The Biological Sciences Greenhouse Facility houses a "living library" of plants, insects and arthropods. These collections are used extensively in our teaching, research, and outreach programs. The collections offer unique opportunities for students and visitors to gain a higher level of learning with living examples enhancing lecture and textbook educational materials.
Regardless of the weather outside, the tropical greenhouse is lush with the vibrant green foliages of a rain forest. A pond in the tropical room demonstrates habitat diversity. Only footsteps away, yet world's apart, is the desert room displaying the odd and often bizarre spiky and spiny cacti and succulents which inhabit arid locations around the world. The collection has remarkable diversity with more than 1200 specimens representing over 120 plant families. Rare and endangered plant species dwell among the collection allowing us to aid in their conservation while offering the opportunity for instructors to introduce conversations on the topic.
Insect and Arthropod Collection
Need 500 male cockroaches for a class experiment? Creeping and crawling, the Insectary houses a collection of approximately 120 insect and arthropod species. The collection has strong representation in urban entomology with household pests like ants, roaches, and flies, and in stored product insects such as grain beetles. Specimens of some of the most curious "bugs" from around the world also find a home in the collection with Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, Giant African Millipedes and the MacLeay's Spectre Walking Stick from Australia represented. All levels of outreach and education are served by the Insect and Arthropod Collection, providing opportunities to explore the largest and most diverse group of organisms on the planet. Where else could you find termites performing "Script Ohio" as they follow a pheromone trail?
Jennings Courtyard and Aronoff Bioswale
Located just steps from the greenhouse are outdoor plantings of native Ohio species in the Jennings Courtyard and Aronoff Bioswale. Maintained by the greenhouse facility staff, these plantings offer additional opportunities for educating students and visitors using native specimens.