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An exemplary indigenous garden

More than 100 native species of ferns, woody plants, and spring wildflowers of the southern Great Lakes Region thrive here.

Here, visitors can enjoy and learn about many of the native plants found throughout the region. It also serves as an example of naturalistic garden design using indigenous plants.

Beautiful from spring to fall

In mid-to-late April delicate blooms of spring beauty, twinleaf, and bloodroot open. May is the peak season when many of the species bloom under the canopy of flowering redbud and flowering dogwood. As summer arrives and blends into fall, bold clumps of ferns unfold followed by scatterings of color from flowers and berries.

Make a gift

We need your help to keep our gardens beautiful for years to come.

Interested in this garden?

You can reserve this garden for a private event, schedule a classroom field trip, or make a financial gift.


An intimate venue for a celebration of love with loved ones.

Field Trips

It's easy to set up a guided or self-guided field trip tour in the summer.

Support Our Gardens

Your help keeps all of our gardens blooming for years to come.

Recognizing Dr. Helen V. Smith

This garden is named in recognition of Dr. Helen V. Smith, author of Michigan Wildflowers (1961). She was a leader in the Friends of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, instrumental in creating the Woodland Wildflower Garden, and maintained it in its early years.