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Tree and plant collections

Eastern white pine pruned to form a hedge

The Morton Arboretum's living collections represent one of the most comprehensive collections of woody plants in North America. Throughout the Arboretum's history, it has acquired plants from 40 countries in the northern temperate zone of the world.

The collections are displayed in beautiful landscape settings and are designed for both enjoyment and educational purposes. Plants are selected for their ability to perform well in Northern Illinois' challenging climate of hot summers and freezing cold winters, as well as for their adaptation to our soils. The collections represent a diversity of plants from around the world and here in the U.S. Additionally, 90 different kinds of plants on the grounds are considered threatened or endangered on state, federal, or world lists. The collections today include over 222,000 living plants in our collections belonging to nearly 4,650 taxa. Specimens are arranged according to three groups:


Geographic collections

The geographic collections feature plants from the temperate regions (regions which lie between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) in Asia, Europe, and North America. LEARN MORE  

Taxonomic collections

The majority of collections at the Arboretum are organized by scientific plant groups. This is an effective way to study plant families and genera, and offers an exceptional opportunity to compare related plant species first-hand. LEARN MORE  

Special habitats

Several collections on The Morton Arboretum's grounds are grouped together based on features other than geography or taxonomy. Plants in this special habitat collection are grouped by such traits as plant size, plant soil requirements, and horticultural traits. LEARN MORE  

Find all our plants

The Morton Arboretum's complete database of all the plants in our collections, including their locations on our grounds, is online. LEARN MORE