Nestled in one of the most botanically diverse and beautiful natural settings in America, The North Carolina Arboretum contains 65 acres of cultivated gardens that delight the senses, pay tribute to the region’s rich cultural heritage and reinforce the importance of plants to our world. Strolling through the Arboretum’s gardens is a perfect way to reconnect with nature in a peaceful setting. Visit the information desk at the Baker Exhibit Center upon your arrival to learn more about the beauty and history that awaits. Visitors from across the world enjoy exploring the Arboretum’s exhibits and gardens, including one of the finest, most unique bonsai collections in the United States.
Permanent Garden Exhibits
Scroll through the gallery below to see examples and descriptions of the Arboretum’s permanent gardens.
Bonsai Exhibition Garden
These trees may seem small in size but they have a big impact in the world of horticulture and art. Established in 2005, the Arboretum’s Bonsai Exhibition Garden is a world renowned garden that can host up to 50 bonsai specimens at a time. Represented are traditional Asian bonsai subjects such as Japanese maple and Chinese elm, tropical plants such as willow-leaf fig and bougainvillea, and American species such as bald cypress and limber pine. Click here to learn more about the Arboretum’s 100+ bonsai collection.
Wildflowers at the Arboretum
The Arboretum is home to dozens of native wildflowers that are scattered across its 434-acre property. From early spring through fall, visitors can walk along the Arboretum’s 10+ miles of trails and throughout its gardens to see a variety of colorful wildflowers, including bloodroots, azaleas, fire pinks, yarrows and more.
The National Native Azalea Collection
The National Native Azalea Collection is a woodland garden with azaleas representing nearly every species native to the U.S. along with many natural hybrids and selections. The collection is part of the Nationally Accredited Plant Collections, a distinction granted by the National Public Gardens Association. In late spring and early summer the garden is a diverse and eye-catching composition of color, form, and fragrance set among native ferns, wildflowers, shrubs and trees.
Pollinators in the Landscape
From April through October, the Arboretum’s seasonal landscape exhibits feature many plants and flowers that attract and support butterflies. Learn more about the Arboretum’s on-going work to protect pollinators, including its designation from Bee Campus USA.
Garden & Trail Map
With more than 65 acres of cultivated gardens,The North Carolina Arboretum is a popular destination for nature-lovers and garden enthusiasts alike. Click below to learn more about the Arboretum’s gardens and to view the property map.
Searching for a great plant you saw at the Arboretum?
The following guide features retail plant outlets in 23 western North Carolina counties that supply some of the plants found in our seasonal landscape exhibits. Calling ahead to check on plant availability or request a plant in an upcoming season is always recommended.