Jardin Botanique Alpin du Lautaret, Villar-d'Arene

#9 of 60 in Parks in Hautes-Alpes
Garden · Nature / Park
The Lautaret Alpine Garden (Jardin botanique alpin du Lautaret) (2 hectares) is an alpine botanical garden located at 2100 metres altitude in the Col du Lautaret of the Dauphiné Alps, near Villar-d'Arêne, Hautes-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France. It is part of the List of Remarkable Gardens of France certified by the Ministry of Culture (France).
Today the garden contains more than 2,300 species of alpine plants from around the world and a herbarium of 15 000 plants collected over the last 150 years. The garden continues to be managed by the Université Grenoble Alpes as it has since its creation. Plants are presented in rockeries (4500 m²) corresponding to four major themes: geographical origin, habitat, properties, and taxonomy.

The garden was created in 1899 by combined effort of the Touring Club de France, Professor Jean-Paul Lachmann of the Université scientifique de Grenoble, and M. Bonnabel, local hotelier. It was moved in 1919 to make way for a new road, and is now sited with excellent views of the Meije glaciers. The garden was abandoned during World War II, subsequently restored by Robert Ruffier-Lanche, declined again after his death in 1973, and revived in the early 1980s. In 1998 it was recognized by the Conservatoire des Collections Végétales Spécialisées (CCVS), and in 2005 it became a part of the Joseph Fourier Alpine Station.

Joseph Fourier Alpine Station is a research and teaching institution of the university. The garden thus serves as a field base for scientific research, Masters and PhD programs, and field internships. Among its facilities the garden has two chalets for researchers and equipment, a research lab, a workshop, an experimental garden and an experimental nursery. An Alpine Gallery was constructed in 2016 to expand additional space for visitors and researchers.
The garden is also open to general public in the warmer months; an admission fee is charged.

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Jardin Botanique Alpin du Lautaret reviews

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86 reviews
  • Beautiful gardens in an idyllic setting with the Grande Ruine as a backdrop. Plant labelling a little chaotic in places and flowers probably at their best slightly earlier (eg June, beginning...  more »
  • Very pretty place. With covid there were no guided visits which was a shame and would have made the place more interesting. The col du Lautaret is a Tour de France legend and a beautiful place once...  more »
  • Beautiful landscapes
  • Un jardin super agréable avec de superbes fleurs, plantes, arbres que l'on découvre à travers des petits sentiers au fil de l'eau. Visite libre ou avec guide (gratuit) pour ceux qui veulent en savoir beaucoup plus. Visite très agréable en famille. Je conseil vivement la visite

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