Copyright by: Harald Knitter/Wilhelma ©

Spring is moving in quickly at the Wilhelma; the milder weather has caused the blossoms of the Azaleas to literally explode inside the historic greenhouse, and in the Moorish Garden, the first blossoms of the Magnolia trees are starting to open.

In the changing greenhouse, which is attached to the historic winter garden, the Azaleas are showing off their best. The Wilhelma has, with close to 50 different varieties, one of the most important Azalea collections within Germany. They are all descendants of the original plants that were imported from Japan and China to Europe at the end of the 17th century. Gardeners bred about 2,000 different species with them, but, sadly, a large part of them has since disappeared. In Germany there are only about 700 breeds registered. Visitors can admire those exotic beauties with their deep red and pink flowers until around the middle of April. Amongst them are still breeds that originate from the collection of King Wilhelm the First and have been cared for at the Wilhelma for about 170 years.

The zoologic-botanical garden in Stuttgart also owns a broad spectrum of magnolias with over 30 kinds and species, and all of them bloom one after the other. The Moorish Garden, the largest of its kind north of the Alps- located in the heart of the building compound, is presently the meeting point of countless flower fans and hobby photographers from all over.

The largest magnolia orchard north of the Alps still owns twelve trees from the same time period as the historic azaleas. Those, and 58 additional magnolias in the orchard and another 20 trees spread out within the park, have been exhilarated to open their blossoms by the beautiful weather.

Nature follows a strict choreography when it comes to the appearance of the blooming special guests. The start was set off by the white star magnolias. Next in line are the tulip magnolias in pink white.  Now the purple magnolias with their powerful color follow. With only two weeks of stunning blossoms, the second half has just begun. The limited time and intensive delight lets visitors observe how the star magnolias expand into a flower carpet. Also, the first, fresh green is sprouting between the blossoms on the branches of the tulip magnolias, all while the purple magnolias celebrate their big gala show in front of the scenic backdrop of the oriental architecture featured by the country house, the pavilion and the glass domes of the greenhouses.

There are quite a few solo players spread throughout the park. Altogether the Wilhelma has over 100 magnolias, like the evergreen magnolias and the striking cucumber magnolia in front of the Aquarium. Additionally, there are the relatives, the American tulip tree and a Chinese tulip tree.

If possible, it is recommended to visit the Wilhelma using public transport; the tram U14 stops right in front of the main entrance. The stop “Rosensteinbruecke” for the line U13 and the busses 52 and 56 is only a short 200 meter walk from the main entrance.

The Wilhelma is open during April starting at 8:30am until 7:30pm. The entrance closes at 5:30pm.

Copyright by: Harald Knitter/Wilhelma ©