The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

Jean Avis Wilson Native Orchid Garden

Orchids are among the world’s most fascinating plants, and the Great Lakes Region surpasses all other parts of temperate North America in the number of native orchids, with the exception of Florida. Our geography, lake-influenced climate, and glacial history all contribute to the diversity of orchids found within our region. This garden is constructed on an east-facing slope, kept moist by groundwater seepage. Here you’ll find many of the singular orchids of the region as well as associated plants found in this moist habitat—native lilies, ferns, mosses, and sedges. A short boardwalk near the base of the slope offers visitors dramatic views of the display of orchids and related plants.

Professor Emeritus of Industrial Engineering Richard C. Wilson (Industrial & Operational Engineering Ph.D., 1961) made a gift in memory of his wife to create the Jean Avis Wilson Native Orchid Garden.

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