Japanese Garden photo by Betty Moore

Missouri Botanical Garden

Update: The Missouri Botanical Garden is open to the public. In a release, Garden President Peter Wyse Jackson said. “The Garden recognizes the importance of public gardens and outdoor spaces as indispensable to community healing. We are eager to once again have visitors strolling Garden grounds as they take in the fresh air and enjoy the rich diversity of the Garden’s plant collections and displays.”

To ensure the safety of all, the Garden has implemented new procedures, including limiting capacity. All visitors to the Garden, including Garden members and ZMD residents, will need advanced dated and timed e-tickets. Tickets will be available in 60-minute time slots online and by phone only. No walk-up or day-of on-site purchases. Tickets will be available one week prior to opening at mobot.org.

Garden hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday. The Garden is closed Mondays until further notice. Indoor spaces including the Climatron and all conservatories, the Sachs Museum, and Tower Grove House will remain closed. The Children’s Garden and water play areas will be closed as well.

There will be increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting throughout the Garden. Protective face coverings will be required for all guests nine years of age or older, in accordance with St. Louis City’s public health guidelines. The Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit is also open June 16. Like the Garden, the Nature Reserve has implemented additional protocols, including requiring e-tickets purchased in advance and limiting capacity.

The Butterfly House, a Garden site located in Chesterfield, is open to the public.


The Missouri Botanical Garden, fondly known as Shaw's Garden to St. Louisans, contains a formal English garden, traditional Japanese garden with the drum bridge, Margaret Blanke Grigg Chinese garden, the Flower Trial garden, greenhouses and extensive landscaping. The garden also features the Climatron Complex, water lily reflection ponds and the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening.

The Climatron® geodesic dome and rainforest conservatory was dedicated 40 years ago in October 1960, replacing an old house built in 1913. The structure incorporates principles established by innovative architect R. Buckminster Fuller and was the first application of geodesic engineering for a greenhouse.

The St. Louis architecture firm of Murphy & Mackey developed plans for the facility with Garden director Frits W. Went, who coined the term, Climatron. The dome is 70 feet high and 175 feet in diameter, permitting tall palm trees to tower majestically above the tropical vista of streams, waterfalls and 1,200 different species of exotic trees and plants. Temperature ranges from 64 to 74 degrees and average humidity is 85 percent.

Visitors can enjoy a sense of being in a jungle while making their way by orchids, passion flowers, hibiscus flowers, cycads and a number of endangered species. In 1976, the dome was named one of the 100 most significant architectural achievements in United States history.

The Garden, covering 79 acres, is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd, just south of Hwy 44 between Vandeventer and Grand. Extended summer hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays only from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Free parking on premises, as well as an extensive gift shop and restaurant with patio dining.

For more information, call the GardenLine at 314-577-9400 or 800-642-8842. (Missouri Botanical Garden and the Garden’s Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit are scheduled to reopen Tuesday, June 16, 2020. All visitors to the Garden, including Garden members and ZMD residents, will need advanced dated and timed e-tickets available via mobot.org and by phone only.)

Tower Grove House photo by Betty Moore

The 9,000 square foot Tower Grove House is located in the Garden's Victorian District. This Italianate structure was designed by George I. Barnett in 1849.

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