Hands-on Instruction in the Plant Sciences

The D. C. Smith Greenhouse, completed in the fall of 1996, is a greenhouse facility of the UW-Madison campus. The mission of the facility is to provide plant-growing space for the instructional needs of the departments and programs of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. These are primarily undergraduate classes. With 10,000 square feet under glass, the facility consists of 10 growing bays, a high humidity propagation bay, and a 1,600 square foot conservatory. Support space includes a large potting/class area and a chemical safety and storage facility.

The building is designed as a combination of science and aesthetics. It has won several architectural awards. The environment of the greenhouses is controlled by a state of the art computer system that allows users to program the environment to suit the needs of the plants and the class. This allows students and faculty to gain experience in real world greenhouse equipment and management. The conservatory is an example of the relatively new discipline of interiorscaping. Much like an outdoor garden, it emphasizes the ornamental function of plants while demonstrating the science of plant culture. The conservatory has won a major national award for design.

While primarily used by students and faculty, the greenhouse is open to the public and also offers tours and is available for special events. For more information contact the greenhouse manager at 608-262-3844.