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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Life Science - Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture

International Phenological Gardens

The International Phenological Gadens (IPG) are a European and individual network within the Phenology Study Group of the International Society of Biometeorology (ISB). The network was founded in 1957 by F. Schnelle and E. Volkert. It works on an honorary basis.


The idea of the International Phenological Gardens was to do large-scale and standardized phenological observations. Therefore all IPGs are situated in similar surroundings (mainly plain surface with meadows and some trees), they have a detailed observation-guide and they are professionally looked after by the staff of the institutes, botanical gardens etc. In order to eliminate the hereditary variability, cloned species of all trees and shrubs have been planted in the IPGs. Therefore it was necessary to establish a parent garden doing the vegetative propagation, breeding, and dispatch. In the vicinity of a phenological garden an official met station should be placed.

Aim: The international observation programme is focused on possible impacts of climate change on forest-ecosystems. Scientific aims are:

  • Monitoring of environmental changes,
  • Climate-impact studies,
  • Development of phenological models,
  • Calibration of remotely sensed data,
  • Calculation of phenological maps.

Observation Network:

The current network ranges across 28 latitudes from Scandinavia to Macedonia and across 37 longitudes from Ireland to Finland in the north and from Portugal to Macedonia in the south. It consists of 89 gardens in 19 European countries (state 2010).

Observation Programme:

Since 2000, the observation programme includes 21 plant species (kernel programme).

Observed phenological stages:

  • BO: Beginning of leaf-unfolding
  • M: May shoot
  • J: St. John's sprout
  • B: Beginning of flowering
  • AB: General flowering
  • F: First ripe fruits
  • LV: Autumn colouring
  • BF: Leaf fall

Steering and Coordination:

Humboldt-University of Berlin
Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture
Professorship of Agricultural Climatology
Prof. Dr. Frank-M. Chmielewski
Albrecht-Thaer Weg 5
D-14195 Berlin
Phone.: +49 30 31471210
Fax.:     +49 30 31471211
E-Mail: chmielew@agrar.hu-berlin.de