Informally known as Shaw?s Garden (because of its founder Henry Shaw), the Missouri Botanical Garden is now a National Historic Landmark and a place to study and display plants. Founded in 1959 the 79-acre garden, the oldest operating botanical garden in the United States, is home to hundreds of thousands of plant species and has been a world leader for botanical research and science education.
Several structures have been built in the Garden. One of these is the Climatron (the highlight of the Garden), covered by a geodesic dome and looks like a tropical rainforest surrounded by pools and waterfalls, is home to about 1400 species of plants in a natural, tropical setting. It also houses a variety of animals, including tropical birds completing the look. Other attractions include the Seiwa-en, a Japanese strolling garden and the Children?s Garden, also called ?A Missouri Adventure?, with activities that make botany and 19th-century history appealing to kids and even adults. Visitors can enjoy walking around and playing in a limestone cave, a slide, wetlands that can be explored, a steamboat, a tree house and a Midwestern prairie village. The Garden also features a greenhouse conservatory called the Linnean House that contains a collection of Camellia, a member of the tea family, the Ottoman Garden that looks like a courtyard fit for a sultan, which houses classic Turkish Tulips, exotic citrus, aromatic herbs among others, and the Tower Grove House, which was used as a private home of Henry Shaw, school, dormitory, and office building and will reopen in April 2011.