Komarov Botanical Institute
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Komarov Botanical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences is one of the oldest scientific institutions in Russia. It was founded in 1714 (according to other sources — at the end of 1713) by Emperor Peter The First as a Pharmaceutical Garden («Aptekarsky ogorod»). Initially, its goal was to grow medicinal plants for the needs of the army, but already in the first decades of his activity, scientific collections were laid and scientific work began.

In the 18th century, the Pharmaceutical Garden was also called the Medical Garden. At the end of the 18th century, it was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Medico-Surgical Academy (now the Kirov Military Medical Academy) and became its Botanical Garden. In 1823, at the suggestion of an outstanding statesman, Prince Kochubey, it was reorganized into the Imperial Botanical Garden, which began to develop rapidly and soon became one of the leading botanical institutions in Europe and the world. In 1913, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of its founding, the Imperial Botanical Garden was named after Peter the Great. After the October Revolution, in 1918, it became known as the Main Botanical Garden of the RSFSR, from 1925 — the Main Botanical Garden of the USSR, and in 1930 it was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.

Another predecessor of the institute is the botanical collections of the Kunstkamera, created in 1714. During the 18th century, the Kunstkamera and then the Academy of Sciences received numerous botanical samples, including materials from numerous «academic expeditions» that explored the then almost untouched nature of Asian Russia. In 1823, these collections were allocated for separate storage, which laid the foundation for the Botanical Museum of the Imperial Academy of Sciences.

Thus, in the 19th - first third of the 20th century, 2 botanical institutions existed in St. Petersburg — Leningrad: the Botanical Garden (on Aptekarsky Island) and the Botanical Museum (on Vasilievsky Island). These institutions were merged in 1931 into the Botanical Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences, which became the country's leading botanical institution. In 1940 he was named after the outstanding Russian botanist Vladimir Komarov.

Currently, the institute includes 20 scientific departments, teams of employees of which conduct research in almost all major areas of modern botany and mycology in the areas of 52 «Biological Diversity», 51 «Ecology of Organisms and Communities», 50 «Biology of Development and Evolution of Living Systems» and 53 «General Genetics» of the Basic Research Plan of the Russian Academy of Sciences Basic Research Programs of the State Academies of Sciences for 2013–2020.

The main directions of the Institute's activities are:

  • taxonomy, phylogeny, evolution and ecology of plants and fungi;
  • modern and fossil flora of Russia and foreign countries;
  • structure, dynamics and ecology of plant communities, their classification and mapping;
  • structural and functional organization, developmental biology and reproduction of plants and fungi;
  • plant introduction, botanical resource science;
  • plant protection;
  • preservation, replenishment and scientific processing of the collection funds of the Institute;
  • promotion of botanical knowledge.