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outdoor garden


With 127 acres of arboretum, 6-acres of outdoor managed gardens and a 12,000 square foot conservatory, we invite you to explore the natural world through our extensive plant collections. Plant collections are central to what botanic gardens do and for many reasons. At the Botanic Garden of Smith College, more than 7,000 documented, labeled and mapped plants represent a broad selection of native and non-native species, ranging from cultivars of landscape plants to wild collected species with provenance that underpins our conservation efforts. 


Lyman Plant House

Lyman Plant House is one of the few remaining plant conservatories in the United States that was built in the 19th century. With its tropical greenhouses dating to 1895, Lyman holds more than 2,200 plant species selected from a wide variety of families and habitats. It comprises one of the most diverse collections of tropical, subtropical and desert plants in the country. Explore Lyman Plant House.

Outdoor Gardens

Our landscape contains numerous named gardens, each built to provide both a sense of place as well as tools and inspiration for learning. These spaces integrate our history with our vision for the future as a leader in conservation and education. Our gardens and the elements within them allow visitors to explore the beauty and diversity of the botanical world as well as their relationships to each other, to humanity, and to the complex living environments that they naturally occur in today. Learn more

Campus Arboretum

No element of the botanic garden underscores the integration of our collections with the campus landscape better than the arboretum. Visitors will find that almost every planted tree, shrub and woody vine on campus has a botanic garden label that shares its identity, botanical family and provenance.  

The role of botanic gardens and arboreta grows in importance as the challenges of conserving the value and resilience of the natural communities that our plants represent intensify. We look to build collections that support the natural systems that our campus is situated within and protect the genetic diversity plant populations need to thrive.

 Learn more about our campus arboretum.

gingko tree

Plant Collections

We take great care in correctly identifying, documenting, mapping and labeling our collections to serve our goals of display, education, research and conservation. Our vision for an ideal collection balances the garden’s mission with the desires and needs of curators and stakeholders, and prioritizes educational opportunities. 

Discover our plant collections.