The research on medicinal plants at Kaunas Botanical Garden of Vytautas Magnus University has started in 1924. The research problems and topics underwent considerable changes in the long period of 84 years, however main initial goals are still of high interest in our days. The main goal of medicinal plant investigation is to enrich local flora with new species and varieties that can be valuable for pharmaceutical and food industry. The introduction and acclimatization of new medicinal and aromatic plants from various geographical regions and selecting the most perspective species and varieties is aimed to protect genetic resources and biodiversity. Knowledge about specific properties of medicinal plants is essential while developing recommendations for producers of medicinal plant stock as well as for formulation of new concepts for planting, growing and analysis of medicinal plants.
These collections have been changed during years: the location, size, number of species and varieties, classification and growing schemes varied in different periods.
For the moment the collections-expositions of medicinal plants contain 419 species, which belong to 290 genera and 90 families. Their classification is based on bioactive compounds synthesized in plants. 26 species belongs to the category of protected and rare plants. The collections-expositions of spices-melliferous plants contain 134 species, that belong to 99 genera and 34 families. The collection of hops contains 30 varieties, one hybrid and 19 wild individuals.
Research topic: Introduction and acclimatisation of species and varieties of medicinal and aromatic plants, investigation of their diversity, protection and development of their genetic resources in Central Lithuania.
The collections-expositions are part of Lithuanian national gene fund and play important role in education of students, PhD students and herbal professionals.