The WeeCAIR Medicinal Garden

Where do medicines come from? Many medicines that are used today come from the active ingredients found in plants that would have been used in traditional herbal remedies. The well-known painkiller, aspirin comes from willow bark, and artemisinins the malaria treatment, comes from sweet wormwood.
We are creating a public garden with many of these types of plants. All the plants in the garden have an active ingredient which medicine is made from. Our garden shows the history of medicine as well as how plants today are still being researched to help create new medicines. Although we don’t focus primarily on natural products, many of our visiting students from disease-endemic countries do. Some of them work in identifying the active ingredients within native plants.
3D Image of Physic Garden
A 'Mock-Up' 3D image of what the Physic Garden may look like.


Our garden will be located outside of LifeSpace Gallery.  We hope that the garden will help bring this area of campus to life. It will increase awareness of the research going on and also the gallery too.
We hope the garden will provide a relatable starting point for people to understand how science affects everyone’s lives. We also hope it might spark an interest in finding out more about the science and how to grow your own herbal garden.
Our scientists will gain an opportunity to connect with communities. We’re hoping the garden will help them build relationships and learn from our communities and make new friends.


This is a joint project between the team within WCAIR and the University of Dundee Botanic Gardens. The Curator of the Botanic Gardens, Kevin Frediani is working closely with the WCAIR team.
Planting has begun! We have created digital mock-ups of what the garden might look like when finished. It’s designed to be as accessible and low maintenance as possible. There will be no mowing needed and the bases of the planters are water permeable. The raised beds and flat surroundings mean that they will be easily accessible and an enjoyable place to visit.
Our team has been visiting the botanic gardens and helping with the potting of some of the plants for the garden. We’ll be checking up on their progress to see when they get put into the garden.
Sketch Illustration Mock up of the Physic Garden