Explore UW’s Tropical Oasis Before It Closes In May

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Now that summer has faded into autumn, the promise of heavy gray skies looms before us — an inevitable fate that many of us in the Northwest dread. In lieu of escaping to warmer climates or enduring winter’s relentless somber hold, there is a secret tropical oasis right here on campus that offers respite from the oppressive weather ahead. While the wind and rain may pound outside, sumptuous scents, rich colors, and tantalizing textures transport you on a botanical journey across the globe.

Just off Stevens Way on the southwest side of campus, the New Botany Greenhouse has been quietly providing sanctuary for those who know to seek it for nearly 40 years. The biomes within the glass walls range from austere desert to lush tropics. From the rare and unusual to the steadfast and familiar, the diversity of plants will satisfy even the most esoteric of tastes.




Visit soon, as this will be the final year the New Botany Greenhouse will stand. The greenhouse is due to be taken down in May 2016 to make way for a new Life Sciences Building and greenhouse. Opening in 2018, the new, state-of-the-art facilities will advance plant science research and once again allow the teaching collection to grow.

You are invited to come see the botanical wonders and experience the post-WWII charms of a greenhouse from a bygone era before it becomes a memory. Despite our cloistered appearance we are open to the public during the week, usually from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. We encourage visitors to explore the four collection rooms and the Pollination Garden just outside. The Pollination Garden is in full bloom now, but the extravagance will end upon the first frost. Though the eternal summer of the New Botany Greenhouse must finally come to an end, we eagerly await the start of a new spring in the Biology Greenhouse.

If you would like to know more information about the new facilities, please visit our website. If you would like to help with our transition, please contact Lisa Tran via email or by phone at 206-685-2185.



Greenhouse attendant Terry Huang loves all things botanical. He has realized the only thing lacking in his life is his own chlorophyll. He hopes one day to be matched for a chlorophyll transplant, but until then he loves working with plants and sharing their fantastic stories.