The North Carolina Botanical Garden is a 1,000-acre botanical garden in Chapel Hill, NC. Managed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the botanical garden was established to research, catalog, preserve and promote the native plant species of North Carolina and is open seven days a week.
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The North Carolina Botanical Garden features 10 acres of display gardens and several pristine natural areas in the Piedmont of North Carolina. The gardens also feature the Display Gardens and Education Center, home to several habitat display gardens, family-friendly Piedmont Nature Trails, and a sustainable Education Center that offers educational programs, workshops and classes are offered for visitors of all ages.
The Garden was founded by Professor William Chambers Coker in 1903 when he began to plant shrubs and trees on the University’s central campus, now known as the Coker Arboretum. An additional 70 acres was donated to the garden by the Trustees of the University in 1952 and another 103 acres by William Lanier Hunt. Considerable expansions took place in the 1960s, including the sustainable Frank Harmon-designed Visitor Education Center, contributing towards to the vast 1,000 acres that make up the Botanical Garden today.
The mission of the North Carolina Botanical Garden is to inspire a deeper appreciation and understanding of plants and nature and encourage an interest in the conservation of plants to provide and maintain a sustainable relationship between nature and people.
The North Carolina Botanical Garden has a Conservation Garden which was developed to represent the many conservation-related activities that form the core of the Botanical Garden's mission and programs. The Conservation works around eight themed programs that contribute to the overall functioning of the Botanical Garden, including Propagation of native plants, Seed Banking and Reintroduction, Protection and Restoration of natural areas, and the elimination of Invasive Species. The remaining four themes include Gardening in Nature's Context, Sustainable Gardening, supplying critical information on conservation of the flora of the southeastern United States, and People-Nature Relations.
The North Carolina Botanical Garden features 14 collections and unique display gardens, containing over 2,500 species of the nearly 5,000 plant species that are native or naturalized in North and South Carolina.
Battle Park is a beautiful wooded tract on the east side of the University campus in the center of the Chapel Hill. Named in honor of late President of the UNC, Kemp Plummer, the 93-acre forestland features walking and cycling trails and a stone amphitheater known as the Forest Theater.
The Carnivorous Plant Collection is an acclaimed collection of unique carnivorous plants, including pitcher plants, butterworts, Venus Flytraps and sundews, and the Coastal Plain and Sandhills Habitat Gardens feature fauna and flora found in the ecosystems of eastern North Carolina.
The Garden’s Fern Collection is packed with a variety of Southeastern fern species, and the Garden of Flowering Plant Families is a traditional botanical garden that explores the evolutionary relationships between flowering plant groups through an array of informative and exciting exhibits and displays.
The Horticultural Therapy Demonstration Garden features award-winning heirloom vegetables and flowers varieties, while the Mercer Reeves Hubbard Herb Garden contains over 500 species of herbs in a variety of displays, including an Economic Garden, a Culinary Garden, a Medicinal Garden, a Poison Garden, and a Native American Garden.
The Mountain Habitat Garden features a variety of plants and trees found in the mountainous areas of the southern Appalachian mountains, particularly those which are found at high altitudes and can survive at elevations of up to 7,000 feet.
The Mason Farm Biological Reserve is a beautiful natural area of landscapes that spans 367-acre and features old fields and sites dating back to the before the Civil War, the most famous of which are the 65-acre ancient forested site and hardwood bottomland known as Big Oak Woods. Here, visitors can take in the majesty of huge white oak trees that are more than 300 years old.
The Native Plant Border garden features native perennials, shrubs, and small trees and the Native Water Gardens are home to an array of aquatic plants native to the southeastern United States, such as Pontederia cordata, and Nelumbo lutea.
The UNC Herbarium is a treasure trove of natural history specimens with the earliest collections dating back to 1835. The Herbarium features 750,000 natural history specimens that document the identity and distribution of plants in North Carolina and throughout the Southeast.
Other special areas of the Botanical Garden include the Coker Arboretum, one of the Garden's oldest tracts, and the William Lanier Hunt Arboretum.
The North Carolina Botanical Garden is located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at CB 3375 in Chapel Hill and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Admission to the gardens is free to the public.
The University of North Carolina, CB 3375, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, Phone: 919-962-0522