The University Botanical Garden is a research and conservation institution. Its statutory purposes include preservation, study, introduction, acclimatization and propagation of rare and typical kinds of local and world flora through creation, replenishment and preservation of botanical collections as well as undertaking research and educational activity.
The Botanical Garden was founded in 1804 and now it is the oldest botanical garden in Ukraine. Its history is closely connected with the names of prominent scientists such as V. Cherniaiev, M. Turchaninov, A. Beketov, V. Arnoldi, O. Korshikov, Y. Lavrenko, L. Shkorbatov and many others. The Garden has rich collections of trees and herbs: more than 7000 types of local and world flora are exhibited in the Dendrology Department, Natural Flora Department, Open-Ground Flowers and Ornamental Plants Department as well as Tropical and Subtropical Plants Department. The Botanical Garden has over 1000 kind and forms of trees and shrubs, more than 1000 kinds of natural flora herbs and over 2000 kinds of flowers and ornamental plants, and the collection of tropical and subtropical plants contains 3000 taxons.
The Garden’s collection of relict and endemic kinds is of special value. It comprises 15 kinds of plants listed in the European Red List and 95 kinds of plants registered in the Red Data Book of Ukraine. 1400 kinds of trees and shrubs have been introduced in the North-East Ukraine for the first time. The Garden’s Arboretum is laid out to create various botanical and geographical areas with phytocenosis elements: Europe, the Mediterranean, Siberia, the Far East, Central Asia, North America, China and Japan. North East of Ukraine Exhibition features native flora of the region. This particular lay-out of the Botanical Garden allows to solve various important issues that botanical gardens deal with.
Herbs of native flora are divided into expositions: medicinal, ground cover, mountain herbs, and constitute a part of Ukrainian angiosperms display. Flower and ornamental plants collection is divided into monocultural gardens as well as Perennial and Annual garden plots. The Conservatory houses Wet Tropics, Wet and Dry Subtropics, Arid and Semi-Arid plants (trees, shrubs and herbs) from Australia and New Zealand, South-East Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean, Central and South America, Japan and China. Among them the Garden boasts its large collections of the bromeliads, the aroids and the succulents.
The Botanical Garden undertakes research to develop scientific basis for biodiversity conservation, placing special emphasis on protection of rare, almost extinct, plants and studies possible solutions for growing, propagating, breeding and introducing into production ornamental, medicinal, food, fodder plants.
The Botanical Garden provides access to its research facilities for students of universities, vocational schools, lyceums, schoolchildren and organizes advanced training courses.
The Botanical Garden is also engaged in educational activity forming the environmentally conscious worldview of the population, developing ecological culture and promoting ecological and nature conservation information. International cooperation is another important aspect of its activity centered on the problems of preservation, management and development of botanical gardens; exchange of the seedbank and sharing information; participation in research conferences, workshops and special expeditions. The Botanical Garden is also a member of Botanic Gardens Conservation International and has established cooperation with 230 biological institutions in 40 countries of the world.