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11. Hortus Botanicus

Plantage Middenlaan 2a

In the 17th century, medicinal herbs were vital to Amsterdam’s health care. Therefore, when the Hortus was founded in 1638, it was logical that medicinal plants made up the core of the plant collection. This was known as the Hortus Medicus. The Hortus today features a unique garden of medicinal plants which were grown there in 1646, created by using their first catalogue.

Although cannabis is not currently grown in the gardens, it has been in the past – as is to be expected from one of the world’s most valuable medicinal plants.

The Hortus Botanicus is one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens. The gate here and the glass cupola inside date back to the early 18th century. They have a vast collection of plants and seeds, gathered from all over the world. This is simultaneously a testament of commitment to science, and a reminder of the Netherlands’ colonial past. Looking at the past of plants is just as important as looking at their future, something which the book Weed of Wonder perfectly illustrates!


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