Welcoming you to the North Carolina Botanical Garden, these beds feature a variety of southeastern native wildflowers, shrubs and trees and showcase how their different forms and characteristics can enhance the landscape. The James Ward Gazebo is a great rendezvous point for people coming to the Garden for the first time.
Children’s Wonder Garden
This special area lets children play outdoors and learn about nature in a space just for them. The Wonder Garden includes digging areas, wooden blocks, a fairy place, a picnic lawn, the little woods, a bird blind, and a pollinator garden where children can search for butterflies.
The Courtyard Garden of the Allen Education Center is a beautifully framed event space that showcases southeastern native species and their cultivars in tiered garden beds. At the base of the south-facing slope you can see our compost demonstration area and connect to the Children’s Wonder Garden, Habitat Gardens or Nature Trails that cross Meeting-of-the-Waters Creek.
Discover wildflower and grass species native to the southeastern Piedmont as you walk along the gently curving path. This collection displays plants in assemblages found in natural plant communities and also in more contrived horticultural scenes, complete with vintage agricultural implements. The iconic Cattail Gate will lead you deeper into the garden.
Experience the rolling sandhills of eastern North Carolina and see if you can spot our state tree, the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris). Each year, Garden staff conduct controlled burns to simulate the natural fires that are a characteristic of longleaf wiregrass ecosystems.
Coastal Plain Habitat
Cross the bridge over the Turtle Pond and walk along the boardwalk into the open savannas and tangled pocosins characteristic of the southeastern coastal plain. In our bald cypress grove you will find the seasonally wet Salamander Pool which is a safe breeding ground for local amphibians.
Venture into the mountains where rich soil supports the growth of tall trees. In their shade you will encounter native ferns and wildflowers as well as flowering shrubs and understory trees. While here, relax in the Storytellers’ Chair or step into the Paul Green Cabin, the writing retreat of Pulitzer Prize winning author Paul Green.
Each month provides a different display of our often common and sometimes rare wildflowers, shrubs, and trees native to the southeastern United States. In summer, this garden space is a riot of changing color as a backdrop for weddings and ceremonies. Winter interest is in discovering the architecture of stems and seeds left for their habitat and beauty.
All of the aquatic plants in our water gardens are native to the southeastern United States. This collection includes elegant American white water lilies and American lotus-lilies. The water garden’s emergent plants like heartleaf pickerelweed and powdery alligator-flag are magnets for dragonflies. The plants and the wildlife remain in these water gardens year round.
Carnivorous Plant Collection
The southeastern US is home to the world’s most diverse collection of insect-eating plants. Inside these raised beds, you will find insectivorous plants like sundews, pitcher plants, and the world-famous Venus flytraps.
Plant Family Garden
A feature of some of the very oldest botanical gardens, a plant family garden groups closely related plants. The similarities in floral structures and other shared features are what organize plants into groups called families. This is the garden to explore the taxonomic relationships between many native and other familiar horticultural plants.
Totten Oak Garden
This display features a variety of native southeastern plants that do well in low-maintenance situations. Drought-tolerant plants, ferns that do well in sunny locations, evergreen groundcovers, and flowering perennials that require little attention are alternatives to the modern grass lawn. Visit our giant Rare Plant Chess Set, and rest in the Ken Moore Gathering Circle.
Learn about 500 species, cultivars, and varieties of plants that are grouped according to their culinary, medicinal, and economic or industrial significance. The Herb Garden also features a national collection of rosemary cultivars, a wooden cottage known as the Herb House and a Rose Arbor.
Poisonous Plants Garden
Many plants contain toxic chemical compounds but they are often limited to a particular part of the plant and/or specific form of exposure (touched, eaten or inhaled). Some compounds protect the plant from browsing animals and some also have medicinal uses at the proper concentration. Stroll this garden to learn more about plant chemistry!
Native American Garden
Learn about plants that were used for medicine, ceremonies, and everyday living by Native Americans of the southeastern United States. Visitors may also pause to enjoy the relaxing sounds of the Native American Stream.