Wildflower Center

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is the official State Botanic Garden and Arboretum of Texas. The center is home to the most diverse collection of native plants in the state, with more than 800 species represented from many of the major ecoregions of Texas. Its 284 acres include:

  • 9 acres of cultivated gardens displaying native plants
  • A 16-acre arboretum featuring a one-of-a-kind collection of Texas oak species
  • Greenhouses and nursery operations
  • A seed bank and herbarium
  • 70 acres of large-scale research plots dedicated to the long-term study of Central Texas landscapes
  • Approximately 150 acres of undeveloped landscapes exemplary of the Edwards Plateau and Texas Blackland Prairies ecoregions
  • 2307 insect species documented, including 103 species of butterflies and 64 species of bees
  • 208 species of vertebrates documented, including 130 birds
  • Caves, sinkholes and other karst features

The Wildflower Center is located 10 miles south of downtown Austin at the suburban and wildland interface. It straddles the Edwards Plateau and Texas Blackland Prairies ecoregions and includes plants from those ecoregions in natural landscapes.

The Wildflower Center field station offers scientists and students opportunities for research and learning about a mixed oak-juniper savanna along the Balcones Escarpment with intermittent drainages and a network of cave and karst features. Like other field stations, it will support better understanding of native and managed landscapes—using environmental monitoring, original research and discovery-based student learning activities—to inform decision-making about the best ways to support people, plants, wildlife and the natural systems that they rely on.


The Wildflower Center’s mission is to inspire the conservation of native plants. It achieves this through plant conservation, horticulture, research, outreach, education and consulting.

Native Plant Information

The center’s Native Plants of North America is the most comprehensive native plant database for North America, including more than 9,000 taxa (roughly half of all plant species of North America excluding Mexico) and 55,000 associated images and illustrations.

A field of red and yellow flowers
Ecological Design and Consulting

The center works with developers, governmental agencies, campuses and cities to incorporate native plants into landscapes to address environmental problems, such as water scarcity and loss of wildlife habitat. These projects often incorporate results from the center’s research. More about Ecological Design.

Conservation and Research

The Wildflower Center takes a multipronged approach to conserving native plants, from seed collection and plant propagation to research and application.

Seed Bank. The Wildflower Center collects and stores seeds from keystone species in the plant communities of Texas. These seeds are used by research scientists in propagation studies, reintroduction projects and environmental restoration efforts; they also act as safeguards against possible extinction in the wild. More about the Seed Bank.

Innovative Systems. Through applied research, the center developed a native turf grass called Habiturf®, a resilient and water-saving alternative to commonly used turf grasses. This product is now commercially available as seed. The center’s recently patented SkySystem™ is a planting medium developed specifically for growing native plants on roofs in hot climates.

Nursery and Horticulture. The center’s nursery and horticulture staff collect and propagate native plants from across Texas, including endangered and threatened plants and plants important to other conservation efforts, such as milkweeds. The center also serves as a home for growing trees and other plants for university grounds, major landscape restoration efforts and other research using native plants.


Outside of serving as a field station, the Wildflower Center continues to be accessible to the public. Entry to the center is free to all UT faculty, staff and students, and its meeting facilities are available for hosting meetings, parties, retreats and conferences.

Visit the Wildflower Center website