Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Botany Greenhouses

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United States of America - Maryland - Suitland

Institution Code:

BGCI Member: No

About the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Botany Greenhouses

The Botany Greenhouses of the Smithsonian Institution provide support to National Museum of Natural History - Department of Botany researchers. In essence we are a living collection which complements the preserved collection of the US National Herbarium. While dried (herbarium) specimens show plants at an instant in time, living materials provide opportunities to collect more information. In addition, some characters can be destroyed, degraded or difficult to see in an herbarium specimen.

The collections are primarily tropical in nature, representing research interests of curators in the Department of Botany. Speciens come from both wild and cultivated sources such as botanic gardens and nurseries. We have material sourced from six continents, the largest collection of Zingiberales and Commelinaceae species in the world under glass, a growing collection of Euphorbiaceae, and representatives from many other families.

In the greenhouse, living materials are used for identification, preserved specimens (vouchers), chemical analysis, documentation of processes, illustration, and photography.

Main Address:
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Botany Greenhouses
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Rd
Maryland 20746 United States of America

Telephone: 301-238-1060
Primary Email:

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Kirk Johnson
    Curator's Name: Warren Wagner
    Plant Records Officer's Name: Gary Krupnick
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 2
    Educational Staff Number:
    Research Staff Number: 43
    Administration Staff Number: 3

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Other
  • Status
  • Status: Private: No
    Status: Educational: Yes
  • Date founded: 1977
  • Physical Data
  • Latitude: 38.84299
    Longitude: -76.94274
    Altitude: 87.80 Metres

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: Yes
    Herbarium: Number of Specimens: 4500000

Plant Collections

  • Accession Number: 800
  • Special Collections:The greenhouse complex at the Museum Support Center is a research and living collections facility for the Department of Botany, of the National Museum of Natural History, and not an exhibit greenhouse. Persons working there are involved in the research activities of the department.
  • Invasive Species Monitoring: Yes
    Invasive Species Policy: Yes
    ABS Policy: Yes
    Plant Collection Policy: Yes

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: Yes

Research Programmes

  • Plant Breeding: Yes
    Conservation - Biology: Yes
    Data Management Systems and Information Technology: Yes
    Ecology: Yes
    Ecosystem Conservation: Yes
    Education: Yes
    Ethnobotany: Yes
    Exploration: Yes
    Floristics: Yes
    Molecular Genetics: Yes
    Pollination Biology: Yes
    Restoration Ecology: Yes
    Systematics and Taxonomy: Yes

Education Programmes