Spanning the globe for diversity: species selection in early nineteenth century United States botanical gardens

Robert E. Loeb, Taylor N. Walborn, Alaina J. Leasure, Joelle D. Manners, Richard P. Massimino, Olivia A. Mcgraw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research compared early nineteenth-century species lists from the Elgin Botanic Garden, New York; Cambridge Botanic Garden, Massachusetts; Botanick Garden of South-Carolina; Botanical Garden of Transylvania University, Kentucky; and Bartram’s Botanic Garden, Pennsylvania (two lists). Diversity was shown by more species being unique in each botanical garden than species common to the five botanical gardens. Global representation was demonstrated with species from all of the continents (excluding Antarctica) and the Cape of Good Hope region in the botanical gardens except the Botanick Garden of South-Carolina, which did not have Australian species. Only Bartram’s Botanic Garden US market list did not have twice as many species reported to be hardy in the New York City climate than species requiring a greenhouse. There were more herbaceous than woody plants in five of the six lists with the exception again being the Bartram’s Botanic Garden US market list. Among the uses agriculture, arts, diet, and medicine, only medicine comprised more than 25% of the species in the five botanical gardens except the Botanical Garden of Transylvania University. For all six lists, the historical information on hardiness and duration matched modern information for more than 75% of the species; however, native region matches were less than 75% for African species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-119
Number of pages53
JournalStudies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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