Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG), in St. Louis, is the oldest – and second largest – botanical garden in the country!
Shaw’s Garden, as Missouri Botanical Garden is informally known, was founded in 1859 by philanthropist Henry Shaw. The acclaimed arboretum has 79 acres of formal, international, and demonstration garden. The holdings also include a variety of conservatories, notable plant collections, and Victorian-era buildings.
Life in All Its Rich Variety
Missouri Botanical Garden is home to a vast array of live plant collections and gardens: more than 51,000 plants! The sheer variety will astound you.
Some of the Garden’s most beloved, special collections include rhododendrons, camellias, daffodils, flowering cherries, dogwoods, iris, and lotus.
Formal Gardens include an azalea/rhododendron garden, a boxwood garden, bulb gardens, a host of family gardens, and so much more.
The Children’s Garden is one of the most popular formal gardens, with lots of family fun and adventure on the 19th century frontier.
The George Washington Carver Garden, with its small amphitheater, bronze statue, and reflecting pool for peaceful contemplation is another popular spot.
MBG’s International Gardens include Bavarian, Ottoman, Chinese, German, Japanese, and English gardens. The Japanese Garden, Seiwa-en, is one of the largest of its kind in North America and a top attraction.
Climatron Rain Forest Dome & More
One of the most popular attractions at Missouri Botanical Garden is the Climatron rain forest dome.
The 70 foot tall, 175 foot diameter, Climatron was the first geodesic dome to be used as a conservatory. Designed by R Buckminster Fuller, the dome covers half an acre without interior support. This allows for more light and space for plants than a conventional building. How much more? Climatron contains more than 2,800 plants, including 1,400 different tropical species!
MBG is also home to the oldest continuously operated public greenhouse west of the Mississippi River: Linnean House. Linnean House was built in 1882 and is the only remaining greenhouse on the property from Henry Shaw’s day. The renovated building houses sub-tropical plant collections from around the world, including dozens of camellia trees.
You can also tour the garden’s Victorian District. Here you will find Henry Shaw’s restored country residence the Tower Grove House, as well as a labyrinthine hedge maze, herb gardens, and more.
Beyond The Gardens
Missouri Botanical Garden also includes two remote attractions: the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House and the Shaw Nature Reserve.
Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House
Faust Park, 15193 Olive Blvd, Chesterfield, MO 63017
The Butterfly House is home to more than a thousand live tropical butterflies. Come watch as these colorful and delicate creatures fly freely around inside the glass conservatory. You may even get to watch a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis right before your very eyes!
Shaw Nature Reserve
307 Pinetum Loop Rd, Gray Summit, MO 63039
This 2,400 acre reserve was established in Gray Summit in 1925. Located along the Meramec River, the reserve features 14 miles of hiking trails through tall grass prairie, glades, wetlands, savannas and woodlands.
Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110
Open 9am to 5pm, daily
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