In the 17th century, medicinal herbs were vital to the city’s health care. Therefore, when the Hortus was founded in 1638, medicinal plants made up the core of the plant collection. In our Snippendaal garden you will still find the species of plants that were used for the education of doctors and pharmacists in the 17th century.
In 1646, Johannes Snippendaal was appointed as prefect (director) of the Hortus Medicus Amsterdam. In that same year he managed to catalogue the entire collection of the Hortus. By the end of that year, he counted 796 different plant species, the majority of which were medicinal plants, but special ornamental plants were also included. By making this list, he wrote the first catalogue of the Hortus Medicus Amsterdam.
The collection you see today is an offical expert collection of the Hortus in Amsterdam for the National Plant Collection, and called ‘The 17th century pharmacopoeia of Amsterdam’.