University of Pannonia

Georgikon Faculty

Department of Plant Science and Biotechnology


Georgikon Botanical Garden

Judit BÓDIS PhD (biology) sen. prof’s assistant
Lajos VOLNER technician
Éva H. SZŐNYI agricultural chemist engineer
Péter SZEGLET CSc (biology) associate professor

About the Georgikon botanical Garden (GBG)

Keszthely, enjoying a relatively milde climate on the shore of the Balaton lake, is rich in botanical and dendrological values.
The oldest park of the town, a French-style palace-garden, was established by the noble family Festetics in the middle of the l8th century. It was built by the famous English gardener Milner in 1893 and reached the recent landscape-garden architect at that time. Old trees of its remnants make us remember to the one-time early l9th century's intellectual life represented by writers, poets, agriculturists and, what is more, such excellent botanists as Pál Kitaibel, Péter Wierzbicki, Károly-György Rumy.
The legal predecessor of the faculty, the Georgikon School of Agriculture (founded in 1797) possessed a botanical garden already, next to the palace garden of the founder count György Festetics. There were several exotic, North-American trees beside the native ones, used for introductive trials in the dendrological garden of 8 acres. Native and introduced crops were displayed on the experimental field which had been separated into 20 blocks serving as a botanical garden to be open twice a week for the sake of the agricultural education. Unfortunately the whole garden of Georgikon and the greatest part of the palace park has been later destroyed.
A new botanical garden following European standard has been opened in 1897 in the courtyard of the new main building of the recent agricultural educational institute by its director Sándor Lovassy (a well skilled naturalist). Only a few old trees of this garden have survived the war-years of 20th century.
The recent botanical garden has been founded in 1966 mostly for agrobotanical purposes. It has been devided into four major parts: arboreta, plant systematics, collection of cultivated and spontaneous species, experimental fields. Agrobotanical part of crops and malherbs has been designed and managed in plots. Series of cultivars, wild and pre-breeded ancestors of crops demonstrates the rise and history of traditional and modern types: wheats, oats, corns. Weeds are shown not only on separated plots but are sown in mixed stands as the constituents of segetal communities: Agrostemma githago, Consolida regalis, C. orientalis, Papaver rhoeas, Anthemis spp., Centaurea cyanus, Bupleurum rotundifolium, Camelina microcarpa, Stachys annua, Ajuga chamaepytis, all wich man can see scarcely together. The collections of traditonal fruits (fige, apple, pear, cherry, service tree), medicinal and aromatic plants are in processing with Horti- and Viniculture Department. There is a set of rare and endangered plants in ex-situ preservation too.

  • Arboreta
  • Plant systematic preview
  • Crops and horticultural plants
  • Drugs and aromatic plants
  • Gene banking of traditional crops and fruits
  • Ex-situ preservation
  • Introduction of wild-grown mushrooms
  • Experimental plots

GBG is supervised by the Group of Botany and Plant Physiology. GBG is member of the Association of Hungarian Botanical Gardens and it is getting to use international BG-BASIC collections management system. The seed- and gene-banking is registered and checked by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (Tápiószele).
GBG is competent to perform the duties of central university botanical collection and exhibition, the appraisal and preservation of plant genetic resources of native spontaneous, improved (pre-breeded) and cultivated species, introduced and invasive neophytes. The mutual exchange of seeds by Index Seminum does not concern the horti- and vinicultural, potato-, crop- and grass-breeding, gene-banking work of the Georgikon Faculty.
A small sub-Mediterranean garden situated on the Peninsula of Tihany (Balaton Lake) belongs also to the garden as one of the birthplaces of Hungarian tropical and sub-tropical research, harbouring a collection of Hungarian fig land-races.