Bringing Conservation Home

Lauritzen Gardens is dedicated to the conservation of plants and the biological diversity they support. Located in Omaha, Nebraska, our conservation efforts are focused on the ecological systems of the Midwest and Great Plains. Seed banking and rare plant research are major elements of this work, but these projects mostly occur in remote settings far removed from the garden. In 2022, we are giving guests a visual introduction to plant conservation through our annual winter exhibition. Set in the 3,840-square-foot Floral Display Hall of our Visitor Center, “Wonders Under Glass” presents depictions of three Nebraska ecological systems in which we have carried out plant conservation projects. Each of the three displays features a “Conservation Star”—an imperiled plant from that ecological system that has been the subject of our seed banking or research work. These plants are portrayed through stylized replicas created by Nebraska glass artist Matthew Shrader. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a fourteen-foot tall blowout penstemon (Penstemon haydenii), a native Nebraska wildflower and one of America’s most imperiled plants.