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Plant Collections at
Powell Gardens


The Collections of a Living Museum

Powell Gardens is a living museum with a rapidly growing collection. With more than 21,000 plants on record by the end of 2020, the Gardens has amassed data that is important for long-term planning and as a reference tool.

Collections also provide an invaluable resource for the conservation of plants, both regionally and globally. Our staff mindfully stewards our collections as they preserve plant diversity for generations to come.  

Through a grant in 2020, the Powell Gardens’ collection moved to a platform allowing public access. Explore our living collection, features, and garden tours online with Garden Explorer.

With a common goal of protecting native plants by ensuring that native plant populations and their communities are maintained, enhanced and restored, Powell Gardens is a non-federal cooperator of the Plant Conservation Alliance. 

Powell Gardens has numerous festivals and exhibitions from March through December highlighting signature plants from our collection houses:

  • Orchid Delirium (March 3-April 16)
  • Perennial Lounge rotating collections displays (March – December)
  • Daffodil Days (March 29-April 9)
  • Terrariums in the Grand Hall (April 1-October 15)
  • Midwest Foraging (April 1-October 15)
  • Desert Days (June 24-25)
  • Staghorn Fern Living Wall (May 26-September 30)
  • Festival of Butterflies (July 20-August 6)
  • Waterlily Wonders (August 12-13)
  • Holiday Foliage Displays (November 16-December 30)

Collections of Note

Other collections of note include dogwoods, native trees and shrubs,  rock plants, daylilies and bearded iris.

  • Orchid Delirium, a March exhibition at Powell Gardens, showcases select blooms from a 600-piece orchid collection highlighting the natural habitats in which the flowers are found. Learn about more about our collection with the 2022 Orchid Delirium exhibition guide.
  • Powell Gardens’ magnolia collection has been certified by the American Public Gardens Association’s North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC).
  • Its conifers are certified as a Reference Garden by the American Conifer Society.
  • The lotus and waterlily collections have been designated as certified collections by the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society.
  • Powell Gardens is an affiliated garden for the Hardy Fern Foundation.
  • Under the direction of UMKC Professor Tamas Kapros, Ph. D. and team, a digital herbarium was created.

Gardening Resources

Gardening in the rollercoaster weather extremes of the Midwest brings its own set of challenges and rewards. At Powell Gardens, our staff is passionate about sharing information that will help you succeed with your own gardening adventures. Explore ways to learn during a visit.