The Garden offers 79 acres of beautiful horticultural display, including a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, Henry Shaw's original 1850 estate home, and one of the world's largest collections of rare and endangered orchids.
Hours & Admission
Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Early morning hours (grounds only)
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 7 to 9 a.m.*
Evening walking hours (grounds only)
Wednesdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 5 to 7 p.m.
Open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. November 23, 2013 through January 5, 2014
Closed on Christmas Day.
Garden Admission (rates subject to change)
$8 adults (ages 13 & over)
Free children (ages 12 & under)
Free Garden members and their children (ages 12 & under)Join today!
St. Louis City/County residents
$4 adults (ages 13–64)
$3 seniors (ages 65 & over)
St. Louis City/County residents enjoy free Garden admission on Wednesday and Saturday mornings before noon (exception: special admission rate events).*
One day in the spring of 1819, 18-year-old Henry Shaw, an Englishman recently landed in the river town of St. Louis on the edge of the American wilderness, took a half-day journey on horseback out of town. Riding westward through marshy ground, past sinkholes and Indian burial mounds, he came at last to a narrow path cutting through brush, and found himself on elevated ground overlooking a prairie. “Uncultivated,” he recorded, “without trees or fences, but covered with tall luxuriant grass, undulated by the gentle breeze of spring.”
If ever a man loved a piece of ground, it was Shaw. As Shaw’s fortunes grew, he resolved to return something to his adopted city, and 40 years after his arrival in St. Louis, he opened on the land he so loved a botanical garden for the city’s residents. This garden is today the Missouri Botanical Garden. One of the oldest botanical gardens in the U.S., Missouri Botanical Garden is outstanding not only in the excellence of its displays, but also in the richness of its architectural heritage and the importance of its botanical research.
Garden founder Henry Shaw came to St. Louis in 1819 to open a business selling hardware and cutlery. As St. Louis flourished in the second quarter of the 19th century, and the city’s population grew, Shaw’s business expanded to include investments in agricultural commodities, mining, real estate and furs.