Buffalo Zoo Horticulture

Since 1875, our team of dedicated horticulturists has been beautifying the 23˝-Acre landscape at the Buffalo Zoo. With a diverse collection of over 300 plant species, there is plenty for visitors to enjoy every season of the year – rain, snow, or shine. We hope you visit often so you can see and experience your favorite plants and animals!

Native Plants
A number of plants indigenous to the Buffalo Niagara region can be found right here throughout the Buffalo Zoo.  The native plants in our collection are self-sustaining, naturalized plants that encourage beneficial insect populations such as butterflies and pollinating bees.  A few noteworthy native plants include red osier dogwoods at Otter Creek, seasonal perennials at Delta Sonic Heritage Farm such as butterfly weed, and a massive 200 plus year old Bur Oak tree in front of the M&T Rainforest Falls building.


Seasonal Color
The seasonal color beds, planter boxes, and hanging baskets at the Buffalo Zoo draw attention to entranceways and enhance views throughout the landscape.  Visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a unique combination of colorful annuals and perennials that last all summer long.  We hope the seasonal color at the Buffalo Zoo puts some extra spring in your step during your visit.



Tropical Plants
There are over 100 unique and interesting tropical plant species at the Buffalo Zoo.  Used to simulate animals’ native habitats, these eye-catching tropical plants make up the interior landscape at the M&T Rainforest Falls, gorilla, and reptile exhibits.  A state-of-the-art greenhouse directly adjacent to the M&T Rainforest Falls building houses an inventory of tropical and seasonal color plants that are cared for until they are incorporated into the interior and exterior landscapes at the Buffalo Zoo.



Landscape Conservation
The Buffalo Zoo and its team of horticulturists are committed to environmental stewardship.  Several conservation efforts are in-place in addition to the use of native plants.  Ornamental grasses are fed to various hoof stock and primate animals once they are cut back at the end of each growing season.  Carefully selected deciduous and evergreen branches from pruning woody ornamentals are utilized for enrichment in animal exhibits.  Biological controls are utilized as-needed to naturally manage pest pressures for interior landscapes.


We are proud members of the Association of Zoological Horticulture and the Western New York State Nursery & Landscape Association. We regularly engage in continuing education to help us improve the grounds and animal exhibits at the Buffalo Zoo.  We do this with the intention of being the very best zoo that we can be while fulfilling our education, recreation, and conservation mission at the horticultural level.


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