Plants Are Us.

From soup to nuts, everything we eat ultimately comes from plants. We build with wood, and plants supply the oils, fibers, chemicals and gums we use to create a variety of industrial products. A majority of the people on Earth rely directly on plants for medicines; in industrialized nations, a large percentage of prescription drugs are based on chemical compounds derived from plants.

And we are just one species in millions. Plants provide habitat for animals, protect watersheds and topsoil, convert greenhouse gases to oxygen, and regulate local climates, forming the foundation of the elegant, interdependent web of life.

Yet the potential has barely been tapped. Most of Earth's plants have never been evaluated for human use, and just over 100 species supply almost all of all foods on the market today. In addition, we have merely scratched the surface in identifying life-saving therapeutic compounds in plants.


MadidiDespite our dependence on plants, today we are rapidly destroying species in every country around the world. Most losses will occur in the tropics, where biological diversity is richest. Our research raises awareness of the importance of identifying, protecting and conserving the world's rich plant and animal life. Learn more

Climate Change


Our scientists are deeply involved in research on climate change and conservation efforts to counteract it. Learn more

Conservation in Action


The Garden is home to a variety of research centers dedicated to preserving regional, national and global biodiversity. Learn more