Mt. Cuba Center

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United States of America - Delaware - Hockessin

Institution Code: MCCSP

BGCI Member: Yes

About the Mt. Cuba Center

Our founders, Mr. and Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland, were visionary in their approach to conservation, and in their vision for Mt. Cuba Center. Mrs. Copeland summed up their ambition for Mt. Cuba Center in what has become our founding intention:

“I want this to be a place where people will learn to appreciate our native plants and to see how these plants can enrich their lives so that they, in turn, will become conservators of our natural habitats.”

Beyond the beauty of Mt. Cuba Center runs a deep river of purpose. We understand the importance of native plants and natural lands, and hope to impart that understanding to everyone who walks through our gates. It is not enough simply to observe beauty now. We must also protect it for future generations.

Our mission is to inspire an appreciation for the beauty and value of native plants and a commitment to support the habitats that sustain them.

Main Address:
Mt. Cuba Center
3120 Barley Mill Road
Delaware 19707 United States of America

Telephone: (302) 239-4244
Fax: (302) 239-5366
Primary Email:

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Jeffrey A. Downing, Executive Director
    Curator's Name: Amy Highland, Director of Collections
    Plant Records Officer's Name: Julie Rotramel, Plant Recorder
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number:
    Educational Staff Number: 6
    Research Staff Number: 2
    Administration Staff Number:

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Private: No
    Status: State: No
    Status: Educational: Yes
    Status: Municipal: No
    Status: Satellite: No
    Status: Trust: Yes
  • Date founded: 1935
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 418 Hectares
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 20 Hectares
  • Total Area: 618 Hectares
    Latitude: 39.7856150
    Longitude: -75.6500200
    Altitude: 75.00 Metres
  • Locality: Information
  • Locality: Garden Name: Mt. Cuba Center
  • Local Address: 3120 Barley Mill Rd.
  • Locality: City: Hockessin
  • Locality: State: Delaware

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: No
    Arboretum: No
  • Micropropagation/ Tissue Culture Facilities: No
    Seed Bank: No
    Published Plant Catalogue: No
    Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: No
    Retail Outlet: Shop: No
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: No
    Disabled access: Yes
  • Number of Visitors: 9000
    Number of Volunteers: 15

Plant Collections

  • Accession Number: 7016
    Cultivation Taxa Num: 2310
  • Special Collections:As a botanical garden, Mt. Cuba Center holds living collections of plants, much like a museum houses collections of art or historical artifacts. Mt. Cuba Center’s collections are focused on plants native to the Eastern Temperate Forests of the United States with a particular emphasis on the Appalachian Piedmont, an area that spans nine states from New York to Alabama.

    In addition to native plant specimens, Mt. Cuba Center maintains historic collections that include non-native plants important to the character and cultural history of the property and the Copeland family legacy. Mt. Cuba Center also holds special collections representing extensive compilations of certain species of plants. Our North American hexastylis and trillium collections are of national significance and have been accredited by the Plant Collections Network.

    Mt. Cuba Center’s collections conserve genetic diversity and display the native beauty of the flora of the eastern United States. Through the lens of the plant collections, Mt. Cuba Center builds its gardens, conducts research initiatives and conservation efforts, and educates the public on the important role these plants play in our delicate ecosystem.
  • Invasive Species Monitoring: Yes
    Invasive Species Policy: No
    ABS Policy: No
    Plant Collection Policy: Yes

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: Yes
    Medicinal Plant Programme: No
    Ex Situ Conservation Programme: Yes
    Reintroduction Programme: No

Research Programmes

  • Biotechnology: No
    Plant Breeding: Yes
    Conservation - Biology: No
    Conservation - Genetics: No
    Data Management Systems and Information Technology: Yes
    Ecology: Yes
    Ecosystem Conservation: Yes
    Education: Yes
    Ethnobotany: No
    Exploration: Yes
    Floristics: No
    Horticulture: Yes
    Invasive Species Biology and Control: Yes
    Molecular Genetics: No
    Pollination Biology: No
    Restoration Ecology: No
    Seed/Spore Biology: No
    Systematics and Taxonomy: No
    Sustainability: No
    Pharmacology: No
    Agriculture: No
    Land Restoration: Yes
    Urban Environments: No

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: No
    Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Public Lectures/Talks: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Permanent Public Displays: Yes
    Special Exhibitions: Yes
    Courses for School Children: No
    Courses for University/College Students: No
    Courses for General Public: Yes
    Education Programme: Yes