9 arboretums and botanical gardens to visit in Illinois

9 arboretums and botanical gardens to visit in Illinois

1) Anderson Japanese Gardens (Rockford, Illinois)

Located just outside of downtown Rockford, "Anderson Japanese Gardens is an authentic Japanese Garden maintained by the highest standards that touches the souls of our guests. With grace, elegance, and gentle awareness we exemplify the Japanese cultural heritage of respectful humility in service to people of all cultures."


2) Chicago Botanic Garden (Glencoe, Illinois)

Just north of Chicago, " The Chicago Botanic Garden opened more than 45 years ago as a beautiful place to visit, and it has matured into one of the world's great living museums and conservation science centers. Every year, more than one million people visit the Garden's 27 gardens and four natural areas, uniquely situated on 385 acres on and around nine islands, with six miles of lake shoreline. The Garden also has a renowned Bonsai Collection."

3) Fell Arboretum (Normal, Illinois)

Encompassing the entire campus, "Illinois State University’s Fell Arboretum was granted status in 1995 from the International Society of Arboriculture and consists of a 490 acre site established with thousands of trees representing over 154 species.  Its history is rich with Jesse Fell’s vision of planting trees that flourish in central Illinois."

4) Garfield Park Conservatory (Chicago, Illinois)

One of the largest conservatories in the country, Garfield Park Conservatory is home to a campus of gardens, including the Desert House, "one of the region’s most varied collections of cacti and succulents. These plants owe their popularity to their spectacular and unique forms, the promise of brilliant, short-lived flowers and their ability to withstand harsh, dry conditions. The size of the plants in this room varies from the tiny living stone plant to the large century plants."


5) Lincoln Memorial Garden (Springfield, Illinois)

This arboretum located in the state's capital, "represents the landscape Abraham Lincoln would have known growing up and living in the Midwest, containing plants native to the three states he lived in - Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. Designed by internationally -known landscape architect Jens Jensen, this 100-acre site features six miles of trails, footbridges, a pond, eight stone council rings, and dozens of wooden benches inscribed with Lincoln quotes."

6) Lincoln Park Conservatory (Chicago, Illinois)

Right off of Lake Shore Drive, "step inside and be transported to another place and time!  We invite you to take a journey to the Lincoln Park Conservatory where you will find tropical palms and ancient ferns right in the heart of Lincoln Park. Designed both to showcase exotic plants and grow the thousands of plants needed for use in the parks, the Conservatory offers visitors a tropical experience within its four display houses: Palm House, Fern Room, Orchid House and Show House, which is home to the annual flower shows."

7) The Morton Arboretum (Lisle, Illinois)

"The Arboretum features plant collections and gardens amid natural landscapes of woodlands, prairie, lakes, and streams. Its living collections include 222,000 plant specimens representing 4,650 different kinds of plants. Additionally, guests can enjoy 16 miles of hiking trails, nine miles of roads, a Children’s Garden, educational programs and exhibits, the Sterling Morton Library of botanical literature and art, a Visitor Center with a museum store and a restaurant, special events, and seasonal exhibitions."

8) Quad City Botanical Garden (Rock Island, Illinois)

"As a public garden we maintain hundreds of plants ranging from tropical varieties to regional Zone 5 perennials. A garden for all seasons, our tropical atrium is splendid throughout the winter months and has been turned into a sandy beach on occasion, and our rare conifer collection is unique to the Quad Cities. In spring, flowering bulbs enliven the garden, including a stunning iris collection. Other special collections include day lilies, mums and ornamental grasses. Our outdoor butterfly garden attracts pollinators by the hundreds, and is lively from early spring to late fall when the monarchs start their migration."

9) University of Illinois Arboretum (Urbana, Illinois)

"Close behind the inception of the University of Illinois in 1867 came the dream of building an area of ornamental grounds, orchards and forest plantations for use by the University and the citizens of Illinois. Although the vision for developing these ornamental grounds was present from the early years of the University, it was not until the later part of the 20th century that generous donations from alumni and friends began to bring the ideas of the University’s founders to fruition."


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