Frequently Asked Questions

The staff and volunteers that care for the Mizzou Botanic Garden are always happy to hear from our many visitors who appreciate the beauty of our campus.  These visitors ask a number of excellent questions about the gardens and their care throughout the year.  We've included some of the more frequently covered topics in this section.

If you have a question pertaining to the Mizzou Botanic Garden, you can send it to us at gardens@missouri.edu.

Questions and answers

I saw a particular plant on campus that wasn't identified with a marker. Could someone tell me what it is?

Answer: Yes. Send an e-mail to the Botanic Garden address with a detailed description of the location and any other information that would help our staff locate and identify the plant. We will consult with the appropriate professional staff and get back to you.

Return to top

Do you use any particular type of fertilizer or pest control for the Botanic Garden?

Answer: We use only the minimum amounts of fertilizer tailored to the crop (turf or trees or flower beds). The type varies according to need and availability. For pest control we follow the least toxic approach known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM is defined as: A broad, multidisciplinary, systematic approach to controlling all pests. All types of control methods (biological, cultural, regulatory, physical, and chemical) are utilized. Use of IPM strategies should result in efficient and economical suppression of pests with a minimum effect on non-target organisms and the environment. IPM is based on understanding the plants to be protected and the pests to be controlled. It is intended to be the least toxic and most environmentally friendly approach.

Return to top

Do you have your own greenhouses or do you purchase your plants from outside vendors?

Answer: We have limited greenhouse space which we rent from the Horticulture Department. It is used primarily for carrying over tender plants. We purchase nearly all the plants used on campus, including trees, shrubs, groundcovers, bulbs, and annuals, from outside vendors, with most plants coming from within Missouri.

Return to top

Do you recycle your clippings?

Answer: Yes. Although most grass clippings are allowed to fall back onto the lawns to decompose and return their nutrients to the lawn, we occasionally collect clippings when they are too long or too wet. We mix these with leaves (also collected on campus), wood chips, and waste soil to create large compost piles. Once the compost is completed we use it in flower beds as either mulch or a soil amendment.

Return to top

I would like to have a tree planted as a memorial for someone. Whom do I contact?

Answer: Please call the main office at 882-4240 and you will be put in touch with the appropriate person.

Return to top

Do students participate in the planting and/or care of the Botanic Garden?

Answer: As part of classes in horticulture students occasionally participate in planting and maintenance activities. Student employees participate in all department planting and maintenance activities.

Return to top

I would like to tour the Botanic Gardens, but I have difficulty walking. Is there assistance available?

Answer: The University of Missouri campus is accessible via its sidewalks and drives and within its buildings. Nearly all gardens are closely visible from adjacent hard surfaced walks.

Return to top

I would like to have a guided tour of the Botanic Garden for an organized group of campus visitors. Is a guided tour available?

Answer: To discuss an organized tour of the Mizzou Botanic Garden, please call the Development office at 884-3160 at least 3 months in advance.

Return to top

How many plants are planted each year in the Botanic Garden?

Answer: This is a very difficult question to answer. We estimate that in an average year we will plant between 600 and 1000 new trees and shrubs. We also plant many new herbaceous perennials annually. We plant several thousand annual flowers each year to provide excellent summer and fall flowering on campus.

Return to top

What is the largest tree on campus?

Answer: The largest tree on campus is the Pin Oak just north of Schlundt Hall.

Return to top

When do you plan what will be planted in the coming season?

Answer: For woody plants the planning is continuous throughout the year, depending on the number of new projects and their projected completion dates. We place a large order for trees, shrubs, and perennials twice a year based on known projects. Our annual flowers are ordered in late fall to give our vendor time to produce the desired cultivars in the quantities we need. In addition we acquire plants throughout the growing season to replace dead plants or to solve immediate landscaping problems.

Return to top

Are there any "one of a kind" or experimental plants in the Botanic Garden?

Answer: Nearly all of the plants on campus are obtained from commercial sources so it is unlikely that we have many unique or "one of a kind" plants on the campus. However, just east of the Chemistry Building stands a selection of our native persimmon tree with fruits nearly twice as large as the usual fruit on persimmon. Although the history of this plant is unknown we believe that a horticulture professor of the past found this tree and introduced it to the campus. It is likely to be "one of a kind."

Return to top

Are all the plants in the Botanic Garden native to Missouri?

Answer: No. Although we use as many native species as possible, most of the plants on campus are native to other areas of North America and the rest of the world, primarily Europe and northern Asia . We do, however, pay close attention to the potential invasiveness of plants newly introduced to our campus landscape.

Return to top

Are any areas of the Botanic Garden named for someone?

Answer: Yes, there are several distinct garden areas that have been sponsored by individuals, families, groups of employees, and campus service and honorary organizations. There are many opportunities for sponsoring and naming garden areas.

Return to top