Outdoor succulent display
Outdoor succulent display


Outside the great glasshouses, the Botanic Garden of the Ruhr-University Bochum also has a lot to offer. Every summer, the ornamental borders are a popular attraction. Most of the outdoor plantings, however, show different European, Asian and American plant communities and how they changed over time. These include North-American, Asian and European forests but also coastal dunes, swamps and bogs. Among these, the "Tertiary Pond" is probably the most impressive and most beautiful place in the Botanic Garden of the Ruhr-University Bochum.

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The Tertiary Pond is one of the most beautiful spots in the Botanic Garden
The Tertiary Pond is one of the most beautiful spots in the Botanic Garden


During the time period of the Tertiary (ca. 70 – 2 mya), the climate in Central Europe was subtropically warm. At an average temperature of 22 °C (Bochum today: 10.6 °C), swamp cypresses, giant sequoias, magnolias and other plants nowadays still present in North Ameria and Asia thrived here. With its primeval looking swamp cypresses surrounded by water, the Tertiary Pond gives an impression of how the vegetation in Central Europe looked about 20 million years ago.

RESEARCH IN THE BOTANIC GARDEN

Apart from the swamp cypress, many other conifers play a special role at the Botanic Garden of the Ruhr-University Bochum. The reason for that is that the evolution conifers is one the main research subjects of the Chair of Evolution & Biodiversity of Plants,  Prof. Thomas Stützel. This is why the Botanic Garden holds one of Germany's most comprehensive collections of conifers which is used extensively for scientific research.

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The Botanic Garden of the Ruhr-Unversity Bochum holds a collection of rare and unusal conifers
The Botanic Garden of the Ruhr-Unversity Bochum holds a collection of rare and unusal conifers


THE CHINESE GARDEN

Originally a gift from the Tongji University in Shanghai to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Ruhr-University Bochum, our Chinese Garden has become a cultural gem known far beyond Bochum. It is one of the most authentic Chinese Gardens in Europe and covers an area of 1000 sqm. Built as a classical Chinese scholars' garden kept in the simple, naturalistic southern Chinese style, it offers a place of peace and meditation.

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Its Chinese name "Qian Yuan", which translated means "Qian's Garden", refers to the poet Tao Qian (365-427), whose story "The Peach Blossom Spring" is one of most well-known pieces of Chinese literature. In the story, a fisherman, intrigued by a blossoming peach orchard, accidentally discovers a hidden idyllic land, an outcrop of Paradise, which once he returns home can never be found again. This tale is engraved on a stone tablet and many of its elements are represented within the garden. With the Chinese Garden, the Botanic Garden of the Ruhr-University Bochum does not just offer something for nature lovers but also for culturally interested visitors. Always worth a visit!

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POSTAL ADDRESS

Ruhr-University Bochum
Botanic Garden
Universitätsstraße 150
D-44801 Bochum
GERMANY

ADDRESS FOR SATNAVS

"Universitätsstraße 160" or
GPS-COORDINATES 51.444761, 7.269031

CONTACT

phone: +49 (234)-32 -23098
E-Mail

OPENING TIMES

Summer
April 01 - October 31

Outdoor: Mon-Sun 9:00 - 18:00 h

Winter
November 01 - March 31

Outdoor: Mon-Sun 9:00 - 16:00 h

PLEASE NOTE: The Glasshouses remain closed due to Corona.

Closed on December 24 and 31 as well as during storms and icy conditions

  • Admission free
  • No bicycles, e-scooters and drones
  • Dogs are allowed outdoors but only on the lead