Logo der Hohenheimer GärtenThe Exotic Garden

The origin of the State Arboretum goes back to the 18th century.
Between 1776 and 1793 Duke Charles Eugene of Württemberg began to change a 21 ha large area southwest of Hohenheim Palace into an English landscape park. Equipped with around 60 buildings and monuments it first served the duke and his former favourite Franziska of Leutrum, the later countess of the empire, as a residence in leisure hours or festivities.
Two special gardens were installed within the landscape garden: A "garden containing all plants from Württemberg" and an "American garden" with a stock of north American woody plants.
Already in 1783 the botanic collection totalled 1200 woody plant species incl. varieties and forms, in those days the richest and most complete collection of foreign trees and shrubs in Germany.
After the death of Duke Charles Eugene in the year 1793 the site was made accessible for the public, the buildings were carried away bit by bit and a new use of the gardens was put forward: The largest part of the natural garden was changed into the “exotic state tree nursery”. Apart from testing foreign woody plants for the domestic forestry and the breeding of seedlings for the ducal sites, the garden soon served for botanical studies of Hohenheim students.
In the middle of the 19th century the garden was strongly narrowed by loss of territory, in the years 1930/31 the tree nursery was cleared and the garden was approximated into its original state.
Also in times of changing use the old tree stock from starting times was not questioned, so that even today single, impressive specimen of woody plants, planted in the foundation years, can be gazed at.

Exotischer Garten Blick nach Süden in den Exotischen Garten.
Photo: Sonja Volk

Starte Gehölzdatenbank

In the year 1953 the so called Exotic Garden was uplifted to the state arboretum of Baden-Württemberg. Later it became part of the Experimental station for gardening at Hohenheim University. Since 2011 the state arboretum belongs to the institution Hohenheim Gardens.
The general view of the state arboretum is impressed by the old stock of trees, which was partly conserved since the time of its first construction. Especially a plane tree and several tulip trees, that were planted in the year 1779, are worth mentioning. A garden with small woody plants, a perennial as well as a rhododendron site round off the picture persisting with numerous precious rarities of selections of woody plants.
The “Spielhaus” in the Exotic Garden, one of three still existing structures from the time of the garden foundation, houses the Museum of the history of Hohenheim, providing more detailed information about the history of the origin of the garden.
You find further information at https://gaerten.uni-hohenheim.de/landesarboretum.