Famous plant collector, E.H. Wilson once referred to China as the “Mother of All Gardens.” For good reason, as China is home to more than 30,000 plant species or one eighth of the world's total. Many of the plants we know and love in the West originated in China, yet few people recognize China’s influence in their own gardens.
The plant collection at Lan Su presents hundreds of plants species that are native to China. It is home to more than fifty specimen trees, many rare and unusual shrubs and perennials, and curated collections of Magnolia, Peony, Camellia, Rhododendron, Osmanthus and Bamboo.
Many of these plants have a long history in traditional Chinese gardens while others reflect the efforts of relatively recent expeditions into China's hinterlands for wild-collected species virtually unknown in the West. Still others speak to the work of scientists and plantsmen through breeding and selection of garden worthy hybrids and cultivars.
Lan Su's mission in developing this unique and diverse living collection is twofold. First is to provide visitors with a microcosmic view of the wealth of China's native flora. Second, the botanical collection in the garden provides an invaluable tool for explaining customs and traditions rooted in human interaction with plants for thousands of years.
For Chinese horticulture questions, please contact Lan Su's Director of Horticulture, Glin Varco, at 503.228.8131 ext. 1004 or send Glin an email.
Lan Su also provides plant specific tours for both home gardeners and professionals in the fields of horticulture and botany. Classes and lectures relevant to Chinese horticulture are also offered throughout the year. For more information, visit our event calendar.