I had the opportunity to visit the Missouri Botanical Gardens a couple weeks ago while in St. Louis. Being a wetland scientist and spending a lot of my time identifying plant species, I was at awe at the diversity of plants at the Gardens. One particular greenhouse, the Linnean House (pictured above), became one of my favorites early on in the tour. It was built in 1882 and is the oldest continuously operated public greenhouse west of the Mississippi River.
It was originally designed as an orangery, a house to overwinter citrus trees, palms and tree ferns. Due to mother nature the greenhouse has been renovated a few times but still has kept to its history. It now showcases dozens of camellia trees in the northern half of the house but has been restored to its original use as an orangery in the southern half of the conservatory.
For all you botanists out there the Linnean House was named after Carl Linnaeus, the “father of taxonomy”. He was a Swedish Botanist, physician and zoologist who laid the foundation for the modern scheme of binomial nomenclature.
Next time you’re in St. Louis I highly recommend you take the time to stop by the Gardens. It is well worth the trip.
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