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Die Gärten von Schloss Trauttmansdorff / I Giardini di Castel Trauttmansdorff / The Gardens of Traut

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Italy - Meran / Merano

Institution Code: TRAU

International Agenda Registration: No

BGCI Member: Yes

About the Die Gärten von Schloss Trauttmansdorff / I Giardini di Castel Trauttmansdorff / The Gardens of Traut

The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, created from the ground up in 1994, opened in 2001. Located in a mild climatic zone, the city of Merano offers optimal conditions for growing exotic, especially evergreen plants that would not normally survive north the Alps. Encircled by the snow-capped Gruppo di Tessa (Texelgruppe) Mountains, Trauttmansdorff features more than eighty garden landscapes spread over twelve hectares.

Trauttmansdorff is divided into four garden worlds: Forests of the world, the Sun Gardens, the Landscapes of South Tyrol (Northern Italy) and the Water and Terraced Gardens. While the last one represents examples of historical European garden architecture, the central theme for the three other garden worlds is the comparison of natural and cultural landscapes. The plants in this garden landscapes are grouped by their geographic origin and form multiple vegetation and landscape types.
Trees and shrubs are planted in a way that reflects their natural plant communities as closely as possible. A great deal of importance is placed on the connection between natural vegetation, climate, location and the intrusion of mankind. This allows natural forest societies from America, Asia, the Mediterranean and South Tyrol like a Alluvial Forest of the Mississippi, Japan or South Tyrol to be viewed side-by-side with agricultural landscapes like Rice Fields, an Olive Grove or a local Vineyard.

The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle complex is a unique fusion of nature, culture and art. Ten botanically themed Artist Pavilions, a mixture of historical and modern architecture, blooming highlights and fascinating fauna create a special spirit of innovation. Additionally, Trauttmansdorff offers a wide range of events, guided tours and special exhibitions. The exhibitions address botanical topics like “The Birds and the Bees” (2014), “Root, Bulb & Co.” (2012), “Heavenly Scents, Ungodly Stench!” (2010), “All about Palms!” (2008) or “The Myth of the Ginkgo” (2006). The exhibitions are presented in a way that is as exciting and interactive as the content is multifaceted, expressly striving to engage all the senses.

As South Tyrol´s most popular tourist destination Trauttmansdorff recorded more than 415,000 visitors over the course of its season in 2017, which runs from 1 April to 15 November. The botanical garden was created by Laimburg Research Centre of Agriculture and Forestry, South Tyrol´s leading centre of expertise for agriculture, and now forms part of the Agentur Landesdomäne, a public administration of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano – South Tyrol.

Research Programmes:

Flowering Clay Wall: Plant species for sites with erosion risk
This nearly vertical flowerbed enables research on the growth behavior, especially root development, of different plant varieties and species. The goal is to learn how to optimally plant steep, erosion-prone slopes, and stabilize them permanently using an aesthetic design.

Pollinating Fauna
A second project investigates pollinator fauna and documents the value of Trauttmansdorff as a refuge for animal pollinators within the context of a landscape that has been cultivated in an increasingly intensive way.

Urticularia stygia: Ex-situ cultivation
A third project is devoted to the ex-situ conservation of a rarely locally carnivorous aquatic plant, Utricularia stygia. Trauttmansdorff cultivates plants from a population that existed in Lake Caldaro up until 2010, with the aim of reintroducing them into their native waters.

Ornithologic Survey
The fourth project started in 2018. Trauttmansdorff is surveying the avian fauna at the botanical garden.

Main Address:
Die Gärten von Schloss Trauttmansdorff / I Giardini di Castel Trauttmansdorff / The Gardens of Traut
St. Valentin Str. 51a Via San Valentino
Meran / Merano
39012 Italy

Telephone: +00 39 (0) 473 255600
Fax: +00 39 (0) 473 255601
Primary Email:

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Dr. Josef Schmiedhofer
    Curator's Name: Dr. Karin Kompatscher
    Plant Records Officer's Name: Dipl. Ing. Gabriele Pircher
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 30
    Educational Staff Number: 18
    Research Staff Number:
    Administration Staff Number: 10

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Private: No
    Status: State: No
    Status: Educational: Yes
    Status: Municipal: No
    Status: Satellite: No
    Status: Trust: No
  • Date founded: 2001
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 3 Hectares
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 9 Hectares
  • Total Area: 12 Hectares
    Latitude: 46.6552
    Longitude: 11.1880
    Altitude: 0.00 Metres

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: No
  • Micropropagation/ Tissue Culture Facilities: No
    Seed Bank: No
    Published Plant Catalogue: No
    Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: No
    Retail Outlet: Shop: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: No
    Disabled access: Yes
  • Number of Visitors: 415

Plant Collections

  • Special Collections:1.
    Forests of the World
    Miniature Forests from the Americas and Asia

    A North American Natural Landscapes:

    Cypress Swamps
    Alluvial Forest of the Mississippi
    Cypress Marsh
    Moist Deciduous Forests of North America
    Moist Coniferous Forest with Rhododendrons
    Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest
    Coniferous Forest with Giant Sequoia
    Coniferous Forest with Coast Redwood

    B East Asian Natural Landscapes:

    Evergreen Laurel Forest of East Asia
    Alluvial Vegetation in Japan
    Moist Coniferous Forest with Rhododendrons in Japan
    Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest in Japan
    Japanese Moist Coniferous Forests with Rhododendrons
    Dry Temperate Deciduous Forest in Japan

    C East Asian Cultural Landscapes and Garden Art from Asia:

    Rice Fields of East Asia
    Tea Plantation of East Asia
    Bamboo Forest
    Japanese Garden

    D Themed Gardens and Plant Collections:
    Rhododendron Collection
    Tree Peony Collection
    Hydrangea Collection
    Japanese Flowering Cherries
    Palm Collection (Palm Beach)
    Glass House with Tropical Crop Plants and Orchids
    Useful Plants from the Americas
    The Grotto’s Origins of Life - Multimedia Show
    Fern Glen and Living Fossils (with Wollemia nobilis)
    Flowering Clay Wall (vertical gardens)

    E Pavilions:

    Deciduous Forests
    Ornamental Plants from Around the Globe

    The Sun Gardens
    Mediterranean Flora

    A Mediterranean Natural Landscapes:

    Sclerophyllous Forests

    B Mediterranean Cultivated Landscapes:

    Olive Grove
    Lavender Field
    Sage Collection
    Useful Plants from the Mediterranean Region
    Limonaia (Citrus Collection)
    Succulents from the Semidesert

    C Other Natural Landscapes:

    Wild Fruit-Tree Groves of the Near East
    Cedar Forests of the Western Himalayas

    D Themed Gardens and Plant Collections:

    The Forbidden Garden (Poisonous Plants)
    Salvia Collection

    E Pavilions:

    Scent Organ
    Plants from Regions with Mediterranean Climates
    Succulent Plants

    3. Landscapes of South Tyrol:
    Local Nature & Traditions

    A South Tyrolean Natural Landscapes:

    Downy Oak Forest
    Alluvial Forest
    Lakeshore Vegetation

    B South Tyrolean Cultivated Landscapes:

    Fruit Orchard
    Chestnut Groves
    Meadow Orchards
    Cottage Garden
    Cultivation of Cereal Grains
    Native Hedgerows
    Straw Meadows

    C Experience Stations & Themed Gardens:

    The Botanical Underworld
    Geological Mosaic
    Matteo Thun‘s Viewing Platform
    Garden for Lovers
    Dahlia Garden

    D Pavilions:

    Cultivated Landscapes displacing Natural Landscapes
    Plants in Spring
    Plants in Fall
    Downy Oak Forests

    The Water and Terraced Gardens

    A European Garden Design:

    Italian Garden
    English Perennial Garden

    B Themed Gardens and Plant Collections:

    Palm Grove
    Sense Garden
    Rose Garden (historical and old Roses)
    The Forbidden Garden

    C Pavilions:

    Water Plants

    Total Plant Collections:

    Tropical crop plants
    Herbaceous peonies
    Tree peonies
    Living fossils
    Autochthonous grapes
    Trees and shrubs from America, Asia, Mediterranean, South Tyrol
  • Invasive Species Monitoring: Yes

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: Yes
    Medicinal Plant Programme: No
    Ex Situ Conservation Programme: No
    Reintroduction Programme: No

Research Programmes

  • Ecology: Yes
    Horticulture: Yes
    Pollination Biology: Yes

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: Yes
    Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Public Lectures/Talks: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Permanent Public Displays: Yes
    Special Exhibitions: Yes
    Courses for School Children: Yes
    Courses for University/College Students: Yes
    Courses for General Public: Yes
    Education Programme: Yes