Wilbur V. Harlan Greenhouse


The Wilbur V. Harlan Greenhouse has been a dream of the Biology Department's for many years. It was made reality when the Science and Engineering Hall was being developed in 2009 and rooftop space for the greenhouse was allocated to the Department.  Support for the construction of the greenhouse came from the Trust of GW Biology Alum Wilbur 'Bill' Harlan, who graduated with a degree in botany in 1935 and went on to do amazing works of service for the USDA around the world. Construction on the greenhouse began in 2013 and did not end until February of 2017. The plants we cultivate in the greenhouse all have a specific purpose. Some are a part of active research, currently research focusing on Chesapeake Bay ecology. We also grow all of the host and food plants for the insect research going on with our entomology faculty. We support student research as well. We also cultivate plants that our biology students can study, such as angiosperms that represent all 12 types of floral morphs. Our entire third bay is a teaching collection representing plant evolution, starting with aquatic plants and moving through ferns, cycad, conifers, and angiosperms, showing how plants have evolved over the last 400 million years. Although we only got our first plant material in the greenhouse in February of 2017, we are filling up quickly! Open hours in the greenhouse are from 10-2 every Friday. Head up to the 8th floor of SEH and follow the signs to the greenhouse. Come and study out on the terrace, enjoy the plants, or - if you want something to do, we'll happily put you to work!  Our address and contact information are listed below:

Science and Engineering Hall 8546 
22nd St NW
Washington, DC

[email protected]

Greenhouse Manager: Rachel Klein 202-994-7308