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EXPLORATION CONSERVATION RESEARCH TRANSMISSION PROTECTION
Museums of Geneva
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tropical greenhouse
Presentation of the
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Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève


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The Ethnobotanical Gardens

Les jardins ethnobotaniques

Come and visit our exhibition “Ethnobotanical Gardens” to discover the numerous connections that man had and still has today with the world of plants, sometimes without even realizing it.

Did you know for instance that the Velcro of your shoes is a Swiss invention inspired by the fruits of an edible plant, the burdock ? That the world’s most expensive spice comes from a variety of crocus cultivated in Upper Valais? Or that chewing gums were originally made from a vegetable gum ?

Many discoveries await you in our gardened flowerbeds which are organized around four main themes:

  • The Food garden: herbs, spice plants, functional food, forgotten vegetables and foraged plants
  • The Medicinal garden: medicinal plants, plant-based medicines, herbalism
  • The Economy botany garden: perfumes, dyes, fibers, sugar, oils and resins
  • The Garden of plant uses: vine, wheat, segetals, fermented beverages, wood, plaiting, domestic uses, organic pest control, sacred and poisonous plants

We share a compelling story with useful, wild or domesticated plants. Different aspects of it are presented in our new exhibition which is now supplemented since 2018 by our collection of useful plants from the Winter Garden.

As history shows us, man tends to best protect what he knows and uses… We therefore encourage you to learn more about plants and their uses ! It is an original and engaging way to familiarise yourselves with the vegetable kingdom.

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Note : The best time to visit our new Ethnobotanical Gardens is between May and July (flowering period).