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Systematic Section


views of plant beddings

The Systematic Section demonstrates the evolutionary relationships among flowering plants. Around 500 species have been selected to show the variation within and between plant families.

When the garden was established at its current location in the 1860s, the plants were placed to represent Jacob Georg Agardh's concept of kinship. Our knowledge of plant evolution and relationships between plants has changed a lot since then, and as new research add to our knowledge, plants may need to change beds and receive new labels accordingly.

The Systematic Section is used as a teaching resource and by those who want to get an overview of the plant world or find out the name of a flower. Here you can study the characteristics of plants from different plant families, and see that lily of the valley is closely related to asparagus.

Plant systematics

closeup of flowers
Twisted shell flower

Plant systematics classifies plants and group them in a way that reflects their evolutionary relationships. For example, all plants belonging to the same plant family have a common ancestor and represent an evolutionary lineage.

The most commonly encountered groups are species, that are grouped together in genera, which in turn are grouped together in families. 

For example, twisted shell flower bears the scientific name Chelone obliqua, where Chelone is the name of the genus to which twisted shell flower belongs, and obliqua is its so-called specific epithet. Together, the generic name and specific epithet constitute a unique name for that particular species. There are three more species in the genus Chelone. These three species are the closest relatives of twisted shell flower. The genus Chelone is one of many genera grouped together in the plantain family, Plantaginaceae.