The U.S. Botanic Garden is committed to creating and offering extraordinary exhibits that delight, educate and inspire the public to become more active stewards of the plants that support life on earth.
Season's Greenings: Pollination Station
Holiday cheer abounds at the U.S. Botanic Garden! Despite the cold winter outside, the Conservatory boasts a tropical paradise, one of the largest indoor decorated trees in Washington, D.C., and a showcase of poinsettias. It wouldn’t be the winter holiday season without the train display in the East Gallery, where trains chug along tracks around and above you through imaginative structures created with plant materials. Explore Pollination Station where you can visit oversized flowers, bees and butterflies in this year’s scenic wonderland. See D.C. landmarks such as the Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument, all made from plants, on display in the Garden Court. Come in from the cold and enjoy the sights, scents and sounds of Season’s Greenings.
More information on planing your holiday visit can be found here.
Call for Entries: Flora of the National Parks
Exhibit Dates: February - October 2016
Submission Deadline: December 1, 2015
In collaboration with the National Park Service to celebrate their 100th anniversary, this U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) art exhibit will showcase the diverse plants found throughout the U.S. National Parks - from giant redwoods and aspen forests to endangered Virginia spiraea and water lilies.
As the USBG is national in scope, entries of plants from national parks across the country are desired.
- Conservatory: The permanent exhibits in our Conservatory will take you around the world all year long. It houses collections of plants from subtropical, tropical and arid regions and showcases orchids, medicinal, economic, endangered and Jurassic plants. From late May to mid-October, the Conservatory Terrace features thematic exhibitions.
- National Garden: Our newest outdoor garden, the National Garden features the Regional Garden of Mid-Atlantic native plants, the Rose Garden – all grown organically – devoted to the U.S. national flower, the Butterfly Garden and the First Ladies Water Garden.”
- Bartholdi Park: Bartholdi Park, a favorite “secret” garden of Washingtonians, is across Independence Avenue from the Conservatory. Here visitors will find a tapestry of theme gardens surrounding the historic Bartholdi Fountain. The gardens suggest interesting plants and innovative designs at a scale suitable for the home landscape.
- Titan Arum: Amorphophallus titanum is known as the titan arum, or corpse flower, because at full bloom, the inflorescence is said to smell like a large rotting corpse. In addition to the July 2013 blooming titan arum, the U.S. Botanic Garden has displayed these amazing blooming plants in 2003, 2005 and 2007.
- Savage Gardens provided a special look into the captivating, and bizarre, world of carnivorous plants and their astounding adaptations to inhospitable habitats. Hungry for more? Don't miss the time lapse video of a sundew trapping a fruit fly.
- Slow Life is a window into the world of plants. It accelerates the time-scale of plants into our own frame of reference, speeding up their everyday lives to a pace that resonates with our own. This online guide to the lives of plants is based on the traveling exhibit developed by the U.S. Botanic Garden, Chicago Botanic Garden and Indiana University.
- The advent of book publishing ushered in an exuberant age of plant exploration and discovery. Plants in Print: The Age of Botanical Discovery, a collaboration between the U.S. Botanic Garden and the Chicago Botanic Garden, shares the rich history of botany and plant exploration with a nationwide audience.
- Orchids: Interlocking Science and Beauty at the National Museum of Natural History was the 2015 joint Smithsonian Gardens and U.S. Botanic Garden annual orchid exhibit. The 2015 exhibit explored how new ideas, technologies, and inventions are changing the way we study, protect, and enjoy orchids.
- Plants in Culture (West Gallery, 2001-2015) emphasized the countless ways in which plants enrich human life. Sensory displays feature plants in therapy, ornamentation, music, ceremony, language and many other expressions of culture.
- Exposed: The Secret Life of Roots (February 21 - October 13, 2015). Plant roots are vital components of the earth’s ecosystem. They are necessary for plant growth, including the production of food and nutrients for humans and many other organisms. However, as root systems are out of sight, their beauty and importance often go unnoticed. This exhibit used the work of agricultural ecologist Dr. Jerry Glover, sculptor Steve Tobin, and photographer Jim Richardson to showcase the importance of roots through visually stunning root representations.
- Illustrating Hidden Treasures: Botanical Art by Wendy Hollender (West Gallery, September 1 - October 25, 2015) explored the belowground structures of plants through the botanical art of Wendy Hollender. On display in the West Gallery were several pieces by this celebrated artist who owns her own farm in the Catskills where she lives, farms, and draws.