Sites of Interest & Recommended Route

Sites of Interest & Recommended Route


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“The arboretum is just like a jewel box: [it is] small but every one of its pieces is worth a treasure.” This often-cited words by Johann Gerd Krüssmann (1910–1980), a well-known authority on dendrology, recited these oft-cited words when he visited the Arboretum during an international meeting.

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The lookout tower reaching above the canopy here is a unique piece of architectural imagination that mimics the structure of a conifer cone.

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The lookout tower offers a panoramic view of a landscape sprinkled with “island volcanos”. Lava that erupted from a depth of up to 50 km formed flat caps with fascinating organ pipes . The hard stone protected the original level of the Pannonian Sea’s uplifted sand layers, which elsewhere were eroded down to the current lake level. The largest and tallest is Badacsony (on the right); it is 11 km in circumference and the highest point is 438 m.

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A fascinating specimen of Atlas cedar – Cedrus atlantica – in the arboretum. All the younger, natural forms of Atlas cedars here are offspring of the original, 1905 introduction.

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An Atlas cedar – Cedrus atlantica – stand in the arboretum; several of the stands planted in Hungary were from seeds collected here at the Folly Arboretum.

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Uniquely for Central Europe, all 25 cypress species and their 3 varieties are represented in the Folly Arboretum. Among them, there are beautiful groups of mature Italian cypresses (Cupressus sempervirens) and a beautiful specimen of Arizona cypress (C. arizonica) as well. Among the American cypresses that are less widely known in cultivation you will find MacNab cypress (C. macnabiana), Gowen cypress (C. goveniana) and Cuyamaca cypress (C. stephensonii); among the Asian cypresses are Kashmir cypress (C. cashmeriana), Himalayan cypress (C. torulosa), Ducloux cypress (C. duclouxiana) and a specimen of the Chinese Weeping cypress (C. funebris) that is over 50 years old.


The Coulter pine (Pinus coulteri) is one of the original introductions by the founder, Gyula Folly, in 1905; thus, one of the first Coulter pines in Central Europe was grown here on the hill of Örs. Currently there are two cone-bearing specimens here, both are offspring of the original tree. Native to the coastal mountains of California and Baja California, where its cones can reach 45 cm and a fresh weight of 5 kg, Coulter pine has the bulkiest and heaviest cones of any Northern Hemisphere conifer

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There are several Lacebark pines (Pinus bungeana) in the arboretum with well-developed trunk systems and colorful bark patterns, these decorate the trails nicely. In this species, after the leathery bark plates detach, the bark changes from pale yellow to green and shades of gray.

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You will find  useful illustrated species plates located along the arboretum’s trails. Want more information? There is a QR code on each plate.

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The larger genera of conifers (or those well represented in the arboretum), such as Abies, Cedrus, Cupressus, Juniperus, Picea, and Pinus are introduced on genus-summary plates along the trails. (The plates include a summary in English and bilingual captions.)

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The arboretum has about 400 different kinds of conifers and 200 broad leaved trees and shrubs. Guided tours are popular year round, particularly from early spring to late autumn.

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The trail loops reach up to the native forest vegetation at the top of the hill. Having developed on shallow, stony, silicate soils of Permian sandstone, this vegetation is unique in the environs of the predominantly limestone and dolomite hills of the Balaton upland. The acidofilous species here include Sticky Catchfly (Viscaria vulgaris) and wavy Hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) – both pictured in the photograph – and silkyleaf broom (Genista pilosa) in the spring and common heather (Calluna vulgaris) in late summer.