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Botanical Gardens

These listings represent just a very few of the many botanical gardens in the world. The quality of their web sites varies widely, and some gardens have difficulty maintaining their sites, but the gardens themselves are nonetheless worth visiting. Some of the gardens here are among the largest and most prestigious, while others are much smaller, more intimate gardens that are gems in their own right.

If you have a favorite botanical garden that you don't see listed, let us know at and we'll add it to our list.


Australia
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Alice Springs Desert Park Deep in the Outback, this is a garden well worth visiting, for the wildlife as well as the plants. The plant collection is made up entirely of native Australian species, although at present few of the plants are labelled. Established 1997

Australian Inland Botanic Gardens This is another Outback garden, established in 1989. This garden is run by committee, but nonetheless seems to function. In fact, it seems to run very well. It is a young operation with a lot of promise. Plant labelling is an ongoing project with around 50% of specimens labelled.

Australian National Botanic Gardens This site is a good place to start if you don't have a specific garden you want to see in Australia. A very comprehensive site, though a little bit of a challenge to navigate. You'll be rewarded with a wealth of information at every turn.

The Botanic Gardens of Adelaide A well developed site that covers three botanic gardens which have served the community of South Australia for more than 140 years. The three botanic gardens, Adelaide, Mount Lofty and Wittunga are well represented in the web site, with a wealth of information on the gardens' history, programs and plant collections.

Ferns of the Canberra Region This website is about the wild ferns in this part of south-eastern Australia: where they grow; their ecology; with many photographs and detailed descriptions. A good site to visit if you are planning a photographic safari in the region.

Fruit Spirit Botanical Garden This is a private operation, run by Paul Recher. It's amazing what he has done with his 34 ha site in NE New South Wales. His Seed Exchange is remarkable for its scope.

Norfolk Island Botanic Gardens The Plants of Special Interest page is well worth a look.

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Actually two gardens, Melbourne and Cranbourne. A good mix of technical and basic information.

Botanic Gardens Trust As well as the garden in Royal Botanic Gardens & Domian in Sydney, this site includes the botanic gardens at Mt. Tomah and Mt. Annan. If you have heard of the recent discovery of the living fossil, the Wollemi Pine then this is the place you'll want to visit for more information.

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens is Australia's second oldest botanic garden (est. 1818) and is an outstanding cool climate botanic garden. They have an active conservation program whereby seeds and cuttings are collected from the wild, plants propagated at the nursery in the Gardens and finally in the case of threatened species, new plants are replanted in the wild.

Warrnambool Botanic Garden One of the country's oldest gardens, Warrnambool was established circa 1859.


Austria
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The Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna Good information in English for planning a visit, but detailed and technical information is only available in German. A good selection of links to other Austrian botanical gardens - in German.


Belgium
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National Botanic Garden of Belgium A curious example of a botanical garden that is older than country itself. Good information about the garden in general, and a fascinating page on its' history.

Plantentuin van de Universiteit Gentent A new website for a wonderful garden.
Also helpful is Ghent : The Botanical Garden of the University - A page in the Belgium Travel Network, but enough detailed information if you're planning a visit.


Canada
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Canadian Botanical Conservation Network This site is comprehensive to the point of distraction. But, if you have the time, you should visit a few of the other sites listed among the thousands of links they have. Below are a few Canadian garden links of particular interest.

Butchart Gardens What started out as a limestone quarry at the turn of the last century, has grown into one of the world's premier display gardens. A beautiful site, both literally and virtually. Excellent information for planning a visit to the garden and surrounding region.

Devonian Botanic Garden A detailed site with extensive information about the garden and its' various research projects. A good place to visit for ideas about plants tolerant of northern prairie conditions.

Montréal Botanical Garden With its collection of 21,000 plant species and cultivars, 10 exhibition greenhouses, some thirty thematic gardens, and teams of researchers and activities staff, the Montréal Botanical Garden ranks as one of the world's largest and most spectacular botanical gardens. The Chinese garden, the Bamboo in Daily Life pages, and the Japanese Garden are all represented by well developed virtual tours. The award winning site is available in French and English versions, although many of the extensive plant profiles are in French only. C'est domage.

The Public Gardens of Royal Roads University This historic garden, near Victoria, on Vancouver Island, is going through something of a renaissance with the development of its web site and with the development of a new flower and garden show. Check their site for the latest updates.

The Royal Botanical Gardens A well designed site with plenty of information about the garden.

University of British Columbia Botanical Gardens The garden contains one of the most extensive collections of Himalayan and Asian plants in North America. Labelling is sporadic. The Nitobe Memorial Garden is a traditional Japanese garden just down the road for the botanical gardens.

VanDusen Botanical Garden This is an alternate site to the one listed in the Canadian Botanical Conservation Network listings. This garden was established in 1975 and has been well developed since. The garden has Canada's largest collection of rhododendrons. Over 90% of the plants are labelled, which is remarkable since less than half a dozen volunteers (out of an astounding 1200 volunteers) actually do the labelling. The VanDusen Seed Collectors' Seed Store is where the volunteer seed collectors at the Garden sell their seeds to raise funds for the Garden.


China
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While there are many thousands of gardens in China, few of them have links on the web, and even fewer with sites in English. The following is a list of the gardens we've found so far.

Beijing Botanical Garden was established in 1955. It covers a large area of 564,000 square metres. The gardens include a dozen exhibition districts and halls, such as the tree garden, a perennial bulb garden, a rose garden, a peony garden, a traditional Chinese medical herb garden, a wild fruit resources district, an environment protection plant district, a water and vine plant district, an endangered plant district, and exhibition greenhouses for tropical and subtropical plants. There are several Buddhist temples located within the botanic gardens.

Yuan Ming Yuan (Garden of Perfect Brightness) This is one of the legendary Imperial Gardens of China. Destroyed in 1860, the garden is now being reclaimed and rebuilt, and this web site is designed to track the project.


Costa Rica
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Arenal Botanical Gardens Over 2200 collected species of tropical plants with some seeds available for mail-order.


Denmark
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Royal Horticultural Garden Copenhagen Good basic information about the garden. The seed list is by species alone with no descriptions.

University of Copenhagen Botanic Garden Site in both English and Danish. A good site with information on the garden, its history and the research being conducted in the garden.


Finland
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Botanical Garden University of Helsinki

University of Oulu Botanical Gardens


France
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Claude Monet's House and Garden The legendary garden.


Germany
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The Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin-Dahlem

Bonn University Botanic Garden

Botaischer Garten München - Nymphenburg


Netherlands
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Botanical Garden of the University of Nijmegen


Thailand
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Botanical Gardens & Arboreta

Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden


United Kingdom
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Biddulph Grange Garden Designed in the mid-19th century by James Bateman to display specimens from his extensive and wide-ranging plant collection, the garden is set out in a series of connected 'compartments'. Visitors are taken on a journey of discovery through tunnels and pathways to individual gardens inspired by countries around the world – from the tranquility of a Chinese garden or an Egyptian Court to a formal Italian garden.

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens The Birmingham Botanical Gardens were opened in 1832. They were designed by J. C. Loudon, a leading garden planner, horticultural journalist and publisher.

Chelsea Physic Garden Situated in the heart of London, this 'Secret Garden' is a centre of education, beauty and relaxation. Founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries, it continues to research the properties, origins and conservation of over 5000 species.

Dorothy Clive Garden The Dorothy Clive Garden is intimate and informal. It embraces a variety of landscape features, including a superb woodland garden, an alpine scree, gravel garden and many fine mixed borders
Visitors will discover the great variety of form and colour and the fine views of the surrounding hilly countryside. The plant enthusiast will find many unusual species.

University of Durham Botanic Garden

The Eden Project 'In a vast china clay pit in Cornwall, the Eden Project is creating an organic living theatre to tell the stories of plants and people.' This is one of the most incredible botanical projects ever undertaken. The web site gives the visitor just a hint of the wonders to be seen under the gossamer thin roof that stretches down a serpentine valley in Cornwall. Superlatives fail to describe the project.

Flora Celtica - Plants and People in Celtic Europe Not a botanical garden, admittedly, but a fascinating project to track the traditional relationship between people and plants in various countries.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh was founded in the 17th century on an area the size of a tennis court. It now extends to 31 hectares (at Inverleith in Edinburgh), incorporates Specialist Gardens at three very different locations in Scotland (Younger, Logan and Dawyck; 50ha, 12ha and 25ha), and is one of the world's finest botanic gardens. Read the latest press release here...


CENTENARY OF INTREPID ADVENTURER

The life of George Forrest – Scotland 's Indiana Jones of the plant world, – will be celebrated in a forthcoming book and an exhibition at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh [RBGE] . In the centenary year of his first expedition to China , the exhibition, which is on in RBGE's Exhibition Hall from 3 April until 27 June 2004, will include the first-ever public showing of recently discovered film footage shot by Forrest. In early May, it will be followed by the launch of most comprehensive book on Forrest to date. Written by Brenda McLean and entitled George Forrest, Plant Hunter , the book provides a detailed history of his life and includes rare access to family archives as well as extensive material provided by RBGE.
... Press Release

The Ness Botanic Gardens Ness Botanic Gardens was born of one man's passionate interest in plants and his desire to share that interest with others. When the Liverpool cotton merchant Arthur Kilpin Bulley began to create a garden in 1898, part of which he opened to local residents, he laid the foundations of one of the major botanic gardens in the United Kingdom. Bulley had a major influence on modern gardens by sponsoring some of the expeditions of George Forrest, Frank Kingdon-Ward and others.

The University of Oxford Botanic Garden One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world.

'In nearly four centuries a Garden gathers a great deal of history and much of this history can be illustrated by the plants and buildings that give the Garden its unique atmosphere.

The original benefaction of £5,000 from Sir Henry Danvers was enough to build the Walls and Archways but not to employ anyone to cultivate the Garden and Jacob Bobart, the first Horti Praefectus, had to fund the plantings out of his personal earnings from several taverns in Oxford, and the first coffee shop to open in England. Bobart’s son, also Jacob, started the annual botanic garden seed exchange by which many gardens, including this one, acquire seeds of new species that they want to grow. Read more ...

Harcourt Arboretum Six miles south of Oxford is the Harcourt Arboretum, an integral part of the plant collection of the Botanic Garden.

Royal Botanic Garden Kew This could well be the greatest botanical garden in the world. With former directors like Sir Joseph Banks and Sir Joseph Hooker as past directors, this garden has been one of the most important influences on plant exploration for more than two centuries. Add to that a highly developed and informative web site, and you have the premier place for plant lovers and explorers to visit, in both the real and virtual worlds.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens Situated two miles north-east of the historic market town of Romsey in the county of Hampshire, southern England, the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens (formerly known as the Hillier Arboretum) are named in memory of their founder, the late Sir Harold Hillier (1905-1985), a member of the nursery family

St Andrews Botanic Garden Not the golf course, but a hidden gem of a garden in Scotland.

Tresco Abbey Gardens 'Augustus Smith created Tresco Abbey Gardens in 1834 around the remains of the 12th Century St Nicholas Priory. They are one of the most remarkable subtropical gardens in the world. Here is contained a unique collection of plants, many of which are too tender for outdoor cultivation on the British mainland. Tresco Abbey Gardens flourish in the warm Gulf Stream climate and are regarded by botanists as one of the most interesting and varied botanical experiments in the world. '

Ventnor Botanic Garden Ventnor Botanic Garden is one of the youngest botanic gardens in Britain. The Late Sir Harold Hillier, the internationally famous plantsman of Winchester, played an important role in the creation of the garden. The limiting factors of the 22 acre site, shallow alkaline soil and salt laden winds from the south and west, were dealt with by a careful selection of plants. The web site is small, but well constructed and informative.


United States
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The Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University. Plenty to see and do, both at the web site and in the real world.

Atlanta Botanical Garden 'The Atlanta Botanical Garden was incorporated in 1976 to develop and maintain plant collections for the purpose of display, education, research, conservation and enjoyment. The Garden features 15 acres of outdoor display gardens, the Upper Woodland showcasing five acres of shade-loving ornamentals from around the world and the 10-acre Storza Woods with natural undergrowth and walking trails. Read more

Birmingham Botanical Garden (Alabama) 'The Birmingham Botanical Gardens' mission is to collect plants that are suitable for ornamental or agronomic uses in this area, arranging them in scientific, ornamental, educational and/or other systems for the accumulation and diffusion of knowledge and love of plants, and to create displays and programs for the benefit of the public.'

Brooklyn Botanic Garden 'Growing from its humble beginnings as an ash dump in the late 1800's, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has come to represent today the very best in urban gardening and horticultural display.' So they claim - and so they should. Over the last fifteen years the garden has been renovated and restored to more than its former glory. The web site is an enjoyable place to ramble through with a number of virtual tours.

Cheyenne Botanic Gardens A small botanical garden for a small community. A community that has come together to bring to life a garden that celebrates sustainable resources. The vast majority of the work at the garden is done by volunteers - presumably so is the web site. There may be a few broken links in the site, but it's still worth a visit.

Chicago Botanic Garden With 24 gardens on 385 acres and a web site that is only slightly smaller, navigation requires some patience, but there are ample rewards when you (finally) get where you wanted to go.

Cox Arboretum & Gardens is a private arboretum situated in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains. It was founded in 1990 by Tom & Evelyn Cox for the purpose of evaluation, display and public education of garden=worthy plants. It contains one of the largest collections of woody ornamentals in the entire southeastern U.S.

The University of Delaware Botanic Gardens Don't be fooled by the simplicity of this site, it is an invaluable resource for information on specific plants. Almost every tree, shrub and conifer in the garden is profiled with several photographs, and even downloadable sound files to help with proper pronunciation.

Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Nature Preserve, located in Littleton, and Mt. Goliath on Mt. Evans, are two sites that Denver Botanic Gardens not only operates, but also uses as resources for education, research and conservation projects. This is a site with a wide range of resources, reflecting well one of the country's most important botanical gardens. Hey, if you're into fungus, this is the garden for you.

Desert Botanical Garden The purpose of the Desert Botanical Garden is to exhibit, conserve, study and disseminate knowledge of arid-land plants of the world, with a particular emphasis on succulents and the native flora of the South-western United States.

The Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden

The Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden was the private home and garden of Elisabeth and Pendleton Miller. The garden is known for its exceptional collection of fine trees and shrubs in addition to an expansive collection of woodland herbaceous perennials. The Millers purchased the five-acre piece of land north of the Seattle city limits on a bluff above Puget Sound in 1948. The site commands spectacular views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula, and offers unique microclimates for growing plants. There are in excess of 3,600 taxa, or different kinds of plants, in the three acres of garden.

Fairchild Tropical Gardens This is one of the best gardens in which to photograph palms in the continental USA. The site is well developed and has a wealth of information. Take a look at this Arum, this is one that always brings plant photographers running.

The Lotus pool at Ganna Walska LotuslandGanna Walska Lotusland Lotusland is a 37-acre botanic garden and former estate situated in the foothills of Montecito to the east of the city of Santa Barbara. The gardens now covering the estate were created by the former opera singer and socialite Madame Ganna Walska, who owned the property from 1941 until her death in 1984. During her ownership, Madame Walska improved upon existing gardens and created new landscapes that comprise the present exotic collections.
The non-profit Ganna Walska Lotusland Foundation was established by Madame Walska to assume ownership of the property and operation of the estate after her death. The Foundation’s goal is to preserve and enhance the plant collections, foster an increased knowledge of the rare plants at Lotusland, and contribute to conservation efforts world wide. Lotusland presents an artistic landscape display to visitors—whose numbers are limited to preserve the private estate character of its gardens—while preserving some of the most unusual and endangered plants in the world.

Highstead Arboretum, Redding, CT - In 1982, Mr. & Mrs. James Dudley provided thirty-six acres of woodland in Redding, Connecticut for the establishment of Highstead Arboretum. This arboretum is intended as a sanctuary for the study and appreciation of the woodland habitat. Ranging in elevation from a low of 640 feet to a high of 758 feet, the woodland, meadow, wetland and ledge at Highstead provide distinct yet seamless habitats for our native species.

Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens - each year, thousands of visitors step back in time to discover the 1880's Victorian farmhouse and country garden that comprise the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, a national historic site located 30 minutes north of Portland more...

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Juniper Level Botanic Garden

"Juniper Level Botanic Garden Mission Statement
The mission of Juniper Level Botanic Garden is to grow all plants with ornamental value that will thrive in our climate of USDA Zone 7b. Juniper Level Botanic Gardens is currently a five acre display garden containing over 11,000 different plants...some woody, some perennial, and some in-betweeners. The botanical garden not only functions as a display area, but doubles as a research and development facility. New plants from seed exchanges, plants from our breeding program, and plants from our expeditions are evaluated for their garden worthiness, their adaptability to the climate of the Southeastern US, and their ability to peacefully co-exist with our natives."

National Botanic Gardens in Hawai'i and Florida The National Tropical Botanical Garden is dedicated to the conservation of tropical plant diversity, particularly rare and endangered species. Medicine, food, shelter - the potential uses of many plant species are not known. Yet they are becoming extinct at an alarming rate. Located in the only tropical and sub-tropical regions in the United States, the gardens and preserves of the NTBG are "Noah's Arks" for this threatened plant life.

Manoa Campus Plants Not a botanical garden per se, but the campus has a wide range of plant subjects to photograph. This is a compilation mainly of plants found on the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus. The web site contains many examples for viewing.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens - 'an open-air and under-glass museum of thousands of orchids and bromeliads. Stroll winding pathways along Sarasota Bay and visit the Tropical Display House with hundreds of blooming orchids. This tropical oasis was recently named one of America’s Top Ten Botanical Gardens.'

Mercer Arboretum, Humble, TX - "Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens is a Harris County Precinct 4 facility. Mercer is named after the original owners, Thelma and Charles Mercer, who purchased 14.5 acres in the late 1940s and began building a masonry home, now the Volunteer Center, and a garden. Before the roof was completed, the area flooded. Water spilled over the banks of Cypress Creek and backed up to Treaschwig Road, covering most of the property. After the flood, the Mercers established a new home site with a higher elevation about 50 feet south of the original homestead. This wooden house functioned as the staff building for 25 years. Subsequent flooding damaged the structure, which was then replaced by an elevated staff building in the footprint of the old home."

Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden 'Located on the beautiful campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), this garden maintains one of the most important living botanical collections in the United States, with plant specimens from all over the world.' This site appears to be just another web site with the usual information, but if you go to the Botany Textbooks page, you will find good information to help develop plant identification skills.

Missouri Botanical Garden 'Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the oldest botanical institutions in the country and a National Historic Landmark. The Garden is a center for botanical research and science education, as well as an oasis in the city of St. Louis—79 acres of beautiful horticultural display, including a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, the Climatron® conservatory, and Garden founder Henry Shaw’s original 1850 estate home.'

The New York Botanical Garden A large botanic garden, active in a number of areas of research. The garden boasts the finest Victorian glasshouse in the the country and 48 gardens and plant collections. A page well worth visiting is their Botany Global Issues Map, where you can read about many of the latest botanical stories in the news.

The Botanic Garden of Smith College The Smith College Botanic Garden has a long history and is the result of much hard work and dedication. Incorporating the study of plants into academics was an insightful idea in 1875, and it still is.

Today, the Botanic Garden includes thousands of plants, of course, and not just those grown under glass in the Lyman Conservatory or outdoors in various not-so-secret gardens. After all, Smith's 150-acre campus--our landscape for learning--is an arboretum, in other words, a living museum of plants. There is also a collection of dried plants. There are 60,000 pressed specimens available for research in the Herbarium.

Tohono Chul Park - In a statement announcing Tohono Chul Park ’s designation as an Arizona Treasure, Governor Janet Napolitano said: "I am pleased to designate Tohono Chul Park as an Arizona Treasure. Arizona 's rich history, tradition and beauty are evident in this stunning setting. I hope everyone in the state has a chance to experience this unique attraction."

A Guide to the Wildflowers of Twin Swamps Nature Preserve in Posey County, Indiana.

'This Web site was created to help you identify the many wildflowers that grow at Twin Swamps Nature Preserve, which is in the southwest tip of Indiana, where the Wabash River flows into the Ohio. Twin Swamps was established in 1987 by Indiana's Department of Natural Resources to help save the state's dwindling population of bald cypress trees. The 500-acre site is home to a wide variety of plants...'

This site is the creation of one individual , Rick Mark, and is an excellent example of just what a modern plant explorer can do. Although Twin Swamps is a nature preserve and not a botanical garden, this web site gives the virtual visitor a good sense of the place, with information to help make any actual visit all the more rewarding.

 

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