There is another attraction in the middle of the Rhododendron Park: the Botanical Gardens. The businessman and patron Franz Schütte founded it in 1905, the Bremen botanist Georg Bitter and the Swiss gardener Ernst Nußbaumer laid it out – as the first systematic botanical collection of the Hanseatic City. The basic idea was and remains to give the people of Bremen an understanding of plants from all over the world and to ensure their survival – also through exchanges with other botanical gardens.
At first this recreational and educational garden was still situated in the Bremen district of Hastedt near the River Weser. The visitors strolled around between local Northern German flora of moorland, heath, dunes and mudflats. In addition plants from the East, Mexico and the Caucasus were on show. In 1937, when it had grown to more than 4,000 plants, the green jewel then moved here into the Rhododendron Park.
In today’s 3.2-hectare area, for example, you can also marvel at Rhododendron species that love the heights: the Alpinum is terraced – like a natural mountain landscape. Here, species from the European Alps feel as much at home as rhododendrons from the high regions of the Himalayas or the mountains in China and Japan.
Adjoining the Alpinum is the rhododendron rockery. Experience a true miracle of colour: in the main flowering season, from the end of April to mid-May, the small garden radiates the yellow and purple shades of the Alpine rhododendrons and in the bright red of the Repens rhododendron.
Besides the most diverse rhododendron rarities the Botanical Gardens in Bremen are also home to other specialties: for example the local flora area, where almost 800 plant species that are indigenous to Bremen and Lower Saxony grow, and the medicinal plant garden, with more than 400 varieties – one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind in Germany. In addition, in the biological department you can discover the different ways plants use to survive. And the shade-loving plants show that darker corners can be rich in greenery, too.