Arboretum of the Průhonice Park

Arboretum of the Průhonice Park

Besides its artistic and historical significance, the Park is also valuable from the dendrological point of view as a collection of native and introduced plants. It contains over 1500 taxa and cultivars of woody plants (1200 broad-leaved and 300 coniferous trees) and ca 600 taxa and cultivars of perennial herbs.

The oldest and first document on the growing of woody species in the Průhonice Park is the so-called “Certificate of Completion” that the park’s founder Count Arnošt Emanuel Silva-Tarouca drew up himself in 1927. A total of 2360 species and their cultivars (310 evergreen and 2050 deciduous taxa) that were planted in the park between 1885-1927 are given in the list.

The last published inventory and revision of woody species growing in the Průhonice Park was compiled in 1967 as “A Report of the Botanical Gardens – Zprávy Botanické zahrady ČSAV, Průhonice – č. 2 + 3/1967, Průhonice ” (P. Svoboda et. al 1967). The list includes a total of 1033 species and cultivars of woody species (186 evergreen and 847 deciduous taxa). For each taxa actual dendrometric information and the origin of the plant with the date of planting are given. The list of individual genera is supplemented by older lists of all previously planted or registered taxa in the Průhonice Park, given in the original assortments of the Dendrological Society or in the so-called “Certificate of Completion” from 1927.

In 1959 the book “National park and botanical garden in Průhonice” (B. Kavka, 1959) was published. The author, Bohumil Kavka, was also the long-term head of the Průhonice Park (1927 – 1962). A complete list (gene fund) of all plants actually growing in Průhonice until 1959 is given in this publication. The list includes 598 species and cultivars of woody species (134 evergreen and 464 deciduous taxa) and 371 perennial species and cultivars that were grown in Průhonice’s alpine garden or were planted in the park. For each selected species a short description is given and the taxon is numbered on the attached map. The descriptions of the new cultivars of woody species that were bred in Průhonice (e.g., Rhododendron cv. Arnošt Silva-Tarouca, Ideal, Marie Oliva Schlicková, Marka, Motýl, Panenka, Rosemary, Saba, Violeta, Humoreska, etc.) are also significant. A soil map of the Průhonice Park is also part of the publication.

In 1995 a new detailed inventory and revision of woody species of the Průhonice Park was begun. Essentially this means that field measurements where individual trees or the outlines of groups of trees and stands were drawn into geodetic maps (for perennial beds, only larger beds or those with a dominant solitaire were marked). These items were given an inventory number, a basic code that is used on maps, in databases, in herbaria and collections. Even the basic dendrometric data (height, crown diameter, and trunk circumference at 1.3 m above the ground) were measured in the field. A short biological evaluation (i.e., vegetate- flower – fruit – naturalization – registered next generation), site evaluation (solitaire, group or stand, etc.) and the actual condition of the plant were also completed. These basic field data were entered in the “Plant Register” database. Field geodetic maps will be completed in the graphic program “TOPOL”. Parallel collecting of even basic voucher material, i.e., herbaria items, fruit, cone and seed samples, and possibly even samples of bark and wood.

By 19. 3. 2006 the most recent inventory was complete. The list Index plantarum had 2136 items (373 gymnospermous taxa – evergreens (GYMNOSPERMAE) + 1544 angiospermous taxa – deciduous species (ANGIOSPERMAE) + 219 perennial taxa, i.e., overall 2138 taxa). Currently, 1702 live and growing botanical species and their cultivars (336 evergreen taxa, 1161 deciduous tree taxa, and 205 perennial plant taxa) that are determined and registered can be found in the Průhonice Park. Contentious or to-date undetermined taxa were not included in the list. The list of plants in the gene pool collection of the Institute of Botany (genera Iris – irises, Rosa – roses, Paeonia – paeonies, Hemerocalis – day lillies and Nymphaea – water lillies) and the alpine assortment in Průhonice’s alpine garden were also not included. It does however include data on the inventory status for individual items, the planting date in Průhonice, the area of original distribution and even the possible mortality or removal of the taxon from the arboretum. This list will continue to be updated and enhanced. The list of perennials grown in the Průhonice Park will also be made available to the public after its completion.

Since 2000 some entries in the “Index Seminum & Plantarum” from nr. 36/2000 include even the corresponding inventory number, according to which the place of occurrence can be found on the attached map.

Nomenclature of the plants listed in the Index Plantarum except for the regional flora was mainly taken from the following publications:

Květena ČR (Flora of the Czech Republic) ČR 1-6
J. Koblížek: Jehličnaté a listnaté dřeviny našich zahrad a parků, (2000).
Kubát, K., Hrouda, L., Chrtek, J. jun., Kaplan, Z., Kirschner, J., Štěpánek, J. (eds.): Klíč ke květeně České republiky (Key to the Flora of the Czech Republic), Academia, Praha, 928 pp., 1400 illustr. (2002).
Krüssmann G.: Handbuch der Nadelgehölze, (1983).
Krüssmann G.: Handbuch der Laubgehölze I. – III. (1976).
Farjonn A.: World Checklist and Bibliography of Conifers, (1998-2001).