Medicinal Garden

Our Medicinal Garden is open to the public weekdays from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM.  It will be closed during inclement weather (including winter), weekends, holidays and at the discretion of the greenhouse manager.  The door to the Medicinal Garden is located near the east end of the Owens Science Hall Greenhouse, between the greenhouse and the building.  Owens Science Hall and the greenhouse are at the corner of Grand and Cretin Avenues, across from the Anderson Parking Ramp.

The Medicinal Garden is a new venture for our department.  The form of the garden is reminiscent of monastery gardens from the Middle Ages.  It was designed to be both a source of plants for laboratory teaching and research and a spot for quiet and solitude.  Additionally, during the first summer of plant growth, we have found it to be a great source of forage for many pollinators, including several hummingbirds.

The garden is divided into 4 major plots:  

  • Native American Medicinal Plants like tobacco and boneset
  • Modern Pharmacueticals including opium poppies and foxglove which is the source of digitalis
  • Traditional Herbal Medicines contains plants that might have been found in a monastery garden like comfrey and valerian root
  • Modern Herbal Supplements such as St. John's Wort and garlic

Students in Dr. Amy Verhoeven's Plants, Food and Medicine course have begun to compile information on uses of plants in the garden.  Click here:


The diagram below shows the original plan for the garden.

medicinal garden plan

The hardscaping was finished in August of 2016.  Most of the plants were grown from seed in the greenhouse over the winter months.   It is anticipated that students from various courses will be able to use plants from this garden in their laboratory experience.  Additionally, several faculty from the chemistry Department have expressed interest in using plants from this garden.  

The photos below are from July of 2017.  In the first photo, the very tall plants on the left of the chairs are tobacco from the Native American bed.  The tall plants in the center background are castor beans from the Modern Pharmacueticals bed.


 med garden july 2017 500px


This photo of plants near the door shows poppies, comfrey, wild roses and castor beans.

med garden3 july 2017