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About the Jardin des Plantes (Garden of Plants)

The Jardin des Plantes, enriched by four centuries of scientific adventures, lies in the historic heart of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (National Museum of Natural History). Each day it hosts thousands of visitors, hundreds of researchers and students. It houses most of the Museum’s naturalist collections in its many buildings. Unique and manifold, this extraordinary place is a museum, a botanical and zoological garden, a research centre and a university all at once.

Statutes and working procedures

The galleries, gardens and zoo of the Jardin des Plantes form part of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, a public institution under the joint authority of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition.

Consult all of the statutes and the working procedures of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle.

Through the centuries

On 10 June 1793, the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle was founded by decree; it is the true heir of the Jardin royal des Plantes médicinales (Royal Garden of the Medicinal Plants), which was established in 1635. Today this great institution committed to scientific research and the sharing of knowledge brings together 12 sites in France, including the Jardin des Plantes, the historic heart of the Museum.

1635 – A Royal edict issued by King Louis XIII created the Jardin royal des plantes médicinales between the Bièvre river and the current rue Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire

1640 – Opening of the Jardin royal following its development and sowing; it provided free courses in botany, chemistry and anatomy, taught in French (not in Latin)

1739 – Georges-Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon, is appointed intendant of the garden, a position he held until his death in 1788

10 June 1793 – The Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle was founded by a decree; it divided teaching into 12 professor/administrator professorships, led by prestigious scientists such as Cuvier, Jussieu, Lamarck, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and later Gay-Lussac, d’Orbigny, Chevreul, Becquerel.

1793 – Opening of the Ménagerie, the zoo of the Jardin des Plantes

1810 – Two pavilions were built close to the banks of the Seine, Place Valhubert

1834 and 1836 – Construction of two square greenhouses by Charles Rohault de Fleury, the Museum’s architect: the serre de Nouvelle-Calédonie (New Caledonia Greenhouse,former Mexican greenhouse) and the serre de l’Histoire des plantes (Plant History Greenhouse, former Australian greenhouse).

1841 – Opening of the Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie (Mineralogy and Geology Gallery)

1889 – Opening of the Galerie de Zoologie (Gallery of Zoology)

1898 – Opening of the Galeries de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie comparée (Comparative Anatomy and Paleontology Galleries)

1931 to 1936 – Redevelopment of the Jardin Alpin (Alpine Garden) to its present form

1935 and 1936 – Construction of the serre des forêts tropicales humides (tropical rainforest greenhouse) (formerly the jardin d’hiver - winter garden)

1938 – Creation of the Jardin écologique (Ecological Garden)

1964 – Creation of the Jardin des iris et des vivaces (Iris and Perennials Garden)

1990 – Planting of the rose garden

1992 – Creation of the Jardin potager (Vegetable Garden)

1994 – Opening of the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution (Gallery of Evolution), former Galerie de Zoologie, following renovation

2010 – Opening of the Galerie des Enfants (Children's Gallery)

2010 – Re-openings of the Grandes Serres (Greenhouses) of the Jardin des Plantes, following renovation

2010 – Renovation of the École de Botanique (Botanical School)

2013 – Opening of the Galerie de Botanique (Botanical Gallery)

2014 – Re-opening of the Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie

2017 – Opening of the Cabinet de Réalité Virtuelle (Cabinet of Virtual Reality)

A few figures about the Jardin des Plantes

Eleven gardens in the Garden

  • Carrés de la perspective (Perspective squares)
  • Jardin des plantes ressources (Garden of Resource Plants)
  • École de botanique
  • Jardin alpin
  • Jardin écologique
  • Grandes Serres
  • Jardin de roses et de roches (Rose and Rock Garden)
  • Jardin des pivoines (Peony Garden)
  • Jardin des abeilles et des oiseaux (Bees and Birds Garden)
  • Labyrinthe (Maze)
  • Jardin des iris et des plantes vivaces

Six venues open for the public to visit

  • Grande Galerie de l’Évolution, including Galerie des Enfants and Cabinet de Réalité virtuelle
  • Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie
  • Galeries d’Anatomie comparée et de Paléontologie
  • Galerie de Botanique
  • Grandes serres du Jardin des Plantes
  • Ménagerie, the zoo of the Jardin des Plantes

Two venues also hosting free cultural events

  • Grand Amphithéâtre du Muséum (Museum’s Grand Lecture Hall)
  • Auditorium of the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution

Thousands of plants

  • 8,500 species or varieties
  • 2,000 trees, including veteran trees planted by naturalists from as far back as the 17th century
  • 2,500 shrubs
  • 8,500 perennial herbaceous plants
  • 2,000 greenhouse plants
  • 80,000 seasonal plants

Large spaces: 19 hectares

  • carrés de la perspective: 2.5 hectares between the statues of Lamarck, on the Seine side, and Buffon, close to the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution
  • Jardin alpin: 4,000 square meters
  • Jardin écologique: 10,000square meters
  • École de botanique : 9 500 square meters
  • Jardin des iris et des plantes vivaces: 1,500 square meters
  • Ménagerie, the zoo of the Jardin des Plantes: 6 hectares

Almost 500 metres of pathways (between the Valhubert entrance on the Seine side, and the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution).