Education is core to the mission of the U.S. Botanic Garden and we welcome media inquiries that help demonstrate the aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic and ecological importance of plants.

For questions, to schedule an interview with staff, request photos for editorial use, or connect about a possible news/educational filming about the U.S. Botanic Garden, please contact Devin Dotson, below. The Garden is not available for photoshoots or video recordings of topics not related to the Garden.

Devin Dotson, Public Affairs Specialist
devin.dotson@aoc.gov
Phone: 202-226-4145

Experts are available to speak about topics including plant conservation, North American native plants, orchids, carnivorous plants, houseplant care, urban agriculture, corpse flowers, the Anacard family, and more.

 

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USBG in the News

Read a selection of recent news stories featuring the Garden’s collections, exhibits, and experts.


Quick Facts

In 1820, the U.S. Congress granted land for a national botanic garden. The United States Botanic Garden is the oldest continuously operating botanic garden in the country. It is part of the legislative branch of government and has been administered through the Architect of the Capitol since 1934.

The U.S. Botanic Garden maintains more than 9,500 accessions, comprising about 44,000 plants for exhibition, study, conservation, and exchange with other institutions. Noteworthy collections include economic plants, medicinal plants, orchids, carnivorous plants, cacti and succulents, Mid-Atlantic native plants, and ferns. Several specimens date from the U.S. Exploring Expedition (1838-1842).

There are three public components of the U.S. Botanic Garden:

  • The Conservatory houses the following displays and exhibits: Garden Court, The Tropics, Plant Adaptations, Primeval Garden, Hawaii, World Deserts, Medicinal Plants, Orchids, Mediterranean, Rare and Endangered Species, Southern Exposure (seasonally), Children’s Garden (seasonally), and temporary exhibits in the East and West Galleries.
  • The gated outdoor gardens (formerly "National Garden") feature a Regional Garden of Mid-Atlantic native plants, a Rose Garden devoted to the national flower, a Pollinator Garden, a First Ladies Water Garden, and an Amphitheater.
  • Bartholdi Fountain and Gardens house the historic Bartholdi Fountain with gardens that showcase beautiful, sustainable, and accessible landscape design. It was renovated in 2016 using the principles of the Sustainable SITES Initiative. The accessible garden design features native plants, water-conserving rain gardens, wildlife habitat, greater accessibility, and Frederic Auguste Bartholdi's historic Fountain of Light and Water.

The U.S. Botanic Garden also serves as a rescue center for plants confiscated at U.S. borders in cooperation with CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The Garden is a living plant museum and is accredited by the American Association of Museums and Botanical Garden Conservation International. 

Recent Press Releases

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U.S. Botanic Garden Shifts Open Hours to 11-6 for July, August 2024

For most of July and August 2024, the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) will shift open hours for the Conservatory to 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. From July 8 through August 30, the shifted hours will allow the USBG to replace the greenhouse glass roof in the Conservatory Garden Court.
Conservatory Garden Court with a long pool and fountain and pink flowers surrounding

U.S. Botanic Garden summer exhibit spotlights four local organizations enriching communities through plants

In a special outdoor summer exhibit, the U.S. Botanic Garden is spotlighting four local organizations enriching their communities through plants, urban agriculture, and food growing. From June to October 2024, “Cultivate: Growing Food in Urban Gardens” shares the stories of a diverse tapestry of urban agriculture through local gardens and greenspaces supported by Washington D.C. community groups through special outdoor installations on the USBG Terrace. Organizations showcased include Building Bridges Across the River, City Blossoms, The Green Scheme, and Washington Parks & People.

Special Summer Evening Hours at U.S. Botanic Garden

On the third Thursdays in June, July, and August 2024, the Garden will stay open until 8 p.m. for visitors to enjoy the golden hour and sunset amidst summer flowers and the USBG plant collection from around the world. All areas of the Garden will stay open until 8 p.m. on June 20, July 18, and August 15, 2024.
Two young women look at tropical plants in the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory

Funds Awarded to 26 Urban Agriculture Projects Led by Public Gardens and Community Partners

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) and American Public Gardens Association (Association) are awarding support to 26 public gardens and their community partners engaging in urban agriculture, food-growing, and related education work. The 26 awards total $445,600 in support for public garden partnerships across the United States that will foster public engagement and education in urban food growing and build capacity in urban agriculture programs. The Urban Agriculture Resilience Program aims to strengthen collaborations, promote resilience, and gather best practices from across the U.S.
Five people stand in a field, holding large garlic plants

Funds to Preserve Global Plant Biodiversity Awarded to Five Botanic Gardens

Washington – The Global Genome Initiative for Gardens (GGI-Gardens), Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), BGCI-US, and the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) are pleased to announce five awards to botanic gardens and arboreta in five countries to collect and conserve plant diversity. The GGI-Gardens Awards Program supports activities to preserve Earth’s genomic biodiversity of plants through sampling of living collections maintained at botanic gardens around the world.
A girl wearing a cap inspects a pink flower while surrounded by tall green grass-like leaves

Smithsonian Gardens and U.S. Botanic Garden To Present 28th Annual Orchid Exhibition

Smithsonian Gardens and the United States Botanic Garden will present “The Future of Orchids: Conservation and Collaboration” from Jan. 27 through April 28, filling the entire Kogod Courtyard of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery with around 350 live orchids. The display will feature a series of newly commissioned and loaned works by contemporary multimedia artist, Phaan Howng, to help audiences visualize the future of orchids and be inspired to take action toward a sustainable future.
whie and green orchids against a purple and black swirled backdrop, with pink and blue swirled paint below

“Season’s Greenings” at U.S. Botanic Garden to spread cheer Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Day

Washington, D.C. – The popular annual holiday display “Season’s Greenings” at the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) will run from Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, 2023, through New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2024, closed on Dec. 25. G-gauge model trains will run between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. each day in the gated outdoor gardens, and the Conservatory will feature poinsettias, holiday decor, and D.C. landmarks made from plants.
a sculpture made from plant parts shows a green-blue bee landing on a yellow vanilla orchid flower