Eleanor "Nell" Montgomery Jennings at Montgomery Botanical Center.

In 1959, Montgomery Botanical Center was established as the Montgomery Foundation by Nell Montgomery Jennings in memory of her husband Colonel Robert Montgomery and his love for palms.  The buildings and plant collections date to 1932, when Robert built the Coconut Grove Palmetum, which now serves as the infrastructure for Montgomery Botanical Center.

For 50 years Montgomery Botanical Center has been advancing conservation, research, and education in many ways.  Since 1959, numerous expeditions have been conducted to locations worldwide, bringing many new palm and cycad species into cultivation. These activities have greatly accelerated in recent years: since 1990, MBC has conducted over 70 research and collecting expeditions, and supported 12 Research Fellows from countries around the world. MBC’s Arthur Montgomery Guesthouse has hosted plant scientists from over 50 countries, while they study the living plant collections.

For details of MBC’s early and recent history, please visit the History Page, browse our Newsletter Archives.

Rigorous curation and strong ethics in MBC’s collecting practice have been recognized. The MBC palm collection and cycad collection were recently accredited by the NAPCC. Looking forward, MBC expects further advancement of botanical research and conservation.