Missouri Botanical Garden

Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri

Like all Botanical Gardens today, the Missouri Botanical Garden’s mission is to protect and conserve plants and their ecosystems in our world.  For over 158-years, the Garden has referred to itself as an “oasis in the city” and a “place of beauty and family fun.” In addition, the Garden is equipped with a center for education, science, and conservation.

As a center for botanical research and science education, the Missouri Botanical Garden provides visitors with the option of strolling the Japanese garden, Henry Shaw’s original 1850 estate home, and one of the world’s largest collections of rare and endangered orchids.

In addition to the 79-acre Garden in South St. Louis, Missouri, the Missouri Botanical Garden also has two other properties located outside the city limits.

History of Missouri Botanical Garden

Founded in 1859 by Englishman Henry Shaw, the Missouri Botanical Garden is officially the nation’s oldest botanical garden in continuous operation and a National Historic Landmark.  When Shaw arrived at the Mississippi over 150-years ago, he came at last to a narrow path cutting through brush and found himself on an elevated piece of ground overlooking the prairie below.

He fell in love with the land, and after 40-years in St. Louis, he opened on the land he so loved and called it the Missouri Botanical Garden.  The news traveled quickly, and Dr. George Engelmann, a German physician-botanist who had come to the U.S. several decades prior, suggested that the garden be more than a park – it should also be a place that oversaw scientific work like the botanical institutions popular back in Europe.  158-years later, the Garden is a National Historic Landmark and a center for science and conversation, education, and horticulture display.

Board of Trustees

A Board of Trustees oversees the Missouri Botanical Garden with regularly contacted members.

The Board includes:

  • Chair: Lelia J. Farr
  • Vice-Chair: Daniel A. Burkhardt
  • Vice-Chair: David M. Hollo
  • President: Peter Wyse Jackson, Ph.D.
  • President Emeritus: Peter H. Raven, Ph.D.

The Garden has dozens of board members and senior staff that tend to the location regularly.

Garden Activities

The Missouri Botanical Garden is known for its flower shows, live musical events, and special events hosted throughout the year. In addition, they keep an updated calendar on their website, briefing locals about what’s “growing on” at the Garden.

Notable things to do and see at the Garden include the Chinese Garden, English Woodland Garden, Ottoman Garden, and Victorian District. Inside the Climatron conservatory, there is a tropical rainforest exhibit, while the adjoining Temperate House is home to many Mediterranean species.  The Japanese Garden covers 14-acres, making it one of the largest Japanese strolling gardens accessible in the U.S. today.

Plus, with more than 4,800 trees on the ground, there is a large variety for viewing and observing while exploring the Garden.

The Garden is also equipped with shopping and dining options, at the Terrace Café and Café Flora, for visitors looking to take home items or postcards detailing their experiences.

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