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Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève

Welcome → Flora Management → The Endangered flora of Geneva
Geneva a sustainable city Flore en Ville

Flore en Ville: a new publication to inspire the discovery of the flora in City of Geneva

Flore en Ville

The fruit of three years of extensive and meticulous inventories, Flore en Ville invites the reader to discover the extraordinary diversity of plants that live in our city. Richly illustrated, Flore en Ville is a journey into the heart of Genevan botany, inspiring the idea that Nature in the City is not a utopia but a reality that needs to be protected and fostered for the prosperity of all as well for that of future generations.

Richness of the urban flora

At the end of a three year inventory period more than 770 wild species (flowering plants, conifers, ferns, mosses and lichens) were identified in the 22 sites of special interest selected. This represents more than a third of the species known for the whole of the Canton of Geneva. These inventories also revealed 8 species of lichens that are new for Switzerland and 43 for the Canton, as well as 3 species of mosses that are new for the Canton, indicating that we still have a lot to learn about our urban environment.

The results presented in Flore en Ville confirm the idea that urban zones have an important role to play in preserving native biodiversity.

The urban flora in danger

Despite the fact that about 65 % of the City of Geneva is developed (buildings, roads, pavements, etc.), it is not just a “mineral kingdom” as the lake, two large rivers with certain of their banks preserved, ancient parks, railways lines, walls, paved courtyards and an increasing number of “green roofs” are also present. These areas provide a diverse range of habitats that, if interconnected, facilitate the preservation or expansion of urban biodiversity.

Nevertheless, the disappearance of industrial waste-lands, certain holding stations or old paved areas influences the regression of certain types of habitats that are favourable for certain specialised species, called ruderals, that are currently under threat. It is the same for numerous species of mosses and lichens that grow on old walls and which are threatened by the maintenance or renovation activities that are not adapted to their ecological requirements.

A total of 77 species that are present in the City of Geneva are threatened at the national or cantonal level, and for certain of these the Canton of Geneva bears a national responsibility for their conservation.

A floristic richness to discover

Beyond a simple inventory of the flora of the City of Geneva, Flore en Ville is an invitation to the citizens of Geneva to take a new look at the environment around them. Three botanical walks are proposed so that people can discover for themselves the floristic richness that is at their doorstep.

What does Flore en Ville offer ?

  • A history of the study of the regional flora of Geneva.
  • A richly illustrated presentation of the organisms studied.
  • A general reflection on urban biodiversity.
  • A description and overview of the fieldwork undertaken.
  • A presentation, in the form of information sheets, of the 22 sites of special interest in the City of Geneva, with photos, maps of the habitats and complete inventories.
  • A presentation, in the form of information sheets, of the 36 species of special interest that are present in the City of Geneva, with descriptions, conservation status, regional and national distribution maps.
  • Three Botanical itineraries promoting the discovery of the floristic richness of the City of Geneva.
  • A lexicon giving definitions of the main scientific terms used in the work.

Flore en Ville (pdf 66 Mb) is for sale in the Botanic Shop of the Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques, for CHF 27.- CHF

For more informations and illustrations please consult our space for the press.