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Biological and morphological beds
Last Update
23.01.2014

High botanical diversity is characteristic to Plant biological and morphological beds where plants especially adapted against animals, long drought or moisture periods, or strong sun radiation are growing. Plant movements, different types of flower fertilization and seed distribution, main features of plant morphology, as well as plants used for oil, fiber, color and food are represented by 700 taxons. It is the oldest exposition in the Garden, and was founded in 1926 as a teaching aid for students of botany.

© Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia

Systematic beds

Plant systematic is studying plants occurring on planet, placing them in system, describing and explaining their development and evolutionary relationship. There is more than one plant classification system, and the Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia represents the system by Engler.

In the time period from 1887 to 1909 two German botanists Adolf Engler and Carl Prantl developed a new plant classification system. In this so called Engler system for the first time in botanical history, the simple and more developed plants were placed together in one set starting with algae and ending with flowering plants. Die Naturlichen Plfanzenfamilien was used as a standard for flowering plant family classification in herbariums, floral papers and in systematic beds in botanical gardens up to 70-ties of the 20th century until more advanced systems by Takhtajan, Cronquist or APG appeared.

In the Engler system, plant families are grouped according to their origin, morphological similarities and evolutionary development. As a result the system starts with evolutionary oldest and morphologically simplest plant families like Liliaceae and ends with most recent and complicated families like Asteraceae.

© Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia

Medicinal plants

The Medicinal plants collection at the Botanical Garden is represented by 270 plant species. These plants are recommended both by scientists and folk-medicine supporters. Information about plant usage and collecting is given on plant labels.

Different physiological components are found in medicinal plant drugs, and as they have effect on human body or pathogens they can be used during treatment or prophylactic. These components are not concentrated equally in the whole plant therefore only particular plant parts (e.g. leaves, roots, fruits) with highest value must be collected for drugs.

© Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia

Poisonous plants

Human and animal poisoning or even death can be caused by plant chemical composition with alkaloids, glycosides, and saponines being the most toxic. These natural chemicals can be accumulated in whole plant or in particular plant parts like rhizomes, roots, leaves, flowers or fruits. Chemical composition is important to plant survival strategy protecting it against virus and microorganism infections and herbivore animals.

There are approximately 100 poisonous plant species in Latvia, and 65 of them can be seen at the Botanical Garden. Most of poisonous plants are represented by Ranunculaceae, Solanaceae and Apiaceae families.

To avoid poisoning, it is recommended to touch or eat only well-known and edible plants!

© Botanical Garden of the University of Latvia