These collections express humanity’s connection to the natural world through documentation, research, art and literature. As a museum, the Gardens' collections support scientists, horticulturists, artists, consultants, land managers and educators.
In 2018, the Gardens received a $247,840 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) Museums for America program to increase accessibility of the non-living collections. Learn more about the award and plans for our collections.
Plants growing on the grounds and inside the greenhouses and the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory, as well as those stored as seeds, comprise the living collections at the Gardens. These collections are the Alpine, Amenity, Aquatic, Native, Steppe, Tropical, Cactus & Succulents. Individual plants within these collections are grown for aesthetic purposes, research and/or conservation efforts.
The Kathryn Kalmbach Herbarium of Vascular Plants (KHD), Sam Mitchel Herbarium of Fungi (DBG) and Denver Botanic Gardens Arthropod Collection (DBGA) are an integral part of the Gardens.
The Gardens collects art to inspire, educate and inform, further connecting people with the natural world. Mostly botanical in nature, the art collection contains more than 1,200 works, including engravings, etchings, drawings and paintings. In addition, sculpture in a variety of media complements garden spaces year-round.
The Helen Fowler Library holds a significant collection of botanical and horticultural materials about the Rocky Mountain region and similar regions around the world. General collection, rare books, archival and historical collections are of interest to visitors of all ages, the academic researcher and general gardener.
The Future of Non-Living Collections at Denver Botanic Gardens
With support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (Award ID: MA-30-18-0410-18), we have re-housed the Gardens’ non-living collections: natural history, library and art. These works have been moved to new and improved collections spaces in the Freyer – Newman Center for Science, Art and Education.
Collections Re-Housing at Denver Botanic Gardens
Watch how we transferred and reorganized non-living collections in their new storage spaces in the Freyer – Newman Center.