Global Flora

Greenhouse demolition
Greenhouse demolition
Greenhouse construction
Durant camellia in protective cage
steel structure is complete
Topping out ceremony
Topping out ceremony
Topping out ceremony
Topping out ceremony

Interior of Global Flora, artist's conception

Global Flora:
Rehousing and re-imagining the permanent collections in the Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses


The Global Flora Conservatory in the Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses, with its highlight on plant form, carries Margaret Ferguson's vision of "laboratories under glass" into the 21st century. In addition to replacing our aging structure, the Global Flora project will:

  • supply new housing for our "botany museum" objects, which are of artistic and scientific interest;
  • create a new node for interdisciplinary science research and teaching; and
  • provide an innovative example of sustainable design. 


Happy Spring 2022! Wellesley College students, staff, and faculty only- please request a visit to Global Flora here: 

Global Flora will remain closed to the public until Science Center construction is fully complete and pending Covid-19 campus policy. We appreciate your patience as we prepare these spaces for everyone to access safely!


"A Living Cathedral: The New Global Flora Collection Celebrates Plant Diversity," Wellesley Magazine, Fall 2019


Global Flora's award for sustainable design:

Wellesley's New Global Flora Greenhouse Wins International Sustainable Design Award 

LafargeHolcim Foundation - prizewinning projects in sustainable construction


Newsletter articles:

A Party to Connect People to Plants; Slipping Away to Global Flora; Going, Going, Gone; and Plant Health Team, Spring 2020 Thorndike Intern Yuxi Xia describes the first Greenhouse Light Show in Global Flora, Rob Nicholson gives an overview of the slipper orchid collection, Rob and Curation Assistant Annalise Michaelson discuss the rare and endangered plants in Global Flora, and the the work of the Plant Health Care Team is highlighted.

Road Trip! and Where the Weird Plants Are, Fall 2019 Botanic Gardens Director Kristina Jones and Botanical Collections Manager Rob Nicholson went on a collecting trip for Global Flora: Assistant Director Gail Kahn describes the plants in Global Flora's Ancient Corner.

Bones, Spring 2019 Rob Nicholson describes the hardscape features -- the "bones" -- being installed in Global Flora.

Global Flora: How to Curate a Collection, Fall 2018 Rob Nicholson writes about his goals and his process for putting together a new conservatory collection.

Visualizing Global Flora, Spring 2018 Explains many design details including the data collection network and the use of ETFE film instead of glass.

The Global Flora Project: Greenhouse Trees on the Move, Fall 2017 The large, landscaped trees in the Ferguson Greenhouses were dug up and moved to temporary homes during the summer of 2017.

Global Flora: Greenhouse Renewal, A Progress Report, Spring 2015 Kristina Jones describes the overarching theme of Global Flora and reports on the delay in starting construction.

Global Flora: Greenhouse Renewal, Phase 1, Fall 2014 The new greenhouse project - which we have dubbed the Global Flora Collection of the Margaret C. Ferguson Greenhouses - receives full funding. Kennedy & Violich Architecture works on a sustainable design, and Andropogon Associates will collaborate on the indoor landscapes.


Overview of the Global Flora project Botanic Gardens Director Kristina Jones describes her vision for an innovative new conservatory at Wellesley College.