General Informations

View over Innsbruck at Mount Patscherkofel

The Patscherkofel, the southern mountain landmark of Innsbruck is clearly identifiable from the Inn Valley due to its rounded hill-like appearance. The mountain lies 5 kilometres south of Innsbruck on the north eastern border of the Wipp Valley. The peak rises to 2246 metres above sea level. The Alpine Garden lies at about 2000 metres. The steeply sloping garden area is to be found on the tree line and faces northwest with a varying gradient.  
The garden is to be found next to the mountain station of the Patscherkofel cable car and is easily and quickly accessible. From June to the end of September the Alpine Garden can be visited free of charge.
Surface Area
The partly very steep garden comprises 1,5 hectares, of which 500 square metres are reserved for scientific experiments - these are is not accessible to the public.

View into the Alpine Garden with Innsbruck in the background

It was initially planned to leave the natural vegetation of the terrain undisturbed and to enrich this area with further appropriate species. In order to be able to introduce plants from lime rich soil the garden was fitted with a chalk stone group.
Since 1930 the garden has been fenced in and thus many species that have become rare on the Patscherkofel could be protected from the effects of grazing.
The naturally available vegetation types such as timber forest, dwarf shrub heath, alpine herb field or green alder bushes are to be pointed out to the interested visitor along the labelled exploration path and provide food for thought. The aim is to further an understanding of the sensitive ecological balance of these ecologies threatened substantially by the development of the alpine regions.
The modern laboratory built in 1994 allows scientists to conduct their research throughout the year and provide tuition.

Identification - Lables
Carl von Linné, a Swedish natural scientist, physician and botanist, introduced the binary nomenclature in the 17th century, according to which every animal and plant name exists as a definition of genus and species (genus et differentia specifica). This Latin double name alone allows an exact and unambiguous identification of particular species. Popular terminology does not distinguish clearly and confuses similar looking plants (e.g. Cobbler's Nail> Schusternagele) or gives the same name to two different plants (e.g. Speik >Spike Lavender).

On the plaques identifying the individual plants the Latin double name is given first, followed by the name of the botanist who first provided a scientific description of the plant (e.g. L. for Linné) and then the German name. If a plant is poisonous and/or protected, this will be indicated at the bottom of the plaque. The concept ‘protected’ is based on the criteria which are used in the alpine region also outside the nature reserves. On the large plaques the plant community and the preferred habitat in the Alps is briefly mentioned. Below occurrence beyond the Alps is indicated.

The Alpine Garden is part of the Botanical Gardens of Innsbruck University and is managed from there.
Head of the Alpine Garden:
Peter Daniel Schlorhaufer  E-mail:

Gtm. Stephan Ritzenfeld    E-mail:

Botanical Garden and Alpine Garden Mt.Patscherkofel
Department of Botany
University Innsbruck
Sternwartestraße 15
A-6020 Innsbruck

Tel: +43 512 507-51110
Fax: +43 512 507-51199

© 2013 Botanischer Garten Universität Innsbruck
Fotos and Text:Peter Daniel Schlorhaufer
All texts under the titel "The Life of Alpine Plants" have been written by Univ.Prof. H.Reisigl and originate from the following books:
REISIGL H. & R. KELLER (1987): Alpenpflanzen im Lebensraum. Gustav-Fischer
Verlag, Stuttgart, New York. 149 pp.
REISIGL H. & R. KELLER (1989): Lebensraum Bergwald. Gustav-Fischer Verlag,
Stuttgart, New York. 144 pp.

Nach oben scrollen