Current Exhibits

"Cultivate: Growing Food in a Changing World" exhibit

Agriculture impacts everyone’s daily life and not just because of the food we eat. Explore the galleries and gardens to learn how inventive ideas in agriculture, both scientific and social, sustain and enrich life and how growing and cooking food connects people with each other and communities.
Location: Conservatory

Upcoming Exhibits

"Season's Greenings" holiday exhibit 2024

Explore the plants of the holidays with us! This year’s “Season’s Greenings” features thousands of poinsettias, D.C. landmarks made from plants inside the Conservatory, model trains in the outdoor gardens, and festive lights and decor throughout the Garden.
Location: Outdoor Gardens

Past Exhibits

"Season's Greenings" holiday exhibit 2023

Our popular annual holiday display “Season’s Greenings” features model trains in the gated outdoor gardens, festive lights throughout the Garden, thousands of poinsettias, holiday decor, and D.C. landmarks made from plants inside the Conservatory. On the lawn in the gated outdoor gardens, G-gauge model trains circulate from 10:00-5:00 daily through displays of pollinators made from plant parts. These scenes range from oversized models of native U.S. flowers like milkweed to an orchid bee pollinating a vanilla orchid flower, a chocolate midge pollinating a cacao flower, a lemur pollinating a traveler’s tree flower, and more! The Garden will be closed on December 25.
Location: Outdoor Gardens

The Future of Orchids: Conservation and Collaboration

Smithsonian Gardens and the United States Botanic Garden will present “The Future of Orchids: Conservation and Collaboration” from Jan. 27 through April 28, 2024, 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.
Location: Off-site

"Season's Greenings" holiday exhibit 2022

The U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) offered a garden-wide “Season’s Greenings” holiday display in 2022, running from Thursday, Nov. 24, through Monday, Jan. 2, 2023, closed Dec. 25. As part of the festivities, G-gauge model trains ran between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. each day in the gated outdoor gardens and the Conservatory featured poinsettias, holiday decor, and D.C. landmarks made from plants.
Location: Outdoor Gardens

Discover the World of Orchids

This winter, explore the fabulous world of orchids at the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG)! This year’s joint orchid show celebrates the diversity of orchids found throughout the world. One of the largest plant families in the world, orchid shapes, sizes, colors, scents, and more vary greatly! Throughout the Conservatory, thousands of orchid blooms will showcase the USBG and Smithsonian Gardens’ extensive orchid collections. Join us to celebrate these fantastic flowers!
Location: Conservatory

Corpse flower bloom 2013

Titan Arum: Amorphophallus titanum is known as the titan arum, or corpse flower, because at full bloom, the inflorescence is said to smell like a large rotting corpse. The U.S. Botanic Garden has displayed these amazing blooming plants in 2003, 2005 and 2007, 2013, and 2016.

Season's Greenings: All Aboard! 2018

This year, explore America by train as our annual holiday show Season's Greenings showcases historic railroad stations across the country. In our model train show, trains chug around, below, through, and above plant-based recreations of iconic depots from across the United States. View thousands of blooms throughout the Conservatory, including a showcase of heirloom and newly developed poinsettia varieties. Join us as we celebrate the holidays and America's natural and cultural treasures.
Location: Conservatory

Discover the World of Orchids

Come explore the fabulous world of orchids! In celebration of the U.S. Botanic Garden’s bicentennial year, our orchid show celebrates plant exploration and the diversity of orchids found throughout the world.
Location: Conservatory

You Can Grow It!

The world of horticulture is for everyone -- those with green thumbs and those green with envy. Growing and caring for plants might seem daunting, but this exhibit will help experienced and novice gardeners alike have more fruitful indoor and outdoor gardening experiences. Wander the exhibit gallery and outdoor gardens to explore the basics of growing plants and investigate solutions for many common plant problems. Along the way, discover foolproof plants, learn about the right plant for the right place and person, and even pick up a few specialty horticulture techniques for plants requiring a little extra care. Whatever your skill level, You Can Grow It has something for you!
Location: Conservatory

It's Hip to Be Square: The Mint Family

Did you know that coleus, sage, and rosemary are all in the mint family (Lamiaceae)? This plant family contains many culinary herbs. This plant family contains many culinary herbs. Mint family members are usually aromatic, have square stems, and opposite leaves. Most people know about Mentha (peppermint and spearmint) and Salvia (sage) species, but there are over 230 genera and more than 7,000 species in the mint family. Come explore this beautiful exhibit to learn about the interesting plants in this unique family. This exhibit was on display in the Conservatory's South Lobby.
Location: Conservatory

Outdoor Holiday Display 2021

The U.S. Botanic Garden featured an outdoor holiday display in 2021 with festive adornments, lighted trees and shrubs, and an outdoor train display throughout the outdoor gardens.
Location: Outdoor Gardens

Season's Greenings: America's Gardens

Join us to explore botanic gardens from Hawaii to Maine in this year’s Season’s Greenings holiday show! Plant based recreations of conservatories, fountains, and sculptures will fill the model train room.These will include iconic gardens scenes like Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s vibrant red Japanese torii gate, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ flamingo topiaries, Missouri Botanical Garden’s famous Climatron conservatory, and Huntsville Botanical Garden’s Rocket Gardenfeaturing NASA space nodes and rockets! The Conservatory will be filledwith thousands of flowers, including a showcase of heirloom and newly developed poinsettia varieties. Our collection of D.C. landmarks made from plant materials will return to fill the Garden Court, and the West Gallery will feature a decorated tree with its own model train. Join us as we celebrate the holidays and America’s beautiful and diverse public gardens.

U.S. Botanic Garden Celebrates 200th Anniversary

For 200 years, the Garden has shared the beauty and usefulness of plants with the world. Join us on a journey of plant exploration, and challenge yourself with plant science interactives, three-dimensional sights, infamous smells, and more! Learn more about the rich history and developing future of the USBG in this two-part exhibit.

Flora of the National Parks

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, this art exhibit showcases some of the plant species and communities found throughout the more than 400 national park sites.
Location: Conservatory

Exposed: The Secret Life of Roots

Plant roots are vital components of the earth’s ecosystem. They are necessary for plant growth, including the production of food and nutrients for humans and many other organisms. However, as root systems are out of sight, their beauty and importance often go unnoticed. This exhibit used the work of agricultural ecologist Dr. Jerry Glover, sculptor Steve Tobin, and photographer Jim Richardson to showcase the importance of roots through visually stunning root representations.

Celebrating New American Gardens exhibit

Public gardens across America are engaging, inviting, and dynamic. Gardens are living creations, as they display seasonal changes along with a constant ebb and flow. This exhibit celebrates American gardens created or renovated within the last five years. These gardens showcase new plant collections, create spaces for people to connect with nature, and foster sustainability. Come explore what's new in public gardens!

Annual Joint Orchid Show with Smithsonian Gardens: Orchids: Amazing Adaptions [at Kogod Courtyard]

Escape the winter cold and step into a floral oasis in the Kogod Courtyard with Orchids: Amazing Adaptations. A joint collaboration with Smithsonian Gardens, United States Botanic Garden, Smithsonian American Art Museum, and National Portrait Gallery, this installation fills the courtyard with hundreds of orchids of stunning variety. The installation showcases how orchids have adapted to their many different environments and can be found on every single continent except Antarctica. Orchids: Amazing Adaptations is part of Habitat, a Smithsonian Gardens–wide exhibition exploring the importance of habitats and how we can help protect them. Habitat is the first in a series of changing exhibitions connecting all of Smithsonian Gardens’ spaces with a single theme. From 2019 to 2020, Habitat will feature a variety of indoor and outdoor displays, exhibits, and educational programs.

Botanical Art Worldwide: America's Flora

The United States Botanic Garden in collaboration with the American Society of Botanical Artists presents a juried exhibition of American native plant botanical artworks. The exhibit, on display in the West Gallery of the U.S. Botanic Garden, features 46 pieces depicting a diverse range of plants including trees, cacti, wildflowers, and more. These artworks were selected from a field of over 200 entries. Similar exhibitions will be held in 24 other countries, each highlighting plants native to their own country.
Location: Conservatory

Wall Flowers: Botanical Murals

Stop and take a look at the murals covering our city walls and you’ll notice plants are often featured. Plants in murals communicate the aesthetic, ecological, and historic importance of plants in the urban environment. This exhibit features large-scale art by local artists who specialize in public murals that beautify our cities. Their murals depict plants using bold colors and monumental scale. The exhibit fosters creative conversations about botanical art and new ways to communicate the important roles plants play in our lives.
Location: Conservatory

Orchid Spectrum

Come immerse yourself in our annual orchid show, presented in collaboration with Smithsonian Gardens. Found on every continent except Antarctica, orchids showcase a wide spectrum of diversity in color, shape, size, habitat, scent, and many other aspects. Visit the USBG Conservatory to explore thousands of amazing orchid blooms arranged in captivating displays, and appreciate many unique, rarely seen orchids from the USBG’s and Smithsonian Gardens’ extensive plant collections.
Location: Conservatory

Orchids: A Moment

The 2017 Orchid Exhibit, a collaborative effort between Smithsonian Gardens, U.S. Botanic Garden, and Smithsonian Exhibits, was held in the Hirshhorn Museum for the first time. Exhibit designers from the Hirshhorn created artistic structures for showcasing the orchids that enabled visitors to move through the display and experience their own personal moment.

Flourish Inside and Out

From a walk in the woods to strolling through a park, and from gardening at home to visiting a public garden, therapeutic horticulture, nature therapy, and accessible gardening connect people to nature and themselves.
Location: Conservatory

Orchids in Focus exhibit

Orchids in Focus (February - April 2016) was the 2016 joint USBG-Smithsonian Gardens annual orchid exhibit. Orchids in Focus showcased how these exotic beauties have inspired artists and photographers for centuries and allowed visitors to immerse themselves in a floral paradise of orchids from the forest canopy down to the ground, and focus their own camera on these unique and beautiful plants.
Location: Conservatory

Illustrating Hidden Treasures: Botanical Art by Wendy Hollender

Illustrating Hidden Treasures: Botanical Art by Wendy Hollender (West Gallery, September 1 - October 25, 2015) explored the belowground structures of plants through the botanical art of Wendy Hollender. On display in the West Gallery were several pieces by this celebrated artist who owns her own farm in the Catskills where she lives, farms, and draws
Location: Conservatory

Plants in Culture - A Sensory Experience

(West Gallery, 2001-2015) emphasized the countless ways in which plants enrich human life. Sensory displays feature plants in therapy, ornamentation, music, ceremony, language and many other expressions of culture.
Location: Conservatory

Orchids: Interlocking Science and Beauty

Orchids: Interlocking Science and Beauty at the National Museum of Natural History was the 2015 joint Smithsonian Gardens and U.S. Botanic Garden annual orchid exhibit. The 2015 exhibit explored how new ideas, technologies, and inventions are changing the way we study, protect, and enjoy orchids.

Savage Gardens

Savage Gardens provided a special look into the captivating, and bizarre, world of carnivorous plants and their astounding adaptations to inhospitable habitats. Hungry for more? Don't miss the time lapse video of a sundew trapping a fruit fly.

Orchids: Hidden Stories of Groundbreaking Women

“Orchids: Hidden Stories of Groundbreaking Women” unearths stories of women who have enriched our understanding and appreciation of orchids. Despite their remarkable achievements in art, botanical illustration, orchid cultivation and scientific discovery, many of the featured women have not received the recognition they deserve. “Orchids: Hidden Stories of Groundbreaking Women” highlights these unsung horticultural heroines and solidifies their ongoing influence on orchid collections. Visitors can see the exhibit and its accompanying orchid display at the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard, shared by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. This exhibit is a collaboration between U.S. Botanic Garden and Smithsonian Gardens.

Garden Areas