Wednesday 9 March 2011

Biotope design in Norway

Last week I was invited to Norway in order to deliver two lectures about biotope design in parks and gardens. The first evening I visited Blomstevenners klubb in Oslo, a society with members of house & garden owners interested in gardening, flowers and all kind of plants on a rather advanced level. It turned out to be a cozy and amusing evening, with many questions and even a tasty cup of tea afterwards.

The members of the Blomstervenners klubb are gathering and chatting before the lecture

After the lecture we had coffee and tea and a lottery was hold with indoor plants as prizes

The next day I took a short walk from my hotel situated close to the railway station through the central parts of Oslo to the Botanical Garden and the Zoological Museum. This time of the year the garden was covered by a thick layer of snow, but inside the small greenhouses it of course was much warmer.

In the outdoor garden I found a tree with an interesting label on the trunk. It was obvious that it was a maple tree, Acer platanoides, but at the label it instead was written Oxyporus populinus. This is the Latin name of a fungus called mossy maple polypore in English and lönnticka in Swedish. It attacks living trees and particularly maples. According to the benefit of dead wood for the biodiversity in the garden discussed earlier on this blog it is positive to find fungi labeled as well, not only the trees themselves.

The Botanical garden and the Zoological museum are ruled by the University of Oslo

Mossy Maple Polypore, Oxyporus populinus on a Acer platanoides

Selaginella is here representing the Devon era

In the palm house the plants are arranged according to their evolutionary development, with examples from different geological eras. Among others there are species of genus as Equisetum, Dicksonia and Cycas.

The old Victoria waterlily greenhouse

Amorphophallus konjac in the Victoria house

In the zoological museum has several biotopes been created behind glass. All geographical regions of animals are represented, sometimes even with more than one biotope. Of course the show cases are too crowded with animals to look natural, but the displays are well made and also very interesting to watch. 


  1. The Victorian greenhouse, with a tall chimney, because they once burned coal or wood for heating? Good to see that human history as well.

  2. Yes, probably they used wood or charcoal for heating the houses during winter time.