Heritage Garden in spring

Heritage Garden

The Heritage Garden pays tribute to the botanic gardens of the past and the manner in which they organized and displayed plants.

The Heritage Garden is dedicated to Carolus Linnaeus, who established binomial nomenclature as the system of naming plants we still use today. Modeled after Europe's first botanical garden in Padua, Italy, it is a circular space, divided into four quadrants. A large statue of Linneaus presides over the garden.

Seven perimeter beds display plants according to their geographic origin; 14 additional beds display the major plant families grouped according to their scientific classification.

In the center is a signature water feature with cascading sheets of water and a classic physic garden, which is planted with medicinal plants from around the world. In the summer, three aquatic pools contain waterlilies, lotus, and other tropical water plants.

The Garden also acknowledges that Carolus Linnaeus applied his system to humans, entirely without scientific basis. He categorized humans based on race and assigned negative behavioral traits to Africans and other non-white people. This system has been used to promote slavery and other racial injustices throughout history.