Greenhouse Facilities

On Campus

Welch Hall

Welch Greenhouses [map], [layout/rooms], [history]

The Welch Greenhouse has a range of climate-controlled greenhouses and growth chambers that are on the 6th (top) floor of Welch Hall.

Welch Greenhouse Access: Only Elevator # 4 goes up to the 6th Floor of Welch Hall; all other elevators stop at the 5th Floor, including the Freight Elevator. Elevator # 4 can be located on the east side of the building, just south of the loading dock. Once you get to the elevator lobby of the 6th Floor, you will find a locked door with a buzzer. For that reason, you are strongly urged to call first to schedule an appointment or make arrangements for entry by contacting Shane Merrell or Mick Vann.

Welch Greenhouse facilities is the primary on-campus location for School research involving plants. The greenhouses are allocated on a space-available basis and may be reserved by Plant Bio Faculty and their students. Request Bench Space/Action Form »

BOT Greenhouses [map]

Located at the western end of the Turtle Pond area, and due south of the Biological Lab Building, the original structure, which resembles a small white cottage, was what is called the “headhouse”, meant to function as the office for the greenhouse. It and the northernmost greenhouse structure were built from a British-made Lord & Burnham Greenhouse kit in 1929.

In 1951 the two adjoining southern greenhouse structures were added-on, again using a Lord & Burnham conservatory kit. This is the structure found today. The original headhouse was converted to the Cell Research Institute, then later into research labs, and has since become the offices of UTeach Outreach: See past fieldtrips that included a greenhouse tour at:

This facility houses the Teaching or Standing Collection. It is surrounded by a native plant xeriscape. The standing collection represents a broad range of plant families for the purposes of illustrating and demonstrating plant systematics, different aspects of plant physiology, and plant evolution. Undergraduate labs regularly visit the greenhouse for hands-on tours, and plants are temporarily removed to be used within remote class labs. The Horticulturist generally fields random plant-related questions that reach the BioSci Department from the general public.

Occasionally a research project will be grown in the BOT Greenhouse, but generally that is not the case. Some professors based in the BioLab Bldg use the greenhouse for housing of research plants. The southern-most house is the sunniest and holds the widest range of plants; the center house is filled with ferns, aroids, and orchids. The north room contains primarily cycads and primitive plants such as selaginella, club moss, lycopodium, and whisk fern. Plans have been made to renovate and restore the greenhouse at some point in the future; when and if funds are available.

Painter HallPainter Greenhouses [map]

The Physics Building (1933), designed by Paul Cret, was renamed in 1974 to honor geneticist Theophilus S. Painter, UT president from 1944 to 1952. Painter is well known in U.S. history as the respondent in the landmark Sweatt v. Painter civil rights case. Directly to the south of the Painter building are two small greenhouses, which are used primarily by undergraduate biology labs to grow plants for labs, and by SURGE, the undergraduate student group;

SURGE (Science Undergraduate Research Group) houses plants which they propagate for sale to the public, to raise funds for activities and operations. Both greenhouses are in relatively poor shape, and the smaller of the two has no heating system, so is unusable for much of the winter. The larger of the two does have an air-conditioning and heating system, which functions minimally.


Off Campus Facilities

BFLRG - Biological Field Lab Research Greenhouse [map], [history]

BFL Research GreenhouseThe BFL Greenhouse contains a state-of-the-art dual range unit with an attached headhouse/office; both are contained within a security fence enclosure, just west of the Lake Austin Center at Brackenridge Field Lab.

This research facility features computer controls and monitoring (capable of being remotely monitored) for ambient and supplemental light, retractable reflective sidewall cooling shades, temperature, and humidity. Plant benches are of the sliding type. Water is filtered and softened prior to use on the plants. The headhouse/office area is climate-controlled, and has a walk-in cooler for plant diurnal simulation. An emergency backup generator is on-site to kick in automatically should there be a power failure. On-site pot-washing and supplies storage facilities are present. Occasionally projects are grown outside, within the fence enclosure.

Field Growing Location
Due south of the main BFL building is a large field of alluvial bottom soil, which runs almost all the way down to Ladybird Lake. It is enclosed in deer-proof fencing and has hose bibs spaced evenly along the east side to supply irrigation. Occasionally students will need to field-grow some plants, in which case, BFL Resident Manager John Crutchfield, 512-471-2114, needs to be informed, in order to have it cleared through him. He is responsible for that site, and can arrange tractor work, such as brush hog and tilling to prepare the soils. Currently the area is the site for a large, long-term research project involving various species of panic grass (Panicum sp.), under the direction of Dr. Tom Juenger, 512-232-5751, 512-471-3278,

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