Inside the Greenhouse
Inside the Greenhouse

About the building

As part of an initiative to expand the Barnes Arboretum's plant propagation program, the Lord & Burnham Company was commissioned to construct a greenhouse on the Merion property in 1924. The new greenhouse, designed by Rough Brothers and completed in 2002, incorporates elements from the original greenhouse, including the original foundation, a low outside wall made of brick, and a stairway with embedded pots. 

The greenhouse, built of aluminum and glass, features efficient heating and cooling systems that can be controlled both digitally and manually. Curtains for shade and supplemental lighting limit sun exposure and lengthen days, while air circulation and misting systems ensure that growing conditions are ideal for the plants within.


What's growing in the greenhouse?

Plants cultivated in the greenhouse are primarily used for education and display purposes. The small but diverse collection of unusual plants that represent various plant families from around the world play an important role in the courses that make up the Foundation's Horticulture Education program. Some of the greenhouses's plant highlights are its orchids, begonias, succulents, and ferns, as well as various tropical plants.



Living collections

Monkey-puzzle tree, dogwoods, lilacs, horsetails, winter jasmine, and coastal redwood: these are just a few of the rare and beautiful plants in the arboretum. Learn more about our living collections.


Whether you have a blossoming interest in botany or are simply looking to get your hands dirty, consider becoming an arboretum volunteer. Learn more.