The Arboretum at Penn State

What’s New?

The Gardens are Open and Spring Bulbs Have Begun Blooming!

Scilla forbesii 'Blue Giant'

Scilla forbesii ‘Blue Giant’

Use our interactive Blooming Bulbs map to find where your favorite bulbs are located in H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens.

More than 200 plantings of perennial bulbs can be viewed from late winter through summer. Each yellow dot on the map represents a planting of bulbs, with 50 to 100 bulbs planted at each location.

Blooming Bulbs Map

New flowers are coming into bloom every day! Some of the sights were also captured by a reporter for The Daily Collegian. You can view the video here:…/article_f1a6ad5e-722f-11ea-…

Construction of New Pollinator and Bird Garden Has Begun!

Pond with Stone Terrace and Boardwalk

Construction has begun on the Arboretum’s new Pollinator and Bird Garden, which will add over three acres to the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens. This space has been designed to attract all of our region’s insect pollinator species as well as the broadest possible range of resident and migratory birds. Working with a large team of Penn State-based and outside experts, including Penn State’s Center for Pollinator Research, we have designed a garden that encourages ecological diversity by incorporating habitats such as a pond, wetlands, woodland, and dry meadow. The new gardens will showcase over 390 unique species and varieties—most of which are native to Pennsylvania or the greater Appalachian region.

Check back in the months ahead for updates!

Winter Photo Contest 

1st Place Winter 2020 Melissa Studenroth Shultz

1st Place – Melissa Studenroth Shultz

Congratulations to the winners of the Winter Photo Contest! All three winning images are in Seasonal Images on our home page.

1st Place – Melissa Studenroth Shultz
2nd Place – Audra Hixson
3rd Place – William Rusk

Thank you to everyone who submitted photos.

Please visit the gardens throughout March, April, and May and send us your favorite photo of spring in the Arboretum (one per person, please). Submissions in the next photo contest must be made via email, Facebook, or Instagram, by May 31!  Contest winners will be featured in our Seasonal Images album, social media, and in our newsletter.

Arboretum Photo Contest Rules

Arboretum T-Shirts For Sale



Special Announcement re: Services at Arboretum

In compliance with University guidance and Gov. Wolf’s recent directive about impeding the spread of the coronavirus, services at the Arboretum are being halted until further notice. This means that the office and restrooms are closed, and parking regulations and custodial services are suspended. We would be very grateful if those who choose to visit the grounds would carry out any trash that they generate.

Volunteer Sessions and Docent-Led Tours Canceled March 16 through May 15

Because of concerns about transmission of the novel coronavirus, Penn State has decided all non-essential events should be canceled, rescheduled, or offered virtually from March 16 through May 15. Therefore, the Arboretum is regrettably cancelling volunteer events, garden and wildflower trail work sessions, and docent led-tours during this period.

Up-to-date information about other decisions affecting students, faculty, and staff are available in Penn State News.

Avian Education Seminar on April 14 Canceled

The Arboretum has had to cancel the presentation by Chris Parish, director of Global Conservation at the Peregrine Fund, on April 14 as part of the University’s efforts to minimize the potential spread of the coronavirus.

Prescribed Burn in Arboretum Successful

The controlled burn of the Arboretum’s restored prairie site on March 9, 2020, was a success! Thanks to The Nature Conservancy and the Pennsylvania Game Commission for making it happen. The Arboretum is converting old livestock pasture into a “prairie patch” containing native grasses and wildflowers. Periodic fire is an essential tool for this type of ecological restoration.

Group Visits

If you wish to bring a group to visit the Arboretum, please use our on-line form to inquire about tours and schedule your visit.

Group Visitor Inquiry Form

Avian Education Fall Banding Report

2019 Fall Summary Report

Arboretum Newsletters

2020 Spring Arboretum Volunteer Update

2019 Autumn Arboretum Newsletter

Events Calendar

Pictured at the top of the page is Hepatica nobilis subsp. obtusa, one of the native wildflowers that will bloom this spring along the Gerhold Wildflower Trail in Hartley Wood.