Living Collections

at Montgomery Botanical Center

Online Collection Database

Basic data on Montgomery Botanical Center’s collections can be found through BG-BASE’s Multi-Site hosted by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Montgomery Botanical Center holds the National Palm Collection and the National Cycad Collection, following a rigorous review by the American Public Gardens Association.

Caring for the Rare

Colonel Robert Montgomery was a serious plant collector who left a significant botanical legacy. In addition to the extensive collections at Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC), several other Montgomery  collections exist. The Montgomery Pinetum, a National Registered Historic Site, is located on the Colonel’s former Connecticut estate. A significant portion of these plantsThe Montgomery Ornamental Conifer Collectionalso forms the core of the recently rededicated Benenson Collection at The New York Botanical Garden. Closer to home, The Montgomery Palmetum is the foundation of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s palm collection.

At Montgomery Botanical Center, the live plant collections established by Colonel Montgomery, beginning in 1932, shape a historic legacy and a dynamic future. MBC’s collections are continually augmented through ongoing scientific expeditions and international collaboration.

Montgomery Botanical Center is built on live scientific plant collections as the foundation from which all other functions emerge. Research, education, and conservation require excellent collectionsMBC’s collections are rooted in science.

To achieve its purpose, the Montgomery Botanical Center’s skilled staff works together as a team in three closely inter-related departments:
Collections Development, Horticulture & Facilitiesand Administration.

Under their stewardship are thousands of palms and cycads representing hundreds of species, many of which are threatened or endangered in the wild. To protect and perpetuate the genetic diversity of its collections, Montgomery actively builds its populations of cycads and palms by mounting three to five government-sanctioned collecting expeditions each year.

As the plants mature, Montgomery promotes conservation by harvesting the often-rare seeds for distribution to research institutions, botanical gardens, conservatories, and community organizations worldwide through the MBC/FNGLA SeedBank Program, which is the largest of its kind in the U.S.

The varied resources found at the Montgomery Botanical Center augment the scientific value of the palm and cycad collections. Primary is the Montgomery database system. Using BG-BASE, details on the life history of each accession are recorded regularly and stored digitally for easy retrieval. BG-Map tracks the position of each plant. Basic data on Montgomery Botanical Center’s collections can be found through BG-BASE’s Multi-Site hosted by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Researchers, botanical groups, historians, teachers, and students from around the globe come here to tap into Montgomery Botanical Center’s diverse resources. With a guesthouse on site, Montgomery is a 24-hour-a-day functioning laboratory and classroom.


Collection Statistics

(as of 2022)

Taxa 1,129
Accessions 5,658
Plants 15,058
Taxa: Total 391
Taxa: Wild-collected 316
Accessions: Total 2,052
Accessions: Wild-collected 1,409
Plants: Total 6,983
Plants: Wild-collected 5,609
Taxa: Total 247
Taxa: Wild-collected 209
Accessions: Total 1,734
Accessions: Wild-collected 1,412
Plants: Total 5,859
Plants: Wild-collected 5,011
Gymnosperms (Tropical Conifers)   
Taxa: Total 114
Taxa: Wild-collected 50
Accessions: Total 216
Accessions: Wild-collected 72
Plants: Total 277
Plants: Wild-collected 95
Dicots, other Monocots, etc.  
Taxa: Total 377
Taxa: Wild-collected 99
Accessions: Total 1,656
Accessions: Wild-collected 982
Plants: Total 1,939
Plants: Wild-collected 1,112
All Plants  
Taxa 146
Accessions 481
Plants, Seedlings, Seeds 4,552
Taxa 91
Accessions 299
Plants, Seedlings, Seeds 3,705
Taxa 51
Accessions 178
Plants, Seedlings, Seeds 837
Gymnosperms (Tropical Conifers)   
Taxa 3
Accessions 3
Plants, Seedlings, Seeds, Cuttings 9
Dicots, other Monocots, etc.  
Taxa 1
Accessions 1
Plants, Seedlings, Seeds, Cuttings 1

All Plants  
Taxa 1,174
Accessions 6,012
Plants, Seedlings, Seeds 19,610
Taxa 422
Accessions 2,293
Plants, Seedlings, Seeds 10,688
Taxa 259
Accessions 1,844
Plants, Seedlings, Seeds 6,696
Gymnosperms (Tropical Conifers)   
Taxa 116
Accessions 218
Plants, Seedlings, Seeds, Cuttings 286
Dicots, other Monocots, etc.  
Taxa 377
Accessions 1,657
Plants, Seedlings, Seeds, Cuttings 1,940