Botany Hall investigates the incredible diversity of plant life. The hall emphasizes four different biomes found in the continental United States: a Florida everglade, a Mt. Rainier alpine meadow, an Arizona desert, and a Pennsylvania valley. All illustrate how varying conditions of temperature and water affect plant life. The displays allow for an in-depth look at the world of plants, recreating habitats from around the world.
Additional exhibitions in Botany Hall feature plants that have been used for food, as medicine, or in industry. Among these are a diorama depicting a western Pennsylvania herb garden and exhibitions of plant fibers and edible fruits and nuts.
See Our Research
The hall reveals only a fraction of the enormity of Carnegie Museum of Natural History's botanical collection. Since its origin, the collection has been worldwide in scope. With thousands of new plant species being documented each year, this collection of over 500,000 specimens represents a portion of the enormous diversity of plants. Efforts are directed primarily toward documenting all the flora of a specific region, and toward studying the relationships between organisms.
Other dioramas depict seasonal variations at some of Pennsylvania's unique and highly valued natural habitats: Presque Isle during the summer, a Warren County bog in the fall, and the Allegheny Natural Forest in the spring.
Did You Know?
Plants photosynthesize life substances from the raw elements. They form the first link in the chain of life upon which the existence of all other living things depend. Animals have demonstrated this dependence since prehistoric times. They have used plants for food and shelter; humans, specifically, have adapted plants into clothing and medicine.
For More Info
Visit Carnegie Museum of Natural History's Section of Botany to learn more about our research and behind-the-scenes activities.