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Photo of Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, Architect of the Capitol in front of the Capitol Building
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Explore Capitol Hill

U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory

Outside view of the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory and sign.

The U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory is delightful to the senses and refreshing to the spirit. From jungle to desert to primeval paradise, the indoor gardens and galleries of the U.S. Botanic Garden highlight the diversity of plants worldwide, as well as their aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic and ecological significance. 

Towering leaves, graceful flowers, delicate seeds and exotic fruits of plants at their peak are displayed artfully throughout the historic Conservatory and visitors of all ages are captivated by the sights, smells, sounds and textures that surround them.

Constructed by the Architect of the Capitol in 1933, this historic Lord & Burnham greenhouse contains two courtyard gardens and 10 garden rooms under glass, totaling 28,944 square feet of exhibition space.

  • Garden Court
    The colorful foliage and flowers create a beautiful setting to feature economic and ethno-botanical plants used in products that provide our fibers, food, beverages, cosmetics, wood, spices and more.
  • Jungle
    A tropical rainforest overtakes an abandoned plantation. The dome rises to 93 feet and has a mezzanine level from which to view the jungle canopy.
  • Plant Adaptations
    Shows some of the fascinating adaptations that have evolved in the plant world.
  • Garden Primeval
    A reconstructed Jurassic landscape of ferns and other ancient plant groups that have survived for 150 million years.
  • Hawaii
    A collection plants native to Hawaii, where species have adapted to live in the specialized conditions of these remote volcanic islands.
  • World Deserts
    Filled with cactus, succulents, grasses, shrubs and other flowering plants endemic to arid locations.
  • Medicinal Plants
    Explores the origins of plant medicine and displays a collection of medicinal plants from all over the world.
  • Orchids
    An ever-blooming, ever-changing display of these mythic plants. The orchid collection numbers about 7,500 specimens, with hundreds on display at any given time.
  • Plant Exploration
    Highlights plant discoveries in the wild and in the laboratory.
  • Rare and Endangered Species
    A changing display of rare, threatened and endangered plants and habitats.
  • Southern Exposure
    A micro-climate outdoor garden featuring North American plants native to the Southeast, the Southwest and Mexico. Open seasonally.
  • Children's Garden
    An outdoor garden where children can play and learn informally about plants. Open seasonally.
  • West Gallery
    "Plants in Culture" emphasizes the countless ways in which plants enrich human life. Sensory displays feature plants in therapy, ornamentation, music, ceremony, cuisine, language and many other expressions of culture.
  • East Gallery
    Where seasonal exhibits delight, educate and inspire visitors to become more active stewards of the plants that support life on earth.

Find out what's blooming in the Conservatory at usbg.gov/gardens/conservatory-whats-bloom.


100 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024


Last Updated: July 14, 2015