Covering 3.5 hectares of the University of Pretoria's Hatfield west campus, the MvdS BG is part of the Department of Plant and Soil Science.
A botanic garden is a collection of living plants that are scientifically managed for the purposes of education, research, conservation and community service. The Manie van der Schijff Botanical Garden currently has about 3 000 plant species that cover approximately 3.5 hectares of the University's Hatfield campus. The primary aim of the garden is to raise awareness of southern Africa's indigenous flora through the dissemination and acquisition of botanical knowledge. This includes the provision of plant material for education and research purposes, the collection and propagation of rare and endangered species, as well as research into indigenous plant species with horticultural potential.
The Garden had its beginnings as far back as 1924 when Pavetta species were planted on the campus for research purposes. The real impetus came in the 1930s with Berend Elbrecht, a man with passion and enthusiasm for the southern African flora that lives on in the many large trees and cycad specimens that were planted during his time at the University. In 1986 the garden was named after Manie van der Schijff to honour the contributions that he made towards the development of the Garden. The Garden is run by a Garden Committee which is responsible for formulating and implementing policy.