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The Botanic Garden of Tirana, Albania

Volume 2 Number 5 - August 1995

Liri Dinga

Construction of the Botanic Garden of Tirana started in 1964 with the original site covering approximately 15 ha. It is situated towards the south of the city and is overlooked by the Tirana and Kruja mountains.

With the construction completed in 1971, 80% of the garden's collection was planted and the garden opened to the public. Phytogeographical and systematic based collections have since been a major part of the displays to reflect the garden's aims as a scientific, cultural and educational institution.

Over the years the Botanic Garden of Tirana has built institutional links with Canadian, Hungarian, Chinese and Romanian gardens, but continues to work with local institutions. As the garden is a part of the University of Tirana it serves all the universities of Albania and has been very popular with schoolchildren of all ages from across the country. This educational outreach is further strengthened with programmes on television, radio and the production of a variety of printed material.

Current areas of study include:

  • The ecology of introduced plant species
  • A phytosociological study of black pine, oak and natural pasture lands
  • Threatened endemic species.

Of the 3,250 plant species in Albania (a country with a surface area of 28,000 km.ý) the garden grows at least 2,000 species, varieties and cultivars. Scientific staff have worked hard to maintain purity of gene lines in their collections and the integrity of taxa determinations.

Unfortunately it is now the garden itself that is threatened. Recent encroachment and building work (by people reclaiming it as their ancestral holdings) has already resulted in the loss of one third of the garden.