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The Botanic Garden was started in 1912–13 under the supervision of the famous botanist Karl Malý (1874–1951). It has changed its appearance over time, but the main concept behind it, aside from minor alterations, is essentially unchanged. The garden's live collections are primarily designed as the objects of study for all branches of botany – from morphology and systematics to cytology and genetics, and especially for applied botany (agronomy, silviculture, floriculture, pharmacy, etc.). The garden’s role in the direct teaching of biology (botany) is obvious and important at all levels of education, from preschool to postgraduate, because lectures and books alone are inadequate for full understanding.
Today, several thousand specimens of around 1,700 species are cultivated in the Botanic Garden. There are around 750 specimens of trees and bushes, and the rest are annuals and perennials. The garden comprises the following plots: Shale Flora, Serpentine Soil Flora, Magnesian (Dolomitic) Limestone Flora, the Flora of the Limestone Mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Mt Trebević Flora, Cave Flora); the Flora of the Miljacka River Valley; Succulents; Mountain Swallow Hole Flora; Aquatic and Wetland Plants; the Fernery; Flora of Xerothermic Habitats; the Rockery; and the Arboretum.
The garden is interesting in all four seasons, but especially in springtime, when it turns into a veritable urban oasis of beauty and serenity.