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botanical garden

botanical garden, public place in which plants are grown both for display and for scientific study. An arboretum is a botanical garden devoted chiefly to the growing of woody plants. The plants in botanical gardens are labeled, usually with both the common and the scientific names, and they are often arranged in cultural or habitat groups, such as rock gardens, aquatic gardens, desert gardens, and tropical gardens. Botanical gardens perform diversified functions, e.g., the collection and cultivation of plants from all parts of the world (which has made them increasingly important for protecting endangered plants), experimentation in plant breeding and hybridization, the maintenance of botanical libraries and herbariums, and the administration of educational programs for adults and children.

The two most important gardens in the United States are the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx Park, New York City (est. 1891) and the Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Mo. (est. c.1860 and affiliated with Washington Univ.). The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, formerly Blaksley Botanic Garden, Santa Barbara, Calif. (est. 1926), is noted for its collection of desert and subtropical ornamental plants. Other well-known botanical gardens are the Arnold Arboretum, near Boston, Mass. (est. 1872 as part of Harvard); Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, N.Y. (est. 1910); Highland and Durand-Eastman parks, Rochester, N.Y.; Bartram's Gardens, Philadelphia (founded 1728); the United States Botanic Gardens (est. 1820) and the National Arboretum (est. 1927), Washington, D.C.; Fairchild Tropical Garden, Coconut Grove, Fla. (est. 1938); Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Fort Worth, Tex. (est. 1933); Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden, Anaheim, Calif. (est. 1927); Huntington Botanical Garden, San Marino, Calif; the botanical gardens at Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto, Canada; and the numerous botanical gardens of Europe, including the Royal Botanic Gardens, known as Kew Gardens, London; and the Jardin des Plantes, Paris.


See D. Wyman, The Arboretums and Botanical Gardens of North America (rev. ed. 1959); V. Heywood et al., ed., International Directory of Botanical Gardens (5th ed. 1990); S. Oldfield, Botanic Gardens: Modern-Day Arks (2010).

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An informally arranged garden, usually on a large scale, where trees are grown for display, educational, or scientific purposes.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a section of land on which a collection of woody plants (trees, shrubs, vines) is grown in open soil. An arboretum may be independent or may be part of a botanical garden. It is usually planted in the style of a landscaped park. The plants are arranged according to taxonomic, geographical, ecological, or ornamental systems. Arboretums have scientific, educational, cultural, or experimental purposes. They demonstrate the richness and variety of arboreal plants from different countries and conduct scientific work on plant introduction, acclimatization, and breeding. Arboretums disseminate planting material, seeds, and cuttings of valuable and rare arboreal plants.

In the USSR the richest collections of tree species are found in the arboretum of the Central Botanical Garden of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (Moscow); the Nikita (near Yalta), Sukhumi, and Batumi botanical gardens (Georgia); the Arboretum Park in Sochi; and the S. M. Kirov Forestry Academy (Leningrad). Abroad the most interesting and abundant collections include the arboretum of the botanical garden at Kew (near London), the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Boston (USA), the Mlyṅany Arboretum (Czechoslovak SSR), and the Kurnik Arboretum (Polish People’s Republic).


Botanicheskie sady SSSR. Moscow, 1949.
Botanicheskie sady mira. Moscow, 1959.
Howard, R. A., B. L. Wagenknecht, and P. S. Green. International Directory of Botanical Gardens. Utrecht, 1963.
“150 let Gosudarstvennomu Nikitskomu botanicheskomu sadu.” Sb. nauchnykh tr. Gosudarstvennogo Botanicheskogo sada, 1964, vol. 37.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


An area where trees and shrubs are cultivated for educational and scientific purposes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


An informally arranged garden, usually on a large scale, where trees are grown for display, educational, or scientific purposes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a place where trees or shrubs are cultivated for their scientific or educational interest
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
One answer lies in composting, as arboreta are increasingly demonstrating.
As part of the sustainability push, many arboreta are promoting recycling.
In the past, dead trees arboreta were trucked away to rot.
Arboreta are specifically addressing these concerns.
Suburban homeowners looking to reduce water consumption can learn much from arboreta. The U.S.
His organization, a coalition of 90 arboreta, parks, and campuses across Nebraska, works to educate the public about trees, especially their benefits for water management in that drought-prone prairie region.
Arboreta need to begin educating the public about this contentious issue, urged several speakers at the recent 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress in Dublin, Ireland, which Kern Ewing and many other American arboretum experts attended.
"We need to educate visitors on a nonpolitical basis about how climate affects growing and living." As arboreta redefine their missions and refocus their priorities for the 21st century, the impact of climate on the growth of plants and trees--and on our lives generally--promises to be an important direction.