The Association


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 About V.B.T.A.

The Belgian Association of Botanic Gardens and Arboreta (V.B.T.A.) comprises 23 gardens in Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

The gardens all vary in their collection, biodiversity, size and presentation. The V.B.T.A. unites these 23 unique gardens and supports its members in their work and initiatives. The association protects the interests of its members where possible and necessary and contributes to awareness of the 23 botanic gardens and arboreta. The V.B.T.A. helps spread botanic knowledge and diversity and fosters nature conservation and the protection of green spaces at home and abroad.

Mutual cooperation between the members is also strongly encouraged. The V.B.T.A. organises joint activities for the personnel and volunteers who work in the gardens and arboreta. Each year, there is a get-together and staff have regular opportunities to train together as garden guides. The location for these activities is always one of the members' gardens.

Our staff

  • Gardeners
  • Curators
  • Botanists
  • Botanic Garden guides
  • Experts Plant Identification
  • administration


  • weeding
  • collecting seeds
  • mounting herbarium specimens
  • photographing plants
  • technical garden guides


  • molecular research
  • reconstruction of the evolution of plant groups
  • fieldwork
  • plant winter hardiness
  • the invasive character of exotics

Our activities

  • training to be a botanic garden guide
  • guided tours
  • plant fairs
  • exchange days
  • volunteers' day / gardeners' day
  • exhibitions


The association was established in 1987, under the name BBTA, on the initiative of professors Petit and Van der Veken, during an informal meeting at the International Botanic Congress in Berlin.

During the general meeting in 1990, in the Ghent Botanic Garden, the articles of association were drawn up and it was decided to change the name to V.B.T.A.

The V.B.T.A.'s profile developed further from the end of 1999 onwards. The idea was to establish more joint objectives and activities and ways of exchanging information on collections. The first botanic garden guide training course was set up in 1998 and, in 2000, that course was evaluated and further expanded in cooperation with the V.B.T.A. members. Another activity that continues to this day is the visits by the various V.B.T.A. members to each other's gardens. Since 1999, the V.B.T.A. has also been represented at meetings of the European Botanic Gardens Consortium.

In 2001, the first initiatives were taken for the Plantcol project.


  • Ernest Petit (1987-1990)
  • Edmond Lammens (1990-1993)
  • Karel Otten (1993-2000)
  • Jan Rammeloo (2000-2011)
  • Paul Goetghebeur (2011-present)


  • Harry Van Trier (1987-1992 ) (end date unclear)
  • Paul Uyttebroeck (1992-2010) (end date unclear)
  • Koen Camelbeke (2010-present)

Become a member

Botanic gardens and arboreta with collections of any size and scope and with a scientific and/or educational value are eligible to become members of the association, as long as they fulfil a number of essential conditions.

  1. The collection must be regularly accessible to the public
  2. the botanic garden or arboretum must be/become active in the functioning of the VBTA
  3. the plants must be properly labelled
  4. there must be a digital databank of the collection
  5. Organizational structure that ensures stability in the future (e.g. legal entities or government services)

Members must attend meetings and are entitled to vote.

The annual subscription is €65 (one site) or €100 (several sites).

If you are interested, please submit your application in writing to