Bergian Garden, Stockholm, Sweden

The Bergianska trädgården, the Bergian Garden or Hortus Bergianus, is a botanical garden located in the Frescati area on the outskirts of Stockholm, close to the Swedish Museum of Natural History and the main campus of Stockholm University. The Academy of Sciences, principals of the garden is King. The Swedish Academy of Sciences and Stockholm University. The garden is located within the Royal National City Park.

The Bergian Garden is a botanical garden with two content-rich greenhouses, Edvard Anderson’s Greenhouse and Victoria House. Here are plants from all over the world, such as the Mediterranean and the tropics. The garden is beautifully situated on the shores of Brunnsviken in northern Stockholm. In addition to hundreds of tree and shrub species, large grass areas with flowering herbs, there are plant systemic neighborhoods where you can see how plants are related to each other, plant geographical areas and a lush orchard and berry garden. A place for knowledge acquisition, inspiration and recreation.

In the Bergian Garden, a botanical garden in a scenic location by Brunnsviken. There is a lot to discover here, both inside the greenhouses and outdoors – all year round. In the Bergian Garden there are plants from all over the world. In the garden there are areas with lush flower beds such as an orchard and berry garden as well as plant systemic neighborhoods that show the plants’ relationship. There are also park environments with nature-like plantings of trees, shrubs and herbs, in some places gathered with a geographical theme, e.g. at Stora fjället, the Japanese dam, Öland & Gotland and the Italian terrace. The garden has many different trees and shrubs from different parts of the world.

In Edvard Anderson’s greenhouse, you wander from the fragrant grace and lavender of the Mediterranean through the flowering bushlands of South Africa and southwestern Australia to the California desert and moist rainforest. In the dome-shaped Victoria House from 1900, the giant water lily Victoria and many other tropical plants are experienced.

The Bergian Garden is located in the Royal National City Park, which is a historic park landscape a stone’s throw from Stockholm city. The park stretches from Sörentorp and Ulriksdal in the north to Djurgården and Fjäderholmarna in the south.

The open-air facilities, Victoria House and the tropical departments in Edvard Anderson’s greenhouse now form Stockholm University’s part of the botanical garden. Large parts of the garden are state-owned building monuments and are managed by the Swedish Property Agency.

History
The Bergian garden has its origins in the garden called Bergielund, which the brothers Bengt and Peter Jonas Bergius planted in Kvarteret Resedan between the current Karlbergsvägen and Vasaparken in Stockholm in the middle of the 18th century. After the death of the brothers, the property was donated in 1791 after a will of 1784 to the King. The Academy of Sciences and the Bergian Foundation that was formed. According to the will, a director would be appointed as professor. Olof Swartz was the first professor Bergianus. At his side he had a tenant of the garden who ran the care and sale of plants. The garden would serve as a garden school and experimental facility. The garden was on the same property until 1885 when they moved to the current location at Brunnsviken, due to the area being built according to the new city plan.

The Garden was founded through a donation in 1791 by the historian and antiquarian Bengt Bergius and his brother Peter Jonas Bergius, a physician and scientist, for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and was originally located at their mansion and its adjacent garden on the Karlbergsvägen road, in what is now the Vasastaden district in central Stockholm. which at the time still had a largely rural character. The Garden was donated to the Royal Academy after the brothers’ death in 1791, in accordance with their will. The first person to serve as director was Olof Swartz.

The garden was moved to its current location in 1885, because its original location was slated for construction. Today the garden is owned by the Swedish government and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is jointly administered by the Academy of Sciences and Stockholm University.

The Bergian Foundation and the garden have been under the direction of a Professor Bergianus since 1791. The founder of the Bergian Garden, Peter Jonas Bergius, wrote in his will that “over the whole institution a learned and skilful man, in qualité af Professor, should be put” to guarantee continued good care of his and his brother Bengt Bergius’ property Bergielund. This is the reason why the Bergian Foundation and the garden are still led by a Professor Bergianus.

The park
Large parts of the botanical garden are built according to the plants’ relatives. Inside the protective spruce hedges there is a large block with kitchen plants and an herb garden. Due to its location by Brunnsviken and its hilly landscape, the botanical park is attractive to walk all year round. It contains lots of trees and shrubs from the northern hemisphere. The Japanese pond was laid out for the Bergian Foundation’s 200th anniversary in 1991. In total, the Bergian Garden has about 9,000 plant species. The park as a whole has been part of the National City Park Ekoparken since 1995.

The orchard and berry garden
The fruit and berry garden is a display garden with the main purpose to show, not to harvest as you might think. Many different varieties of fruit and berries are grown here that suit our central Swedish climate, such as apples, raspberries, currants, rhubarb, strawberries and much more. There are also fruits and berries that are a little more unusual in cultivation such as minikiwi, aronia, quince and lingonberry. The area was laid out in 1995. At that time, parts of an orchard remained. The older apple trees became the backbone of the new plant.

In a display garden like this, you can be inspired by and learn how fruits and berries can be grown. Here are trellised fruit trees, examples of how raspberries should be supported for a good harvest, as well as how densely you can plant your seedlings and berry bushes for best results.

Some of the plants in the fruit and berry garden are connected to the research at Balsgård in Skåne, where the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences produces new good varieties of fruit and berries. Among other things, crosses of older varieties are made that have been shown to work well in cultivation in Sweden. Most famous are perhaps the new apple varieties Mio, Eva-Lotta and Sylvia, which are crosses where both parents are known.

Color and fiber plant countries
Many of the colored plants are generally known as crab and weed, but there are other plants that also work well to color with, for example, tagetes, dahlias and also some kitchen plants such as onions and purple carrots. Plant colors easily adhere to wool and silk. Plant fibers such as cotton and linen are more compact and need to be processed more before dyeing. Almost all plant dyes are water-soluble, but pickling agents are needed for the paint to adhere to textile fibers. It acts as a kind of adhesive for the paint. Pickling also means that the paint does not fade so easily. A common bite is alum.

Fiber plants include plants that have fibers suitable for textiles, paper and braided objects. There are more than 400 plant species in the world that have useful fibers. For textiles, only a few are used on a large scale – they are cotton, jute, linen and ramie. What we call plant fibers come from different parts of the plants. The fibers are usually found in the stem of the plant and must be processed in order for the fibers to be able to spin into threads. Cotton, on the other hand, is the plant’s seed hair that can be spun directly.

Italian terrace
The Italian terrace has been one of the garden’s vantage points ever since the garden was laid out in the late 19th century. Here you can sit down and enjoy the beautiful view of Brunnsviken. The terrace is surrounded by several flower beds with plants from the Mediterranean and Europe. The Italian terrace is surrounded by several flower beds with plants from the Mediterranean and Europe. The place is one of the garden’s most beautiful viewpoints and has been so since the garden was laid out in the late 19th century.

At the Italian terrace there are also the so-called spring plant compartments that show the variety of cultivated varieties. In the spring, tulips and later a group of summer flowers are grown with varying themes from year to year, e.g. tagetes, verbena and petunias.

Japanese pond
The Japanese pond is an obvious place for contemplation and tranquility as it is designed as its own small garden in the garden, shielded by the surrounding forest. A pond was designed here already when the Bergian Garden was laid out at the end of the 19th century. The small island would mimic Åreskutan and the mountain willow was planted out fittingly enough in the vicinity of the Scandinavian mountain in the east. In the late 1980s, the pond was transformed into an area inspired by Japanese garden art. The Japanese dam was inaugurated in 1991 in connection with the Bergian Foundation’s 200th anniversary.

The pond and its surrounding greenery are inspired by the Japanese tradition of trying to recreate a piece of nature in the garden, a glade in the forest, or as a room within the room. Trees are planted to shield the surroundings. Instead of floral and colorful richness, there are many shades of green with a rich play of shadows and only a few elements of floral splendor, which are leading.

The water mirror should give peace and the rippling brook give life, at the same time as it shields from the noise from the outside world, a meditative place. The exciting contrasts between a lot of greenery, tight gravel surfaces and softly cut stones as well as the pond’s varying water surface reflect a different culture and other ideals for how and why you create a garden.

The vegetable plant country
Until 2020, a rich assortment of vegetables was on display in Köksväxtlandet, from potatoes, onions and carrots to more exotic species such as yarrow, almond and gooseberry. A selection of herbs and medicinal plants as well as some important color plants were grown in Örtagården until 2020.

The field of pollination and spreading biology
This is an area intended to show how plants reproduce. Pollination is about how pollen is transported from the stamens to the mark of the pistil. Pollination is about how pollen is transported from the stamens to the mark of the pistil, something that can be done via self-pollination (pollen ends up on the mark in the same flower) or cross-pollination (between different plants with the help of eg wind or insects).

The area also shows different methods of spreading for plants, such as asexual spreading through, for example, tears, or how seeds can be spread by wind or animals. The area also shows some evolutionary phenomena such as hybridization, mutations and intra-species variation, phenomena that can contribute to species formation. These phenomena have also been used in plant breeding.

Rhododendron Valley
From the end of May to the middle of June you can enjoy the beautiful rhododendron bloom in the small valley down to Brunnsviken. There are about 70 different species and several varieties. Other genera in the heather family are also represented as bell bush, kalmia and bell rose. In the 19th century, the English began to cross different species to produce more beautiful flowers and today there is a huge amount of hybrids in cultivation. To begin with, the southern European species R. ponticum was crossed, with the North American R. catawbiense and R. maximum. These hybrids belong to the Catawbiense Group and are called park rhododendrons and are most common in parks and private gardens.

The genus Rhododendron belongs to the family heather plants as well as heather, blueberries and lingonberries. In the Rhododendron Valley there are about 70 different species of Rhododendron and many more varieties. In the area you can also see other genera in the heather family such as bell bush, kalmia and bell rose. There are more than 800 rhododendron species in the world. The majority are in Asia, about twenty in North America and seven in Europe. In Sweden, there are two wild rhododendron species, Lapland alpine and squid. Rhododendron grows in mountain areas with high humidity and thrives in acidic soil with a lot of organic material. Low species with small leaves grow under alpine conditions while the large-leaved, tall species are found in temperate forest areas. Some species shed their leaves before winter, they are called azaleas.

Great mountains, North American and Scandinavian mountains
Professor Bergianus, Veit Wittrock, had these large stone sections built during the construction of the garden 100 years ago. They were built of stone that was left over when he blew up several caves and a walkway by the beach. He got soil from excavations of, above all, Victoria Dam. His vision was to create miniature mountains with alpine plants from different continents. Wittrock considered that the Stockholm area was well suited for growing alpine plants if they were only planted in the highlands. Because he had the ability to carry out many of his great visions, the mountains could be created. They were built with stone and earth taken from the ponds that were built in the garden at the same time, especially Victoria Pond and from the blasting of the caves next to the promenade.

The Great Mountain, also called the Asian Mountain, and has the highest peak. On the Great Mountain, plants from the mountains of central Europe and Asia were to be placed, but Wittrock did not have time to realize the plan before his death. Over the years, the area’s focus has changed. The mountain is now dominated by shrubs in particular, although originating from Asian mountain areas, but from lower altitudes. Here are various lilac species, deutzior, shrub peonies, oxberries and rowan sprouts as well as some exciting trees such as devil’s ointment and Chinese pimpernut.

The top of the Great Mountain measures 19 meters above sea level, as high as the natural height is towards Brunnsviken in the west. The Scandinavian mountain is much smaller. Its top would be designed after the Vallispiken in Lule Lapland at the construction. Here are plants from the Scandinavian mountain range and Iceland, such as mountain anemone, mountain willow and butter balls.

The model for the top of the North American mountain was at the Mount Tacoma (now Mount Rainier) facility in the state of Washington in the USA. The plants planted are not actual mountain plants but those that grow in groves and at lower levels in North America. In the spring, there are different three-leafed and sage-hearted here. Later you can see fiber palm lily, kentucky coffee among many other things.

Systematic department
In the Systematic Department of the Bergian Garden, the plants are arranged according to how they are related to each other. Those who are closely related, such as all the rose plants, stand next to each other so that you can compare them. We work to keep the department up to date and the plants’ order is adapted to how new research findings show that they are related. Visit any time during the growing season and find flowering plants in the systematic department. During spring and early summer, there are many flowering bulbous plants in area 1, east of the Old Orangery, while the basket-flowering plants near Victoria House in area 9, perhaps give the finest autumn flowering.

The plants that have shelf, stamens and pistils and later get fruits are called flowering plants. The Systematic Department cultivates approximately 1,400 flowering plant species with the aim of showing, as well as possible, the diversity among the approximately 250,000 flowering plant species that are known. The plant consists of a large number of flower beds, where the idea is to show how the plants are related to each other. Those who are closely related are close to each other, e.g. all rose plants (Rosaceae) in area 4, so that visitors can see that vines, dewdrops, roses and sprouts all belong to this family.

Victoria Dam
The horseshoe-shaped Victoria Dam was built around 1890. The idea was to build the Victoria House on the round peninsula in the middle of the dam, but poor ground conditions prevented the plan and the Victoria House is instead a stone’s throw away. Both have a very beautiful location next to Brunnsviken.

In the Vicotria pond, aquatic plants grow that require a colder climate, as a complement to the aquatic plants shown in Victoria House. In one half there are water and swamp plants from Sweden, for example our domestic water lilies such as white water lily and red Tiveden water lily. In addition, horsetail, pors, ag and starvation grow, among other things. In the other half of the pond there are samples of aquatic plants from North America. There are also a lot of cultivars of very beautiful water lilies.

The wetland
In the autumn of 2009, work began on getting a wetland in the Bergian Garden again. This meant that soil masses were excavated to create a depression and a damming embankment towards Brunnsviken was created. This area is a recreated wetland. A few hundred years ago, these were naturally swampy lands that were sometimes flooded. In 1863, a connection between Brunnsviken and Lilla Värtan near Ålkistan was blown up, which lowered the water level in Brunnsviken. In addition, the area was ditched and since then the area has been more or less drained. In the autumn of 2009, work began on getting a wetland with a water mirror again. This meant that soil masses were excavated to create a depression and a dammed embankment towards Brunnsviken was created to retain the water.

The goal is to create flower-rich meadows adjacent to the water. On the northern side, some plants have been planted or planted, including hay, reed, torch flowers and water clover, while others have been allowed to come naturally. The meadow areas are mowed and the hay is removed once or twice a year. Since the wetland was recreated, we have registered about 250 vascular plants. Plants that spread uninhibited, such as reeds and down, are removed continuously.

A wetland attracts birds, amphibians and insects. Already in the first season, tufted lapwings and smaller shorebirds nested and in 2018, more than 50 bird species were seen here (reported in Artportalen). Wetlands increase biodiversity and reduce nutrient leakage to larger watercourses. Therefore, Sweden, like many other countries, aims to recreate wetlands that were previously abandoned. In a collaboration between Bergianska trädgården and Statens fastighetsverk, this area has once again become a wetland. Support has also been received from the Swedish Wetlands Fund and the Friends of the Bergian Garden.

Öland & Gotland
The Öland & Gotland area is a plant geographical area in the Bergian Garden that will reflect some of Öland’s and Gotland’s different plant communities, especially those found on the open, low-growing lands such as elves, meadows and beaches. There are also introduced and cultivated species, which are strongly associated with the islands, such as roses, poppies and blue fires. The area is newly constructed and was completed in late summer 2017. The distinctive nature of Öland and Gotland is largely due to the bedrock, which mainly consists of limestone. The dry and sunny climate with little precipitation and relatively mild, snow-poor winters also affects, as does our ancestors’ millennial use of the land for grazing and mowing.

In the open dry lands, there are plants that are well adapted to the extreme environment. Here are plants that are unique in the Nordic flora, such as Ölandstok, ullranunkel and bergsskrabba, species that normally belong in central and southern Europe. There are also some alpine species on the islands. They are considered to be remnants of the earliest flora after the ice age, such as mountain ash. The islands are also known for their rich orchid blooms in early summer, as they prefer calcareous soils. We will not have orchids here because they are protected in Sweden.

The Öland & Gotland department is located west of Victoriahuset. The place we have chosen has good conditions to imitate the different environments of Öland and Gotland. It faces south and the mountain is just below. We have used Gotland limestone to build walls and elves in the area. The soil is lean and rich in lime. Most of the plant material is wildly collected on the islands. Below the river there is a sloping dry meadow and then a beach towards Brunnsviken. In the future, we will be able to follow the development of the area – how the plants compete and how they thrive in the created environments.

Buildings
The 20th century in the Bergian Garden is characterized by the construction of several important buildings, such as the Old Orangery for tropical plants (today a restaurant and café with temporary exhibitions) and the Institutional building for herbariums, staff offices and libraries. 1899–1900, the beautiful little Victoria greenhouse was added, which is a dome building made entirely of glass and iron, for water lilies, especially for the giant water lily Victoria regia. In the southern part of the garden there is also Naturens Hus where you have activities for students and teachers, the house can also be rented for conferences. There are more older wooden buildings that are used for different purposes, some are private homes.

The largest new building in the 20th century, however, was Edvard Anderson’s greenhouse, which opened its doors in 1995 and had been built according to drawings by architect Per-Rune Semrén. After his death in 1936, wholesaler Edvard Anderson had bequeathed money to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences “For the establishment and operation of a winter garden, where the trees, shrubs and herbs of the Mediterranean climate and comparable climate areas are exclusively represented”.

Edvard Anderson’s greenhouse
Edvard Anderson’s greenhouse is one of the greenhouses in the Bergianska garden located in Frescati, next to Brunnsviken, on Norra Djurgården in Stockholm. Wholesaler Edvard Anderson (1865–1936) bequeathed his fortune to the Bergian Foundation at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences: “For the establishment and operation of a conservatory, where the trees, shrubs and herbs of the Mediterranean climate and comparable climate areas are exclusively represented”.

Edvard Anderson’s greenhouse is located in the middle of the botanical garden and is its largest building. The house is a tubular steel construction and opened its doors in 1995 and had been built according to drawings by architect Per-Rune Semrén. The name of the greenhouse comes from the wholesaler Edvard Anderson (1865–1936) who had bequeathed money to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. His wish was that his donation should be used for: “The establishment and operation of a winter garden, where the trees, shrubs and herbs of the Mediterranean climate and comparable climate areas are exclusively represented”.

In the greenhouse there is a large central hall where the plants of the Mediterranean area are planted in landscapes with rocks and terraces. In the middle of the hall is a paved courtyard with a water mirror surrounded by columns that bring to mind the buildings of antiquity. In four corner rooms, the flora is shown in other areas with Mediterranean, rainforest and desert climates. The entire facility with its natural landscapes and plants has been planned with care and pedagogical background and the botanical diversity in the greenhouse provides a good basis for school tours. In the greenhouse entrance there is a small café combined with a shop.

Victoria House
Victoriaväxthuset is one of the buildings in the Bergian Garden located next to Brunnsviken, on Norra Djurgården in Stockholm. The Victoria Greenhouse is located in the western part of the park, near Brunnsviken. The house was built between 1899 and 1900 and designed by Academy gardener at Uppsala University Ivan Örtendahl and renovated in 1984. The building is a domed building made entirely of glass and iron adorned with a forged taklanterin in Art Nouveau style.

The greenhouse is intended primarily for the giant water lily Victoria regia. This water lily species from the Amazon can have leaves with a diameter of almost three meters with a 6-8 meter long stem, the buoyancy of the leaf can carry a weight of up to 90 kg. The house also has several tropical useful plants such as sugar cane, rice, tropical starches and cucumbers. Victoria House is open from May to September.

State building monument
A state building monument is a place with a particularly high cultural-historical value. Large parts of the Bergian Garden are a state monument.

Bleached
This was the home of the garden director, ie the Bergian gardener.

Finnstugan
When the Bergian Garden moved to Frescati in 1885, there was already a building where Finnstugan stands today, and was part of the summer pleasure Gustafsborg. The building was originally used as a stable, but was then rebuilt in several stages to a dormitory. The oldest part today is from 1925.

Old orangery
The old orangery was built in 1926 to hold tropical plant material. The building functioned as a greenhouse until 1994 when the plants were moved to the newly built Edvard Anderson’s greenhouse. Over the years, the Bergian Garden has used the Old Orangery for exhibition activities, there has also been a café here. Numera hyr Kungl. The Academy of Sciences outsources the building for restaurant operations.

Grindstugan
The gatehouse, which is located right next to the train tracks, was built in 1887. The house, which is also called the gatekeeper’s cottage, was used for a long time as a residential building for the Bergianska garden’s staff. The building is no longer part of the Bergianska garden’s business area. Today there is an interior design shop here.

The institution building
The institution building, which was built in the 1930s, houses office space for the Bergianska garden’s botanists, garden staff and administrators.

The museum pavilion
The pavilion was built in 1901 to display strange objects from nature recovered in the Bergian Garden or elsewhere. Here they are still displayed today, museum objects in the form of branches, roots and other natural things.

Professorsvillan
The Professor’s Villa was built in 1886 as a residence for Professor Bergianus Veit Wittrock. Here also housed the herbarium and library. The house is used today as a private home.

The pump house and the water tower
The small pump house and water tower stand as memories of the internal irrigation system that was put into use in the Bergian Garden in 1912.

Stora och Lilla Gustafsborg
In the 1860s, Stora Gustafsborg was built, which became a summer residence for Count Rutger Wachtmeister and his wife. The Gustafsberg area included several buildings. Until 1894, the buildings were leased out, but then the Bergian Garden could start using them in its operations. Today, the nature school Naturens Hus is housed in Stora Gustafsborg.

The tower
The tower was built in 1908, as a lookout tower and museum / storage space for some of Professor Wittrock’s research material, e.g. his collection of cones.

The clone archive
The Bergian Garden is one of Sweden’s clone archives for apple varieties. The varieties to be preserved are determined by the Cultivated Diversity Program. The Bergian Garden’s apple clone archive contains about 45 apple trees and a few pear trees. The business started in 1981. Behind the gates is also a collection of the plant genus Salix. Bergianska Trädgården’s clone archive was added in 1981. This is a local clone archive with the task of preserving older so-called mandate varieties, primarily of apples but also pears. As a local clone archive, we are part of the National Gene Bank and the preservation of the cultivated diversity.

The National Gene Bank, which was formed in 2016, is based on the work within the Program for Cultivated Diversity, Pom. The business mainly aims to preserve older selected varieties of fruit, berries, kitchen and ornamental plants. All preserved varieties have a Swedish cultivation tradition. The first local fruit cloning archives began to be built in the late 1970s. Today, there are about 30 local clone archives around the country that preserve the region’s older garden plants. For safety reasons, each selected variety is grown in two different locations, partly in a local clone archive and partly in the National Gene Bank at SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) in Alnarp.

Plant specimen Collections
Bergian Garden’s collections mainly consist of living materials – the plants in the garden and the greenhouses. In addition, the collections consist of objects, portraits and herbariums, some of which consist of what was bequeathed by the Bergius brothers in the 18th century. The living collections in the garden and Edvard Anderson’s greenhouse are available to visitors all year round, Victoria House in summer. Other collections are available to the public here on Bergianska’s website.

The living collections
Bergian Garden’s most important and extensive collections are the living collections, ie the plants that are out in the garden and in the greenhouses

Bergian Library
The Bergian Book Collection is a distinguished 18th century library with literature mainly in botany, science, history, travelogues and geography. The Bergian Library, which was primarily built by Bengt Bergius, is today deposited at Stockholm University Library, but is owned by the Bergian Foundation at Kungl Academy of Sciences.

Bergius Herbarium – Historical Herbarian Collections
The Bergius herbarium is an important source of knowledge about plants. The Herbarium is a rich collection from the 18th century after the founder of the Bergian Garden, PJ Bergius, with sheets from many famous botanists and plant collectors such as Carl von Linné and his disciples, the director of the East India Company Michael Grubb, Olof Swartz, and others.

Research
The research at the Bergian Garden is conducted under the direction of the director with the support of the Bergian Foundation at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm University and the Swedish Research Council. The research has been carried out since 2002 integrated with the activities at the Department of Ecology, Environment and Botany, Stockholm University.

Between 2015–2020, Professor Catarina Rydin was the director of the Bergian Garden. Her research deals with the evolution of land plants over long periods of time and is based on studies of both modern and extinct plants. Projects are currently underway on several plant groups, most of which have a long evolutionary history on Earth and extensive fossil documentation. This applies to e.g. Gnetales, a small and relatively unknown group of seedlings whose diversity was significantly greater during the time of the dinosaurs. Research is also underway on bream grass, which is a kind of lummer plant, as well as on flowering plants such as coffee plants and grass.

The Gnetales plant group consists of three genera, Ephedra, Welwitschia and Gnetum, which have completely different appearances and live in different environments. Today’s diversity consists of only a few hundred species and constitutes a small evolutionary remnant of a much greater ancient diversity. Gnetales is Professor Catarina Rydin’s main research area and the aim of the project is to increase knowledge about the evolutionary history of Gnetales and other high school sperms from the time of the dinosaurs to the present day.

Isoetes is also a plant group with a long history on earth. They are a kind of lukewarm plants that usually grow very moist, for example at the bottom of clear water lakes. Today there are about 200 species, and they are found almost everywhere on earth. These species are the only surviving representatives of the Isoetales, whose diversity also includes the well-known Carboniferous tree larvae. The work of Catarina Rydin’s research group has shown, among other things, that the modern group of Isoetes species seems to be very old. This is surprising considering that all modern species are very similar to each other.

Catarina Rydin also works with one of the largest flowering plant families, the Rubiaceae coffee family with over 13,000 species. The studies seek answers to questions about the evolution of species and traits, distribution patterns in time and space, and reproductive biology, and are based on fieldwork, morphological investigations and analyzes of genetic data. We recently showed that large-scale kinship patterns in the family are not as well investigated as previously thought. Exciting but unexpected conflicts between results based on different types of genetic data raise new questions.

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