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Student walking past St. Thomas greenhouse on campus.

The Greenhouses and Medicinal Garden

The Biology Department at the University of St. Thomas maintains two greenhouses on the St. Paul campus. One greenhouse is attached to Owens Science Hall at the corner of Grand and Cretin Avenues. With its three large rooms and additional lighting, it is the primary greenhouse for course and research use.

The second greenhouse is located in the John Roach Center for Liberals Arts on the corner of Summit and Cleveland Avenues. Its eye-catching geometric design provides interior space for a tropical room, an arid room and a room featuring non-vascular plants, carnivorous plants and epiphytes.

The medicinal garden is reminiscent of monastery gardens from the Middle Ages. It was designed to be both a source of plants for laboratory teaching and research and a spot for quiet and solitude. Additionally, during the first summer of plant growth, we have found it to be a great source of forage for many pollinators, including several hummingbirds.

Contact Catherine Grant to learn more about the Greenhouses and Medicinal Garden projects.

Contact

Catherine Grant

Phone Number
651-962-3250
Wisconsin fast plants in the St. Thomas greenhouse

01 Deepening your knowledge

Coursework in the Greenhouses

Biology students and non-science majors use the greenhouses for a variety of courses. Students taking Biological Communication and Energetics use the Owens greenhouse to examine how various treatments affect plant enzymes. Students in General Biology use the Owens greenhouse to investigate how changing the environment affects the growth, health and reproductive ability of Wisconsin Fast Plants.

Biology professor Amy Verhoeven works with student Catherine Putzier on research in the greenhouse.

02 Gain practical experience

Research in the Greenhouses

The Greenhouses are a very active site for research. Recent users of the greenhouses include Dr. Chip Small, who uses the greenhouse(s) to start plants for his NSF-funded research and Dr. Amy Verhoeven, who uses the greenhouse to grow ferns for her research on plant stressors. Faculty from the School of Engineering have utilized the greenhouses for precision agriculture research on how to effectively monitor crop growth.

A student studies in the medicinal garden.

03 A spot for teaching, research and solitude

Medicinal Garden

The medicinal garden is reminiscent of monastery gardens from the Middle Ages. It was designed to be both a source of plants for laboratory teaching and research and a spot for quiet and solitude. We have found it to be a great source of forage for many pollinators, including several hummingbirds. The garden is open to the public weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A tea cup in front of potted plants.

04 Connect with the community

Thursday Tea

Biology’s Greenhouse Manager hosts a weekly Thursday Tea event in the JRC Collection Greenhouse. Each week features a new tea and entices students, faculty, staff, and community members to visit the JRC Greenhouse. Visitors can enjoy their tea while exploring the different greenhouse climate zones filled with plants from arid, subtropical, and tropical regions.

About the Medicinal Garden

  • Layout
  • Uses of Plants
  • History of the Medicinal Garden
  • Layout

    The garden is divided into 4 major plots:

    1. Native American Medicinal Plants like tobacco and boneset
    2. Modern Pharmaceuticals including opium poppies and foxglove which is the source of digitalis
    3. Traditional Herbal Medicines contains plants that might have been found in a monastery garden like comfrey and valerian root
    4. Modern Herbal Supplements such as St. John's Wort and garlic

    Uses of Plants

    Students in Dr. Amy Verhoeven's Plants, Food and Medicine course have begun to compile information on uses of plants in the garden.

    History of the Medicinal Garden

    The hardscaping was finished in August of 2016. Most of the plants were grown from seed in the greenhouse over the winter months. Students from various courses will be able to use plants from this garden in their laboratory experience.

    Layout

    The garden is divided into 4 major plots:

    1. Native American Medicinal Plants like tobacco and boneset
    2. Modern Pharmaceuticals including opium poppies and foxglove which is the source of digitalis
    3. Traditional Herbal Medicines contains plants that might have been found in a monastery garden like comfrey and valerian root
    4. Modern Herbal Supplements such as St. John's Wort and garlic

    Uses of Plants

    Students in Dr. Amy Verhoeven's Plants, Food and Medicine course have begun to compile information on uses of plants in the garden.

    History of the Medicinal Garden

    The hardscaping was finished in August of 2016. Most of the plants were grown from seed in the greenhouse over the winter months. Students from various courses will be able to use plants from this garden in their laboratory experience.

    Contact Information

    Questions? Feel free to contact us!

    Tel: 651-962-3250

    Email: gran5501@stthomas.edu

    Greenhouse Facebook

    Mailing Address

    Mail OWS 352
    University of St. Thomas
    2115 Summit Avenue
    St. Paul, MN 55105

    Campus Location

    We are located on the third floor of the Owens Science Hall in room #352 (Building #65 on the campus map).