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Exhibition on Chilean Flora and Vegetation in the Palmengarten at Frankfurt/Main, Germany

Volume 2 Number 2 - July 1993

Georg Zizka

Traditionally, the Frankfurt Palmengarten organizes a variety of exhibitions every year. Some, such as the flower shows including exhibits of chrysanthemums, roses or rhododendrons have a long tradition, reaching back to the beginning of the Garden at the end of the last century. In recent times, informative exhibitions composed of plant displays and explanation texts and colour photographs have become an important part of the exhibition programme. These exhibitions deal with various subjects in the field of botany, conservation and gardening. Themes have included, for example, "Botanische Gärten in aller Welt", "Chinesische Gärten", "Bromelien - tropische Lebenskünstler in Gefahr", "Von Iguazu bis Feuerland", "Pflanzen und Farbe", "Pflanzen und Ameisen", "Samoa", "Neukaledonien", or, recently, "Parkbäume aus Nordamerika".

In 1992, from 7 August to 1 November, under the auspices of the ambassador of Chile in Bonn, S.E. Prof. Dr Carlos Huneeus, and in cooperation with the Deutsch-Ibero-Amerikanische Gesellschaft (Sociedad-Germano-Ibero-Americana), an exhibition on "Plants of Chile" took place in the Palmengarten. Besides an introduction to the Chilean vegetation, the important plant-geographic regions and selected families of the Chilean flora, other topics covered were useful or ornamental plants of Chilean origin and the National Parks of Chile. To provide more information than can be displayed or absorbed by visitors at an exhibition, an accompanying booklet was published. It was produced in cooperation with the Institut für Systematische Botanik der Universität München, with contributions from various botanists from Chile, USA, Argentina and Germany. Besides the information given on flora and vegetation, special attention was paid to human impacts and future needs and possibilities for conservation.

As with all other exhibitions we mount, the information plates (in German) are stored in the Palmengarten and given on loan to other botanic gardens upon request.

Links Between the Palmengarten and Chile

The Chilean flora is of special interest for the Frankfurt Palmengarten. Besides woody species of southern Chile grown in the open grounds, there are representatives of the coastal desert cultivated in the "Nebelwüsten-Haus" (fog desert house) of the Tropicarium and species from southern Chile in the recently opened "Subantarktis-Haus", where species from the southern parts of the southern hemisphere are on display.

Besides this, there have been contributions made to the conservation of the Easter Island flora by the propagation of endangered species, writing a Flora and preparing proposals for further conservation activities on this island. Future cooperation with the Chilean forestry and conservation authorities, Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF) and the Institut für Systematische Botanik der Universität München is planned. Of special interest for the Palmengarten is also a cooperation with the National Botanic Garden in Viña del Mar, which is engaged in the propagation of endangered species.