Famous plant collector, E.H. Wilson once referred to China as the “Mother of All Gardens.” For good reason, as China is home to more than 30,000 plant species or one eighth of the world's total. Many of the plants we know and love in the West originated in China, yet few people recognize China’s influence in their own gardens.
The plant collection at Lan Su presents hundreds of plants species that are native to China. It is home to more than fifty specimen trees, many rare and unusual shrubs and perennials, and curated collections of Magnolia, Peony, Camellia, Rhododendron, Osmanthus and Bamboo.
Many of these plants have a long history in traditional Chinese gardens while others reflect the efforts of relatively recent expeditions into China's hinterlands for wild-collected species virtually unknown in the West. Still others speak to the work of scientists and plantsmen through breeding and selection of garden worthy hybrids and cultivars.
Lan Su's mission in developing this unique and diverse living collection is twofold. First is to provide visitors with a microcosmic view of the wealth of China's native flora. Second, the botanical collection in the garden provides an invaluable tool for explaining customs and traditions rooted in human interaction with plants for thousands of years.
Additional plant information provided by Lan Su volunteer Elizabeth Cha Smith:
For Chinese horticulture questions, please contact Lan Su's Horticulture department, at 503.542.2096 or send us an email.
Lan Su also provides plant specific tours for both home gardeners and professionals in the fields of horticulture and botany. Classes and lectures relevant to Chinese horticulture are also offered throughout the year. For more information, visit our event calendar.
See the complete list of all the ground covers, shrubs, trees, vines, herbaceous perennials and bamboo in the garden with Lan Su's Master Species List.
Discover what's currently in bloom at Lan Su by picking up a copy of Lan Su's most recent Bloom Guide at the door or download your copy now. Featuring 16 of the most fragrant or most beautiful plants in the garden, the Plant Guide is your window into Lan Su's horticultural landscape.
Plant Guides by Season:
Lan Su Chinese Garden is the only place in the Pacific Northwest that you will find a lotus collection of this size and diversity! Learn about the garden's lotus collection by picking up a copy of Lan Su's Lotus Guide on your next visit or download your copy now.
239 Northwest Everett Street, Portland, Oregon 97209
Call Us: 503.228.8131
Lan Su Chinese Garden
220 NW 2nd Avenue, Suite 1050, Portland, Oregon 97209
Members, donors and visitors help keep Lan Su healthy and growing. Lan Su is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and all donations and memberships are tax deductible. Lan Su’s Federal Tax ID number (EIN) is 93-1296840.