Curator's Spotlight

In this Garden-wide series of distinctive installations, NYBG's curators highlight special selections from their gardens and collections, providing a glimpse into the beauty and diversity of the plant world as seen through the lens of those who
cultivate it.

Kousa Dogwood

June 10–26
Benenson Ornamental Conifers

Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) blooms in early June, about a month after the northeastern native species, flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). These small-statured, beautiful trees are native to China, Korea, and Japan. They are resistant to the fungus that threatens flowering dogwoods and thrive in both full sun and partial shade. Look for these hardy trees on display throughout the Benenson Ornamental Conifers.

Best Turf Practices

Garden Way

Emerald lawns dotted with mature trees have graced The New York Botanical Garden since its founding in 1891. Unfortunately, the Garden's historic lawns are impacted by a variety of stresses. To keep the grass "green," NYBG horticulturists have developed an approach to turf management that promotes healthy grass while reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.


Native Plant Garden

Dominated by grasses and wildflowers, the Meadow is home to a wide array of native plant species and the wildlife they support. Migratory birds find sustenance in the seeds of grasses such as little bluestem (Schizachyrium scopparium), and bees and butterflies are attracted to the tall, upright purple blooms of perennial prairie blazing star (Liatris spicata). Many other hardy herbaceous plants and grasses round out this lush, active ecosystem in summer and fall, when grasses can reach heights of over six feet.

Kiku: Spotlight on Tradition

October 31–November 29
Bourke-Sullivan Display House; 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

The chrysanthemum, kiku in Japanese, is the most celebrated of all Japanese fall-flowering plants, and the meticulously trained kiku will be on display in the Bourke-Sullivan Display House at the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections.

Presenting Sponsor:

Sponsored by: J.C.C. Fund of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York

Additional support provide by: Sumitomo Corporation of the Americas Foundation


May 14–29
Rock Garden

For a brief moment in spring, don't miss the tree peonies as they reign supreme over a corner of the Garden, creating a deliciously scented array of blooms. Their showy flowers come in a rainbow of colors, ranging from bright whites and light pinks to deep oranges and burgundies, but they are all members of the same species, Paeonia suffruticosa. Admire the handiwork of the plant hybridizers that have cultivated so many different shapes and sizes of these irresistible plants, a garden favorite since their introduction to Europe in the late 1700s.

Tropical Containers

Home Gardening Center

This summer, visit the Kenneth Roman Gazebo to be transported to a tropical oasis. Surround yourself with warm-weather plants selected by renowned plantsman Dennis Schrader of Landcraft Environments, Ltd., who is an expert in the cultivation of tropical species for landscape design in cooler climates.

Flowering Cherries

April 9–24
Cherry Valley and throughout the Garden

Flowering cherries are among the first trees to herald the arrival of spring. Visit a diverse planting in Cherry Valley, where Higan and Yoshino cherries bloom first and the unusual 'Ukon' cultivar sports greenish-white flowers. Also look for cherry trees throughout the Ross Conifer Arboretum and in front of the Conservatory. The venerable Akebono flowering cherry near the Visitor Center reflecting pool is not to be missed.

Flowering Dogwood

April 29–May 22
Azalea Garden

A walk around the Garden in late April or early May is sure to provide views of the many flowering dogwoods in the collection. What appears to be a single large flower is actually a cluster of tiny green flowers surrounded by four large, white bracts, which are not technically petals but modified leaves. Enjoy these beautiful trees throughout the Azalea Garden!

Spring Ephemerals

April 9–24
Native Plant Garden

The stunning virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) and the sunny celandine-poppies (Stylophorum diphyllum) offer a breathtaking spring spectacle. These spring ephemerals can only be spotted for a few weeks each year before going dormant in the summer. These nectar-rich flowers are sweet treats for insects, including bees, butterflies, and moths.

Enjoy these spring beauties throughout the Native Plant Garden!


Rock Garden

Admire wild species peonies that thrive naturally in rugged, rocky environments. Many of the species on display bloom earlier than more familiar cultivated peony varieties and are rarely seen in North American gardens.


Daffodil Hill

Cheery daffodils pop up throughout the Botanical Garden's 250 acres in spring. The most impressive display is on Daffodil Hill, where the rolling landscape is bathed in yellow and white. See antique cultivars that date to the early 20th century alongside new varieties.

Auricula Theater

April 15–May 29
Nancy Bryan Luce Herb Garden

This annual presentation, now in its tenth year, takes its place amid the herbs and flowers of the Nancy Bryan Luce Herb Garden. The charming traditional display of magnificent auricula primroses was designed by The Dowager Marchioness of Salisbury (Lady Salisbury), the renowned horticulturist who restored her legendary garden at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, England, in the spirit of its original 17th-century design.


Azalea Garden

The yellow, orange, and red blooms of witch-hazel are truly the first sign of winter's end. Enjoy the outdoors in the Azalea Garden as these plants awaken and the garden comes to life. Chinese and Japanese witch-hazel hybrids with cultivar names such as delicious 'Orange Peel' or glimmering 'Allgold' brighten up the winter landscape with their spindly flowers.


Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Japanese camellias (Camellia japonica), also known as "roses of winter," bloom when most other plants are bare. These popular Asian ornamental plants have been cultivated and hybridized to create flowers in an array of colors, shapes, and scents. The cultivars featured here are diverse. Camellias can also be found in the landscape nearby at the Ladies' Border.

Cool Conifers

Everett Children's Adventure Garden

Learn about these evergreen trees on your visit to the Everett Children's Adventure Garden. Head to the waterfall to see a variety of conifers and discover their unique plant parts, cones, needles, and more.

Winter Wonderland: Conifers

Ross Conifer Arboretum

Admire the brilliant red bark of the Tanyosho pines near the Visitor Center Reflecting Pool, or the range of needle color—from powder blue to bright green—showcased by the Colorado spruces in the Ross Conifer Arboretum.


June 24th – August 31
Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Hoya isn't just a college mascot—it's an amazing tropical plant that shouldn't be missed! A variety of these trailing shrubs will be showcased in the Aquatics and Vines Gallery in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Native to the warmer regions of the Eastern Hemisphere, hoya is a popular houseplant in the United States. Its five-sided waxy blooms come in a variety of colors, from yellow to ruby-red, and often have a subtle fragrance. Most new plants are grown from cuttings, since hoya vines rarely set seed. Become acquainted with these impressive flowering plants—they might grow on you!

Elephant Ears: Colocasia

June 21 – October 5
Home Gardening Center

Colocasias are plants with the best of both worlds: they're showy and tasty. Commonly known as elephant ears, highlighting their arrow-shaped leaves, or taro, a name more often associated with its edible root, these plants will be featured in the Pauline Gillespie Gossett Plant Trials Garden in the Home Gardening Center this summer. Admire their large foliage, but don't try to take a bite—these plants can be poisonous if not prepared correctly!

Dinosaur's Dinner

June 24th – October 5
Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Step back in time with these prehistoric plants! While their parents may have once been the dinner of dinosaurs, these fascinating plant species must've gotten something right after outliving their predators. See the Hardy Courtyard of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory as it transforms into a scene reminiscent of a millions-of-years-old forest. Admire cycads such as the sago palm, a plant whose family tree can be traced back 280 million years, or the Wollemi pine that has relatives dating to the Jurassic period. These plants are neither palms nor pines, but conifers, or trees that produce their seeds in cones. Twiggy stalks of equisetum and curls of spikemoss add to the selection of "living fossils" on display.


Azalea Garden

Delicate snowdrops are the first sign of winter's end. The flower earned its genus name, Galanthus, from the Greek words for "milk" and "flower" thanks to its creamy hue. Here at the New York Botanical Garden, we have more than 20 species and 50 cultivars. The first of the season to emerge are giant snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii), which have bluegreen foliage and larger flowers than the common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis). Both species emit the delicate scent of honey.

Edible Archway

June 21 – October 5
Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Food can be fun in the Edible Archway, coming to the Tropical Courtyard of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory this summer. Beans, spinach, and other climbers cling to a covered walkway stretching along the perimeter of the Courtyard, showing just how pretty food can be. Chinese red noodle beans, scarlet runner beans, and hyacinth beans hang from the ceiling. The reddish vines of Malabar spinach climb up the walls, while gourds and edible pumpkins adorn the walkway. You'll see food in a whole new light.

The Meadow

July 5 – October 12
Native Plant Garden

The Meadow in the Native Plant Garden may not look like much most of the year, but in the late summer and early fall it is a sight to be seen. The dry, open landscape bursts alive with waist-high grasses and flowers, the latter of which saturate the field. Check back often to see the ever-changing "Plant of the Week," which might be prairie blazing star with its dramatic spikes of purple flowers, or coneflower and its radiating discs of yellow, or goldenrod glimmering in the late afternoon sun. Don't miss them before winter ends the show.

Elephant Ears: Alocasia

July 5 – October 5
Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

These glorious foliage plants are native to tropical Asia and Australia. Come see them add drama to the landscape at the entrance to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory this summer. Large green elephant ears of all shapes and sizes adorn the plaza in terracotta pots. These interesting ornamental plants—that can have edible roots—grow quickly and can be used in your garden at home for summer foliage impact. Close relatives, such as caladiums and syngoniums, add some color to the mix.

Cocktail Plantings

July 12 – August 31
Herb Garden

The tranquil setting of the Nancy Bryan Luce Herb Garden will become the life of the party this summer with its Cocktail Plantings. See familiar herbs, such as mint, basil, lemongrass, and rosemary in a whole new light as cocktail ingredients. Admire their scents and get recipe ideas for mint juleps, mojitos and more for your next night out. Get recipes for the Watermelon Basil Cooler and The Cuke.

Contained Enthusiasm: The Bulbs of Summer

July 12 – October 5
Home Gardening Center

This summer in the Kenneth Roman Gazebo, there will be flowers just itching to break out of their pots. Witness an assortment of beautiful bulbs, including dahlias, lilies, caladiums, and gladiolas with exotic flower colors and patterns. The display is designed by bulb expert Brent Heath of Brent and Becky's Bulbs of Gloucester, V.A. Heath, a third-generation bulb grower and a hybridizer of daffodils, has selected a number of unusual and specialty bulbs especially for this arrangement. You won't be able to contain your excitement!