Living Plant Collection

Living Collection With 12,000+ accessions, the Living Collection at Selby Gardens is the best in the world for its representation of warm-tropical epiphytes. The main epiphyte families, such as Orchidaceae, Bromeliaceae, and Gesneriaceae are particularly well-represented.  Nearly 150 expeditions to the tropics and subtropics have contributed to the MSBG collections of more than 12,500 accessions of documented live plants, which include some 6,000 species in 1,200 genera from 214 plant families. The living collection is a world-reknowned scientific resource. It also provides source material for progams of Education, the Tropical Display House, and the entire Gardens.

More than 150 expeditions to the tropics and subtropics have contributed to the MSBG collections of over 12,500 accessions/plantings of living plants, which include some 6000 species in 1200 genera from 214 plant families. These are divided into two main collections, the greenhouse and grounds collections. The greenhouse collection includes over 10,500 accessions in more than 600 genera representing 92 plant families. These are comprised of (using numbers of accessions) 4900 orchids, 3600 bromeliads, 660 aroids, 240 ferns, 140 gesneriads, and 1300 other plants. The grounds collection contains approximately 2300 recorded tropical and subtropical plantings, representing some 1200 species, 620 genera, and 165 plant families.

A strength of these collections is that a significant portion are well-documented, vouchered species collected from native habitats. Selby Gardens conserves a number of historic orchids and bromeliads from 19th century introductions. The living collection is a scientific resource and also provides source material for the entire gardens, especially the public Tropical Display House, as well as to programs of Education.