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About the Conservatory

Conservatory & Botanical Collection - College of Biological Sciences


The College of Biological Sciences Conservatory is a biodiverse collection of plant species from around the world. The collection is the most diverse in the upper Midwestern United States, containing over 1,800 species of plants. We service the needs of classes, researchers and the surrounding community by making both our plants and expertise available. We care for everything from rare and endangered plants, to invasive species, to plants that show developing economic potential. The material from this diverse living collection is leveraged for the maximum benefit for our students, scientists and the public at large.

Our mission is to cultivate plants from around the world with the intent to inspire, educate, and advance research and conservation. 


The aims of the Conservatory are to:

  • Address specific teaching needs by collaborating with faculty and growing and providing plant materials for courses and labs
  • Design and deliver essential and diverse plant materials, knowledge and opportunities for faculty and student research across colleges.
  • Engage in broad plant biodiversity research and conservation efforts to inform an understanding of the evolution and ecology of plants.
  • Partner with faculty to design displays that showcase their research and to improve the quality of inquiry-based learning opportunities for students.
  • Partner with university staff and community members to design educational exhibits which promote awareness and conservation of floral diversity.
  • Maximize outreach opportunities and partnerships by providing tours and collections of plants pertinent to the community.
Lisa with students in the Ancient Rainforest "biome" roomAngie talking to students about plants from the collection
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