On 10 June 1793, a decree by the Convention gave birth to the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, a direct descendant of the Jardin royal des Plantes médicinales (Royal Garden of Medicinal Plants) created in 1635. This great institution for scientific research and dissemination of knowledge today groups 12 sites in France and has five major functions. Versailles-Chèvreloup Arboretum is one of these sites.
Statutes and activities
In 1927 a decree allotted Versailles-Chèvreloup Arboretum to the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. It hosts a collection of more than 2,500 species and varieties of trees and shrubs and constitutes one of the finest collections of trees in Continental Europe.
Chèvreloup has three essential functions:
- Conservation: by hosting rare tree species, the Arboretum participates in the preservation of species by its involvement in programs such as the International Conifer Conservation Program, centralized by the Edinburgh Garden.
- Dissemination of knowledge: the Arboretum offers a unique and astonishing planted landscape where the visitor may ramble and the botanist may observe rare species. Awe is the prelude to knowledge and it raises the public’s awareness about the preservation of nature.
- Research: The importance and diversity of Chèvreloup’s collections comprise a useful reference for botanists as well as professionals in agronomy and horticultural selection.