The Department of Botany is housed in an old and historic building which was once the millitary hospital of the Drostdy barracks. The scenic garden of indigenous Eastern Cape plants is enclosed in the central courtyard (see gallery). While housed in a historic building, the Department of Botany is equipped with modern facilities. The Department houses two modern lecture theatres, two large undergraduate teaching laboratories, a smaller senior undergraduate laboratory (the Schonland Laboratory), and postgraduate laboratories. There is a dedicated student computer laboratory. The Department has considerable library holdings and subscribes to both local and international journals (to browse these, visit the library here).
The Department is equipped with modern research facilities that support the staff and their students' particular research interests. These include:
- An Iontophoresis laboratory designed for the visualisation of the cellular transport of fluorescent markers and the quantification of cellular electrophysiology.
- A molecular systematics laboratory equipped for DNA amplification quantification. In addition to which staff have access to a DNA sequencer on campus.
- Plant ecophysiology facilities capable of laboratory and field infra-red gas analysis, chlorophyll fluorescence and plant water measurements.
- Controlled plant growth facilities, in which plants can be grown at elevated atmospheric CO2 and temperature conditions. The Department also possesses greenhouse facilities.
- A biochemistry laboratory equipped with standard instrumentation including HPLC, GC, spectrophotometers and equipment necessary for radionuclides analysis.
- A herbarium (Selmar Schonland Herbarium) which houses approximately 200 000 plant specimens and has full time curatorial and research staff.
- Ecology and Evolution Laboratory.