The United States Botanic Garden in Washington, DC — A National Treasure

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is located in the heart of Washington, DC along the National Mall with the towering US Capitol Building in the background. The USBG, one of the oldest botanic gardens in the nation, not only offers a gorgeous venue to view many rare and exotic plants, it also provides educational exhibits of the importance of plants to the Earth and its ecosystem.

The United States Botanic Garden (Courtesy USBG)
The United States Botanic Garden (Courtesy USBG)

The Conservatory, National Garden and Bartholdi Park make up the US Botanic Garden campus. One of the most popular exhibits is the spectacular orchid display. The USBG houses about 5000 orchid specimens with hundreds on display at any one time, and more during the annual Orchid exhibit which generally runs from mid-February through April (rotating annually between the USBG and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History).

View live garden scenes with plants from the Jurassic era that predate flowering plants. Marvel at exotic plants from Hawaii, some of the most endangered plants of the United States. Observe the live jungle exhibit from above tree level. Pause for a while to let your youngsters play in the Children’s Garden. And as you are touring the USBG, record your adventure in your own Family Field Journal — available at the USBG Visitors Information Services Desk. Don’t forget the annual holiday show that runs between Thanksgiving and New Year’s and features garden railways and models of DC landmarks built from natural materials.

The National Garden, to the west of the Conservatory, includes a butterfly garden, an organic rose garden, and beautiful regional gardens, all in the shadow of the United States Capitol.
And be sure to remember to visit Bartholdi Park, just across Independence Avenue. This garden features smaller vignettes that give homeowners ideas and gardening tips.

The United States Botanic Garden is open 10-5 every day of the year. View the Visitor Guide prior to your trip. The Guide is available in several languages other than English.

The United States capital city of Washington, DC offers so many attractions that it’s hard to list them all. The White House, the Capitol Building, the National Museums, and countless memorials showcase this city’s history and position as a World Power. And, for the gardener and other travelers alike, over 50 private and public destination gardens are within an hour’s travel of the city. Walking tours are also prevalent in this very walkable city.

Washington is a global city offering cuisines from all over the world. Enjoy local Maryland crabcakes and Virginia peanut soup. Or sample French, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Mexican, American — you name it, and you will find fabulous food in this city. After all, America is known as the Melting Pot!

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