Research and Conservation

A person holds a small vial with plant material inside in a lab
Morgan Horell

Our Research and Conservation team focuses on finding and evaluating new plants, improving plant characteristics through breeding efforts and cultural techniques, and enhancing the sustainability of our horticulture practices. This team has four divisions: 

  • Conservation Horticulture & Collections
  • Land Stewardship and Ecology
  • Agriculture, Soils and Compost
  • Floriculture Production

Longwood researchers aren’t your typical “white coat” types. Their laboratory is the world around us, and they share the same deep love and respect for nature as our guests.

At Longwood, research combines long-term vision with short-term problem solving. Our diverse portfolio includes both breeding and research endeavors. On any given day, our research team may simultaneously be working to eliminate viruses in chrysanthemums with tissue culture, developing substrate mixes for new plants, and hand pollinating Echium to create enough seed for an upcoming display. Learn more about our specific research projects and explore our publications.

Trialing New Plants

Prior to being used in our displays, all plants that are new to Longwood Gardens undergo a rigorous review process to determine whether they meet our quality standards, through plant trials. The plant evaluation committee reviews an average of 300 new plants a year.