The U.S. National Arboretum is a Department of Agriculture research facility and living museum. It is dedicated to serving the public and improving our environment by developing and promoting improved landscape plants and new technologies through scientific research, educational programs, and display gardens.
The National Arboretum is a unique Federal institution linked by partnerships to many governmental agencies, the scientific community, other arboreta and botanical gardens, and private-sector groups. As a national center for public education, the Arboretum welcomes visitors to a stimulating and aesthetically pleasing environment.
Fast Facts About the Arboretum
Established in 1927 by an Act of Congress. The Arboretum is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.
To serve the public need for scientific research, education, and gardens that conserve and showcase plants to enhance the environment.
Northeast Washington, DC, with entrances on New York Avenue and R Street. There are research locations in Washington, DC; Beltsville, Maryland; and McMinnville, Tennessee.
446 acres with 9.5 miles of winding roadways.
Single‑genus groupings include: azalea, boxwood, daffodil, daylily, dogwood, holly, magnolia, maple, and peony. Major garden features include: aquatic plants, the Asian Collections, the Fern Valley Native Plant Collections, the Flowering Tree Collection, the Flowering Tree Walk, the Friendship Garden, the Gotelli Dwarf and Slow‑Growing Conifer Collection, the Introduction Garden, the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, the National Capitol Columns, the National Grove of State Trees, and the National Herb Garden.
Public education programs, including symposia, lectures, workshops, and demonstrations; plant, flower, and art exhibitions; interpretive brochures and signs; group tours; public relations.
Over 120 scientific articles in professional and trade journals in the last 3 years. Various program aids for visitors. Eight publications in the National Arboretum Contribution series.
678 official plant releases. Eight patents and two EPA biopesticide registrations.
Permanent reference collection of over 650,000 specimens of dried pressed plants for scientific studies in agriculture, horticulture, botany, medicine, and other related fields. Contains plants from around the world, with a special emphasis on cultivated plants. Especially well represented groups include azaleas (Rhododendron), cherries (Prunus), daffodils (Narcissus), daylilies (Hemerocallis), hollies (Ilex), oaks (Quercus), viburnums (Viburnum), and willows (Salix).
Over 11,000 books and 100 journals emphasizing ornamental horticulture, botany, plant taxonomy, plant exploration and natural history, with special collections on bonsai, penjing, ikebana, viewing stones and related arts. Affiliated with the National Agricultural Library.
The Arboretum grounds are open every day of the year except December 25 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free.
The Arbor House Gift Shop is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., from March 1 through mid-December, and until 5:00 p.m. on weekends, April through September.
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