Gardens & Conservatories
Conservatories

Climatron

Climatron®
This stunning conservatory has become a symbolic image of the Missouri Botanical Garden. The geodesic domed structure was inspired by the futuristic design of R. Buckminster Fuller. Covering over a half-acre, the Climatron houses some 1,400 species of plants in a natural, tropical setting. Visitors enjoy viewing bananas, cacao and coffee trees, plus a collection of orchids and epiphytes. The rare double coconut, possessing the largest seed in the plant kingdom, is on display. A large collection of cycads, primitive gymnosperms with massive, divided leaves, are also on display. Several pools and waterfalls give a sense of lushness, as if visitors were within a true tropical rainforest. The Climatron is an ever-changing, impressive display all year long.

Linnean House

Linnean House
Built in 1882 to over winter palms, tree ferns and citrus trees, this brick conservatory is the oldest continuously operating display greenhouse in the United States. Camellias, fragrant olive and colorful companion plants have been featured here since the 1930s. The narrower southern half of the conservatory has been restored to its original use as an orangery. Various tropical and citrus plants are housed on the paved region from mid-October to April. They move outdoors annually in spring and summer to grace the Kresko Victorian Garden, Bakewell Ottoman Garden and other display gardens.  Potted cactus and aroids from the Garden’s collections are also featured. Peak season of bloom is January through April.

Shoenberg Temperate House

This dramatic greenhouse complements the Climatron, flanking the domed structure to the north. The spacious conservatory displays plants unique to the temperate regions of the world. Many of these regions are characterized by warm, dry summers and cool, moist winters. This conservatory features plants from the Cape region of South Africa; southern and southwestern Australia; the central coast of Chile; the Mediterranean Sea basin; coastal California; the temperate regions of Japan, China and Korea; and the southeastern U.S. The Temperate House has seven distinct interior gardens. Plants of the Bible can be found in one display, including figs, grapes, pomegranates, laurel and numerous herbs and spice plants. A special carnivorous plant bog features insect-eating flora. In addition, a historic stone portico overlooks a beautifully-tiled Moorish walled garden that reflects major elements in the history of formal garden design. Peak season of interest is late winter and early spring.
Demonstration Gardens

Kemper Center

Kemper Center for Home Gardening
The 23 distinct residential-scale gardens are attractively contained in a spectacularly engineered eight-acre design. Adults and children visit and learn about vegetable gardening, flower growing, planting ornamental shrubs, landscaping, indoor plants and more. The Kemper Center features an 8,000-square-foot pavilion which contains displays, a reference library, the Plant Doctor clinic, a classroom, indoor gardening displays, a monthly gardening calendar display and much more for the gardening enthusiast. Visit the Kemper Center throughout the year for timely tips and advice on gardening and related subjects.

Maritz Apple Allée
An allée of crabapples lines both sides of the path leading to a fountain of dancing geese. Along the way you will find drifts of spring, summer and fall flowering bulbs planted in a fruit-tree understory with Carex and Pachysandra ground cover. 

Cornelia Sunnen Backyard Garden
For many people, backyard gardens are extended living spaces. Our Backyard Garden features plants that provide continuous seasonal interest, such as red and yellow twig dogwood, shrub hollies, dwarf crabapples, a successional planting of flowering bulbs, hanging baskets and containers of flowering annuals.

Lang Family Bird Garden
Plants attractive to birds are featured, including evergreen screening to provide shelter. Red flower borders attract hummingbirds. Shrub and perennial borders provide nesting and food.

Christopher Biraben Butterfly Meadow
The Butterfly Meadow contains water and plants that supply nectar and pollen to attract butterflies to the garden. Butterflies generally enjoy flat landscapes protected from strong winds. They will be most noticeable in the morning and evening and especially in the late summer and fall. 

Birch Mahaffey Carpenter Butterfly Pavilion
A Japanese-inspired viewing structure made of cedar and stucco incorporates butterfly-friendly plantings.

Kemper Children's GardenSpoehrer Children's Garden
One of two gardens designed for children, this smaller garden sparks curiosity and wonder about plants with striking colors, unusual forms, fragrances and textures. At the center of the garden is a shrub-bordered maze, winding around to a peacock fountain in the center. Learn about the Doris I. Schnuck Children's Garden.

US Bank City Garden
Gardening can be a challenge for those who have a small space bounded by fences or walls. The City Garden boasts a productive vegetable garden, small flowering and evergreen shrubs, and a selection of shade-tolerant and full-sun vines used to cover and soften vertical walls and create a cozy atmosphere.

Justin A. and Rose J. Naumann Experimental Garden
This garden contains test plots for flowers, vegetables and fruit. While plants will be rigorously tested, horticultural techniques are also displayed and evaluated.

Kemper Family Vegetable Garden

Bank of America Family Vegetable Garden
The finest fruit and vegetable varieties that can be grown in the St. Louis area are featured in this garden.  A wide range of information and helpful hints on starting and maintaining a vegetable garden on any scale is available.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car Flower Border
A cedar pergola forms the backdrop for this display of hundreds of perennials combined to provide year-long color in the home garden. Flanking the Flower Border is a lawn area planted in true dwarf fescue, a low-maintenance turfgrass.

Lois Whiteside Franklin Flower Trial Garden
Every year, hundreds of new annual and perennial varieties are grown and evaluated for their durability, aesthetic appeal and suitability for the gardening public. The Flower Trial Garden displays the newest varieties for gardeners to trial at home.

The Fragrance Garden
Some of the best fragrance plants for the St. Louis area are on display, including examples of shrub and antique roses. This is a special garden that delights the senses with its beauty and the sound of splashing water.Kemper Fruit Garden

Marilyn and Sam Fox Fruit Garden
In the Fruit Garden you will find a diverse selection of apple trees, including those for fresh eating as well as baking. Other favorites planted here are grapes, gooseberries, strawberries, blackberries and currants.

Joseph F. Ruwitch Garden for All
Plants are easily accessible to all, including persons requiring walking aids and wheelchairs. Interesting and innovative ideas for the most diverse and enjoyable gardening experiences include raised beds and planters of varying heights and sizes; benches; and a tool display of digging attachments, handle extensions and modified pruners.  The Zimmerman Sensory Garden is also designed to engage people with disabilities.

Ameren UE Ground Cover Border
Ground cover plants are low-maintenance plants that spread out to cover the ground surface completely. In the Ground Cover Border, you will find a selection of moderate to vigorous spreaders ranging in height from less than six inches to several feet.

Member's Entry Court Garden
Here you will find comfortable benches on which to rest and plan your visit. The Entry Court has a four-season flowering display surrounded by the brick and stone paving. Purchase a paver

Martha Love Symington Missouri Native Shade Garden
This garden replicates an eastern Missouri woodland full of shade-loving plants below a canopy of maple and oak trees.

Jordan Charitable Foundation Ornamental Shade Garden and Overlook
Shade gardens can be colorful and interesting, as this garden demonstrates. Notable plants here include azaleas, astilbes, variegated hostas, euonymous, foxgloves and cotoneasters. The overlook provides a panoramic view of the Fragrance Garden and the hundreds of perennials in the Flower Borders.

Lucy and Stanley Lopata Prairie Garden
The prairie garden recreates a portion of the native prairie that once existed in Missouri. It is the first in a series of native plant gardens located on a knoll overlooking the Kemper Center pavilion.

Suzanne Stagg Wright Rock Garden
Limestone and sandstone rock ledges, unique geological features of Missouri, create a special habitat for plants. The Rock Garden displays a combination of native and cultivated plants growing in and around limestone and sandstone boulders.

Kemper Secret GardenJane and Whitney Harris Secret Garden
Located in a secluded corner, this intimate oasis is plotted in a semi-circular pattern of herbaceous perennials with a tall evergreen perimeter hedge. The garden centers on a life-size bronze sculpture of a cocker spaniel quizzically examining a porcupine.  

Coinco Summer Plant House
The Summer Plant House is a shaded outdoor working area equipped with a bench and tools to handle routine gardening tasks like repotting, mixing soils and propagating plants.

Mildred Lane Kemper Terrace Garden
A mixture of herbaceous perennials, including hardy lilies, ornamental grasses, mounding evergreens, small shade trees and containers of colorful annuals, surround the Terrace Garden's patio. A vine-covered trellis forms the backdrop for this comfortable area.

Formal Gardens

Lopata Azalea/Rhododendron Garden
This display features azaleas, rhododendron species and cultivars, magnolia hybrids and hardy shade-tolerant companion plants beneath a high canopy of native trees. An enchanting garden throughout the year, flowering peaks in late April and fall color peaks in late October. 

Boxwood GardenBlanke Boxwood Garden
The elegant beauty of boxwood has been valued in gardens for thousands of years; from the "pleasure gardens" of ancient Persia, to the landscapes of Greece and Rome, to the formal gardens of Europe. Boxwood gives shape, structure and evergreen foliage to any garden setting. In the spring of 2009, a new entrance was completed. Visitors enter the Boxwood Garden through a handsome open brick courtyard that allows them to see inside the garden. This new opening features a fountain with vertical sprays of water than run continuously. Visitors discover a formal oval boxwood parterre accented with colorful flowers and ground cover. From this spot, visitors enjoy a view of the beautifully designed Boxwood Garden and the surrounding grounds, including the English Woodland Garden and the Kemper Center demonstration gardens.

Heckman Bulb Garden

Samuels Bulb Garden and Heckman Bulb Garden
From late February through early November, flowering bulbs and bulbous plants display their brilliance in rolling, brick-lined beds amongst companion shrubbery, flowering trees and annuals. During spring peak, tens of thousands of bulbs representing dozens of different perennial genera bloom in a world-class display. Throughout the summer, many species of tropical bulbs are added, carrying the flowering display through late fall. The summer peak features a wide selection of lilies, cannas, aroids and tropical amaryllids. Nationally-recognized collections of Narcissus and Lilium are featured in these two gardens, as well as many rare and endangered bulbs from around the world.

Carver GardenGeorge Washington Carver Garden
This inspirational garden honors the life and accomplishments of the extraordinary scientist and native Missourian who greatly influenced 19th and 20th century agriculture and education. Designed for peaceful contemplation and learning, the garden features a small amphitheater surrounding a life-size bronze statue of Dr. Carver, surrounded by a reflecting pool. Plantings of viburnums, hydrangeas and hollies provide a secluded, intimate feeling. The Carver Garden is intended to serve not only as a memorial but also a learning laboratory for educators and students.   

Children's GardenDoris I. Schnuck Children's Garden: A Missouri Adventure
The Children's Garden is all about family fun, play and learning. Children and adults explore themes of adventure and discovery on the 19th century frontier as they learn about the importance of plants in daily life. It opened spring 2006 on nearly two acres west of the Climatron. Of historical note are the large Osage orange trees, believed to date back to Henry Shaw's time. He planted these trees to line the road to his house, which stretched from Tower Grove House to Old Manchester Road, known today as Vandeventer. Also found in this area are several large trees including pin oak, sycamore and tulip poplar. Smaller trees include crabapples, bird cherries and chestnuts. 

Courts & Family Gardens

Bakewell Court Garden
Perennial and seasonal bedding plants accent a brick paved courtyard. Ongoing interest.

Cohen Court Garden
A display of plants discovered and described by botanist George Englemann, including unusual cacti, succulents, and herbaceous plants.  IN PROGRESS.

Isabelle Baer Garden
A soft rose and blue-grey limestone terrace surrounding two fountains is framed by seasonal displays of bedding plants.  IN PROGRESS.

Swift Family Garden
Swift Vista was carefully designed to enhance the views down the Vista and take advantage of the beautiful architecture of the Linnean House.  Its features include a formal hornbeam hedge (Carpinus betulus) along the south side of the Vista; seasonal bedding around the pools which display tropical water lilies; and the Swift perennial border which showcases wild-sourced, herbaceous Eurasian species, focusing on some of the world’s most biologically diverse hotspots with climates that are similar to St. Louis including Romania, Central Asia, Altai, and Caucasus plants.  Displays in this border will be carefully phased in and will include biennials and perennials grown from seed, resourced through various collecting expeditions and reciprocal trade with foreign institutions.  These visually stunning borders represent the Garden’s ongoing efforts toward creating horticulture displays that showcase the Garden's research and conservation efforts and provide visitors the opportunity to experience greater plant diversity.   All this under the watchful eyes of the statues of three of the world’s most renowned botanists, if you look carefully I am sure you can see each of them smiling.  IN PROGRESS.

Daylilies

Jenkins Daylily Garden
Adjacent to Shaw's original stone wall, this nationally recognized Daylily Garden provides a link between the Goodman Iris Garden and the Victorian district of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Over 1,800 daylily varieties representing many different award collections, wild species, historic varieties and Missouri-hybridized cultivars bloom throughout June and July, with many reblooming through late fall. Surrounding the daylily plantings is another notable collection of witch hazels (Hamamelis). This collection of over 60 varieties blooms in winter, spanning the entire length of the Daylily Garden on both sides of the path. 

Dry Streambed Garden
This informal, meandering dry stream bed is constructed of cobble stones edged throughout with large limestone rock boulders.  Flanking the dry stream are plantings of native, rare and endangered, and other ornamental plants typical of this habitat.   A small pond at the north end is planted with hardy Missouri native aquatic plants.

Heckman Rock Garden

Heckman Rock Garden and Kassabaum Dwarf Conifer Garden
These two delightful gardens are located immediately in front of the Shoenberg Temperate House, crossing the path into the Heckman Bulb Garden. The Heckman Rock Garden features a myriad of flowering bulbs, perennials and shrubs from rocky and alkaline environs. Many plants native to Missouri glades as well as endangered species from the Republic of Georgia are grown, complimented by various dwarf conifer selections. The Kassabaum Dwarf Conifer Garden features many fine selections of hardy, dwarf-growing conifers for the Midwest.

Holly Field
Located near the Lehmann Rose Garden is a collection of American hollies. Several cultivars are represented, included red and yellowish-orange fruited varieties. Also found in this area of the garden are bottle-brush buckeye, tulip poplar, London plane tree, ginkgo, ash, linden, oak, beech, maple, hackberry and serviceberry, as well as spruce, hemlock and pine.

Shields Hosta Walk
Hostas with green, blue, yellow and multi-colored foliage thrive below stately trees. Ten wild species and over 100 cultivars are featured among companion plants with interesting leaf textures and flowers. Flowering bulbs, magnolias and witch hazel accent the area in spring; astilbes and lilies in summer; and dogwoods in fall. Peak season of bloom is summer. The charming Four Seasons sculpture by Marie Carr Taylor featured among the hostas has become a Garden favorite since its installation in 1991. The curious-looking metallic monument in the same area is actually an antique British lead cistern dating to the era of Charles II (1660–1685).

Goodman Iris GardenGoodman Iris Garden
Hundreds of cultivars of bearded iris are in peak bloom around Mother's Day, representing nearly every color of the rainbow. Tall, intermediate, border and dwarf bearded irises, as well as Japanese, Spuria, Louisiana, Siberian and many rare species comprise this nationally-recognized collection. Many of the collection's bearded irises rebloom, repeating the flowering season from late August through late November.  

Knolls
This picturesque landscape provides a scenic vista between the Milles Sculpture Garden and Henry Shaw's Mausoleum Garden. The Knolls feature slightly undulating topography and artfully-placed clumps of trees and shrubs. Since 1914, this has been a wonderful spot for visitors seeking a solitary, simple setting. Peak seasons of interest are spring, summer and autumn.

Milles Sculpture Garden
This sculpture garden consists of three large reflecting pools which span the Missouri Botanical Garden's central axis from the Spink Pavilion to the Climatron. The pools, built in 1913, have been fully renovated and display seven works by the late Swedish sculptor Carl Milles. Bald cypress trees frame the majestic vista, further accented by seasonal borders including pansies, tulips and summer annual displays. The tropical water lilies and giant Victoria water lilies peak in August and September, and have been a major Garden attraction since before the famed 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. From spring through fall, colorful glass Walla Wallas by artist Dale Chihuly bob in between the water lilies of the central pool.  

Gladney Rose Garden
Shaped like a giant wheel, this garden displays hundreds of hybrid roses. Many climbing rose varieties are featured on the formal fence and arbors that enclose it. Peak display lasts from early summer through autumn.

Lehmann Rose Garden
This large rose garden contains historic cultivars, miniature roses, modern hybrid tea, floribunda and shrub roses, and test roses. A gazebo with a fountain and small pool can be found near the south end of the garden. Toward the center, the bubbling Kerchival Fountain entertains visitors. The dramatic Shapleigh Fountain at the north end of the garden is a favorite among children. Peak season of bloom is early summer and autumn.

Zimmerman Sensory Garden
Designed to delight the senses, this beautiful garden offers an engaging sensory experience for both the young and young-at-heart. Smell the heavenly scented flowers and spicy herbs, hear the trickle of the Shell Fountain and the ring of the Solari Bell Tree and touch the texturally tantalizing annuals, perennials and herbs. Peak months are May through October. 

Showcased primarily in raised beds and container plantings, the plants in this garden are used for educational and therapeutic programming under the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Therapeutic Horticulture Program. Individuals of all abilities can enjoy what this garden has to offer.

International Gardens

Pfautch Bavarian Garden
Created in 2010, the Pfautch Bavarian Garden complements its nearby garden neighbor, the Strassenfest German Garden, by highlighting plants native to Germany and central Europe along with those developed by German plants people. The Bavarian Garden features over 180 tons of stone arranged as a rock outcropping with mostly sun-loving alpine and alpine-like plants. Swiss stone pines are the predominant trees, providing an evergreen screen and backdrop to the display. The garden is nestled against a former greenhouse, which has been transformed into a Bavarian farm house façade with brightly-colored window boxes and flower-painted walls. Chinese Garden

Grigg Nanjing Friendship Garden (Chinese Garden)
It is often said that a Chinese garden is built, not planted. Architectural elements such as walls, pavilions, bridges, sculptural stones and pavings are of central importance, while plantings of plants native to northern China or integral to Chinese gardens are used sparingly. Designed in the traditional colors of black, white, gray and vermillion, the intricate artistry and exquisite detail of the Nanjing Friendship Garden pavilion, the focal point of the garden, creates a subtle elegance in the landscape. Tiles designed and fired in China were used to create the roof of the pavilion, decorate the window frames and lattices and top the wall. Artisans from Nanjing constructed the major features including the mosaics in the bluestone path. This garden, designed by Chinese born architect Yong Pan, is a showplace of absolutely extraordinary craftsmanship. The Chinese Garden is beautiful any time of the year.

Cherbonnier English Woodland Garden

English Woodland Garden

This quiet, informal garden attracts people and wildlife alike. Three vegetation layers, typical of mature woodland, support an upper tree canopy, a middle shrub layer and a lower layer of herbaceous perennial plants and ground covers. Several small clearings permit shafts of sunlight to spear through the dark overhead canopy. In the spring, hundreds of woodland flowers including dogwoods, trillium, Virginia bluebells, winter aconite and azaleas put on a massive display. This garden was renovated in 1994, almost doubling the size, adding several water features and making it accessible to wheelchair users. Peak season of interest is from early spring through summer and into autumn. 

Seiwa-en, Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

This garden is named Seiwa-en, which means "the garden of pure, clear harmony and peace." Designed with great care by the late Professor Koichi Kawana to ensure authenticity, this 14-acre garden is one of the largest of its type in the Western hemisphere. A four-acre lake is complemented with waterfalls and streams. Dry gravel gardens are raked into beautiful, rippling patterns. Four islands rise from the lake to form symbolic images. Several Japanese bridges link shorelines; families delight in feeding the giant koi (Japanese carp). Visitors are enthralled by Japanese maples, cherry blossoms, azaleas, chrysanthemums, peonies and lotus. This garden represents centuries of tradition and a multiplicity of cultural influences synthesized in a uniquely Japanese art form.

Bakewell Ottoman Garden

Ottoman Garden

This Ottoman-style walled garden is the first of its kind at a botanical garden in the U.S. The Ottoman Garden is devoted to the enjoyment of the senses. Fragrant flowers and aromatic herbs surround the center focal point, a shallow pool of water called a havuz. Various fountains created in Turkey provide a strong sense of authenticity.

Strassenfest German Garden
The German Garden incorporates some of the native flora of Germany and central Europe, as well as plants hybridized or discovered by native Germans. The design is that of a woodland setting and plantings are meant to have a natural, informal appearance, with no particular design or pattern. The artistic centerpiece for the garden is a bronze bust of Dr. George Engelmann, a German physician who immigrated to St. Louis in the 1830s. He was a noted botanist and a principal advisor to Garden founder Henry Shaw. The sculpture is surrounded by some of the new species of plants described by Engelmann or named for him, including conifers, cacti and grapes.

Victorian District

Lichtenstein Victorian District

Victorian District

The Doris Waters Lichtenstein Victorian District unifies and enhances several gardens and Victorian-era buildings. The area, with many resurfaced paths and historically appropriate materials, stretches from the enclosed Victory (of Science over Ignorance) sculpture to the eastern wall, back to founder Henry Shaw's original city townhouse. It includes:

St. Louis Herb Society Herb Garden
Directly behind Shaw's summer home, Tower Grove House, one discovers this intimate garden. Inspired and tended by the St. Louis Herb Society, this quaint courtyard includes beds of culinary and medicinal herbs.

Mausoleum Garden
This garden is a step into the past, as if taking a trip back to the Victorian Age. A wrought-iron fence encloses the area, which is sheltered by majestic, towering oaks and sassafras trees. The ground is blanketed by Baltic ivy and liriope. In spring, small blossoms of snowdrops and scilla peek through the ivy and liriope. It is here that Garden founder Henry Shaw rests. 

Kaeser Memorial Maze
This entertaining and puzzling maze recreates one constructed by Shaw in the 1800s. Visitors wind through a labyrinth of yew hedges. Yews alternate with paths leading to a vine-clad gazebo.

Victorian District

Kresko Family Victorian Garden
The Victorian Garden is a majestic example of the height of fashion in England at the time Shaw was planting his gardens in St. Louis. The style of landscaping was introduced in the early 1800s when new varieties of flowers were coming into England from different parts of the world. Elaborate and colorful combinations of flowers, foliage and succulents were combined in "plant tapestries," the combination referred to as "carpet bedding." Spring, summer and fall displays of lush and vibrant floral orchestrations light up this area in Victorian style and grace.