Evolution Garden

The Evolution Garden was originally intended as a teaching garden. In this and similar gardens, students of Biology used to study the relationships between the various plant species. In recent years, the garden has again been used more for this type of teaching.  It is also a beautiful summer garden for those who just want to enjoy the show.

A central role in the Evolution Garden is played by some of the oldest (seen from evolutionary perspective) flowering plants that still exist today: magnolia and water lilies.

Vroeg in de zomer komen de Astilbes in de Systeemtuin boven de grond en heb je een prachtig uitzicht over de fortgracht
In de zomer bloeit deze blauwe Salie weelderig
Vasteplantenborder aan de rand van de Systeemtuin
Systeemtuin in het voorjaar
Limnanthes douglasii, Geelwitte moerasbloem in de Systeemtuin
Uitleg over het APG-systeem in de Systeemtuin

Cronquist or APG?

In recent decades, knowledge of plant and animal development has certainly not stood still, especially since DNA information became available. The Utrecht Evolution Garden is still arranged according to the classification system developed by the American botanist Cronquist, published in 1981. He based his determination of the evolutionary relationships of plants on secondary plant metabolites. However, DNA research conducted by APG (= Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, a group of scientists) has shown that Cronquist's classification is incorrect on numerous points. Manuals and other botanic literature have already shifted over to the new APG system, but obviously that is more difficult for an existing system garden. It would be extremely expensive to make changes to the garden to enable it to match the APG system and, in any case, the Evolution Garden is one of the most beautiful of its kind in the world. It has therefore been decided to leave this garden as it is for the time being, but to use signage to inform visitors of the changes brought about by the APG.