At A Glance
Location: 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO, 63110
Hours: Tues – Sun 9 AM – 5 PM, Closed on Mondays
Price: $12 per adult, $6 for residents of St. Louis City or County, Free for kids 12 & under
Henry Shaw once owned the land where the Missouri Botanical Garden is located. It was founded in 1859 and is among the oldest botanical institutions in the U.S., and it’s also listed as a National Historic Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places.
The garden acts as a center for science education and botanical research of international repute. It’s also an oasis for the city of St. Louis, as it comprises 79 acres. The garden includes a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, a children’s garden, the Climatron geodesic dome conservatory, an Osage camp, and Henry Shaw’s original home from 1850.
What to Expect at Missouri Botanical Garden
You can expect to get lost in the lush gorgeousness of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Each of the garden’s sections offers its own unique guest experience.
Though most people wouldn’t guess, St. Louis is home to an actual Japanese Garden that’s complete with every element you’d expect to find such as lakes, footbridges, and lanterns. This portion encompasses 14-acres and is an excellent place to learn more about Japanese culture and activities.
The Victorian District surrounds Shaw’s former home, Tower Grove House, and features brick walkways that wind through Victorian gardens. You’ll notice a white statue of the goddess Juno and it’s interesting to note that it actually belonged to Henry Shaw.
Tower Grove House
As we mentioned, Tower Grove House is the country home that once belonged to the Botanical Garden’s founder, Henry Shaw. The house is open daily for tours and shows visitors what life was like for wealthy St. Louisans in the mid-1800s. Though it’s gone through several renovations, the home is still decorated with period furnishings.
If you’re a fan of tropical plants such as orchids and palm trees, then the Climatron is where you want to go. The large dome-shaped greenhouse is home to thousands of plants, just beware that the temperature inside remains over 80 degrees, so dress accordingly.
This greenhouse was built in 1882 and is the oldest in operation west of the Mississippi. Originally built to house palms, citrus trees, and other tropical plants during the winter, it’s now home to citrus plants, camellia trees, and cacti from around the globe.
This is a favorite place for both kids and parents. The children can run off energy and cool down in the splash area, while the parents can have fun trying to keep up. This section costs a small charge for children ages 3 to 12 but is free for parents and small children.
To see every plant at the Missouri Botanical Garden you could easily spend an entire day. However, since most people don’t plan to spend that long, a minimum of 2 hours allows you to see all the main attractions.
The Missouri Botanical Garden is both inside and outside, depending on which part of the garden you are located. For example, the greenhouse and the Tower Grove House are both indoor, but other areas such as the Victorian gardens are outdoor.
What’s blooming at the Missouri Botanical Garden?
The plants in bloom at the Missouri Botanical Garden will depend on the season in which you visit. Here’s an overview of when certain plants bloom:
- Spring – Magnolia, azalea, redbuds, cherry trees, dogwoods, daffodils, pansies, tulips, and more.
- Summer – Water lilies, roses, fruits, vegetables, and mums.
- Autumn – Roses, water lilies, holly trees, pansies, chrysanthemums, and more
- Winter – Crapemyrtles, pines, holly trees, paper birch, ironwood, and more.