Sarah Merck, Docent, U.S. Botanic Garden and Freer/Sackler Galleries of Art (September 2018)
In the exciting and hectic world of Washington, D.C, you can find peace and beauty at the U.S. Botanic Garden located very near to the U.S. Capitol. The Conservatory houses plants from around the world including a rare African desert plant, a welwitschia, that can live to be 2,000 years; three plants that date back to an 1842 expedition; and a cacao or chocolate tree often laden with pods full of chocolate beans. The Conservatory has many galleries of plants: the desert; the Mediterranean; orchids; rare and endangered plants; medicinal plants; the tropical rain forest; the primeval garden; plants of the Southeast and Southwest; Hawaiian plants; plant adaptations; a children's garden; and the large garden court. Tours are offered frequently.