The plant collections of the Viikki Arboretum are divided into taxonomical sections and five geographic collections: East Asia, Siberia, Europe, Western North America and Eastern North America.

In addition, there is a section for displaying native trees and shrubs. The Arboretum also features approximately 5 kilometers of nature trails.

Geographic collections

The geographic collections at the Viikki Arboretum feature plants from areas of the world where the climate is similar to Southern Finland. Helsinki has a warm-summer humid continental climate similar to Hokkaido in Japan or coastal Nova Scotia in Canada. Winters in Finland are cold and harsh, but the temperatures during the winter are not as low as the northern latitude (60°) might suggest as the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift Current continuously warm the region. The average temperature in January is around −5 °C (23 °F) and July 18°C (64 °F).

Find out more about the plants in different geographic collections in Pinkka (mainly in Finnish).

Taxonomic collections

Part of the collections at the Arboretum are organized according to scientific plant groups. Taxonomic collections are a good way to study plant genera and families. When related plants are grouped together it is easier to compare different species with each other. In the Viikki Arboretum there are, for example, separate areas for taxonomic collections of conifers, rose and willow families. In the meadow area grows groups of lindens, poplars, maples and hawthorns among others.

Find out more about the plants in different taxonomic groups in Pinkka (mainly in Finnish).

Other highlights

The Viikki Arboretum is serenely snuggled up between the fields of the University research farm and the nature reserve of Vanhankaupuginlahti bay. This whole area forms a green zone in the middle of Helsinki that attracts not only scientists, but also those who appreciate nature and the outdoors.

Fields and broad wetlands attract many bird species, more than 100 species are nesting in the area. The nature reserve is at its richest in spring time when flocks of migrating birds use the bay area as a resting place. The trees and shrubs offer food, roosting and nesting sites for a wide range of birds including thrush nightingales and woodpeckers.