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Pollinator Garden, 1994-ongoing

Butterfly Habitat Garden, formerly known as
view Pollinator Garden, 1994-ongoing digital asset number 1
Smithsonian Women's Committee
Garden Club of America
Physical description:
589 35mm slides (photographs), 84 photographic prints, negatives, and digital images
Digital images
Slides (photographs)
Photographic prints
United States of America, District of Columbia, Washington
District of Columbia
On June 4, 1995, the Butterfly Habitat Garden opened on the East side of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). The development of the garden was a collaboration between NMNH and the Smithsonian's Horticulture Services Division (now Smithsonian Gardens), and was largely funded by a grant awarded by the Smithsonian Women's Committee. The original garden area was essentially a road verge, but a GCA Millennium Founder's Fund Award from the Garden Club of America in 2000 allowed for an expansion, tripling the size to 400 x 40 feet. The gift also provided for the installation of walks, an irrigation system, and an amphitheater seating area. The purpose of the garden at that time was to highlight butterfly behavior with native plants from four represented habitats: wetlands, wood's edge, meadow, and backyard.
The Butterfly Habitat Garden was re-dedicated as the Pollinator Garden on June 21, 2016 to showcase a wider diversity of pollinators. Along with this change, native plants that were beneficial to pollinators other than butterflies - such as bees and beetles - were introduced, and the four specific habitats were no longer explicitly distinguished. The revised focus of the garden is the interdependency between plants and pollinators as a whole. Illustrated signs displayed around the garden inform readers about the pollination process.
Plantings include common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), pawpaw (Asimina triloba), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), verbena (Verbena bonariensis), and other native plants, shrubs, and trees specifically selected for providing nourishment and shelter to the pollinators.
Persons associated with the garden include: Smithsonian Women's Committee (donor, 1995). Garden Club of America (donor, 2000).
Garden has been featured in Carole Ottesen, A Guide to Smithsonian Gardens (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books, 2011), pp. 102-108
Local number:
Data Source:
Archives of American Gardens

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