The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky

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United States of America - Kentucky - Lexington

Institution Code: KLUA

BGCI Member: No

About the The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky

The Arboretum was created in 1991 as a joint effort between the University of Kentucky and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.

Named in March, 2000 the "Official State Botanical Garden for the Commonwealth of Kentucky," This 100 acre green-space in downtown Lexington includes one of the last remnants of inner-bluegrass woodlands, as well as a home demonstration garden, rose garden, and children’s garden. The Arboretum’s signature collection is the Walk Across Kentucky, a paved path traversing 75 acres of Kentucky’s seven physiographic regions and ecosystems. The Arboretum mission is to showcase Kentucky landscapes and serves as a resource center for environmental and horticultural education, research, and conservation.

The Arboretum is open 365 days a year from dawn to dusk. The Dorotha Smith Oatts Visitor Center is open M-F, 8:30-4:00pm. Admission is free.

Main Address:
The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky
University of Kentucky and Lexington Fayette Urban County Government
500 Alumni Drive
Kentucky 40503 United States of America

Telephone: (859) 257-6955
Fax: (859) 257-6955
Primary Email:

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Molly Davis, Director
    Curator's Name: Emily Ellingson
    Plant Records Officer's Name: Emily Ellingson

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Private: No
    Status: State: Yes
    Status: Educational: Yes
    Status: Municipal: Yes
  • Date founded: 1991
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 6 Hectares
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 8 Hectares
  • Total Area: 40 Hectares
    Latitude: 38.0185050
    Longitude: -84.5050840
    Altitude: 0.00 Metres

Features and Facilities

  • Arboretum: Yes
    Arboretum Size: 40
  • Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Shop: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: No
  • Number of Volunteers: 280

Plant Collections

  • Accession Number: 2817
    Cultivation Taxa Num: 750
  • Special Collections:'Walk Across Kentucky' displaying only plants native to Kentucky and surrounding states with a particular emphasis on wild collected provenance and conservation of rare species.

    'The Arboretum Woods' a 6.5 ha forest containing one of the best remnants of native woodland inner-bluegrass sites. 18 native tree species including some between 200-400 years of age inhabit The Arboretum Woods, as do 50 species of native grasses and herbs.

    Horticultural Display Gardens featuring a Perennial Teaching Garden, Fragrance Garden, Woodland Garden, Annual Flowers, Herb Garden, Vegetable Plots, Home Fruit and Nut Plantings, All American Trials and Displays, Ground Cover display.
  • Invasive Species Monitoring: Yes
    Invasive Species Policy: Yes
    ABS Policy: Yes
    Plant Collection Policy: Yes

Conservation Programmes

  • Ex Situ Conservation Programme: Yes

Research Programmes

  • Ecosystem Conservation: Yes
    Invasive Species Biology and Control: Yes
    Restoration Ecology: Yes

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: Yes
    Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Public Lectures/Talks: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Permanent Public Displays: Yes
    Courses for School Children: Yes
    Courses for University/College Students: Yes
    Courses for General Public: Yes