The Conservatory at Miami University Hamilton

1601 Hamilton Blvd.
Hamilton, OH 45011

513-785-3244   |
Tuesday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Sunday noon - 4:00 p.m.

The Conservatory at Miami University Hamilton

Marvel in the natural world at the Conservatory at Miami University Hamilton, where the different biomes are illustrated by the diversity of plant life.

Be transported to different areas of the world through learning about the plant life that thrives in different biomes and how humans interact with the plants that feed and nurture us. Outside the entrance to the Conservatory, The Thread of Life, a Botanical History, a mural by artist John Maggard, illustrates three periods of natural history in Ohio and some of the flora and fauna that define each period. The first panel’s imagery includes trilobites, aquatic snails, and a giant Meganeura dragonfly from the Carboniferous Period. The second panel depicts oak leaves, acorns, Indian grass seed heads, sunflowers, and a shadow darner dragonfly from the Pre-Columbian Period when large forests and fragments of tallgrass prairie covered the state. A depiction of corn and soybeans, along with a swift river cruiser dragonfly represent the modern agricultural period. Altogether, the mural demonstrates how the natural world has changed and stayed the same throughout time in one small corner of the world.

Southwest Ohio’s native species are celebrated in the gardens, groves, and prairies around the Conservatory. In the summer, purple and white cone flowers, used for medicinal purposes throughout history, sway in the breeze and pawpaw, the only tropical fruit native to Ohio, grow under shady leaves. A unique kaleidoscope in front of the Conservatory turns nature into art by altering how the eye views the colors and shapes of the flowers planted within the sculpture.

Inside the Conservatory, experience tropical and desert plants from around the world. Feel the difference in humidity between the climates in which they thrive in comparison with the environment outdoors. Throughout the display rooms, read about the plants that flavor human life, from the vanilla that sweetens our cookies to the coffee that fills our mugs. The Conservatory will prompt marvel at the sheer diversity of plant life that exists throughout the world and the ways that plants impact human life.

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Notes for Travelers

Metered visitor parking is available on campus on the west side of Rentschler Hall and across the street on the east side of University Boulevard.


Bridget Garnai

Additional Resources

Moore, Andrew. Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing, Inc., 2017.