The University of Texas greenhouse facilities function to provide appropriate growing conditions for the plants used by the University of Texas at Austin plant research community and to house a collection of plants to benefit undergraduate plant biology labs, and to serve as an outreach tool for educational greenhouse tours. The facilities fall roughly into three sites: the BOT Greenhouse, an older conservatory-style facility located just northwest of the Tower, the research greenhouse complex located on the top floor of the Welch Chemistry Building, and the research greenhouse complex located at Brackenridge Field Lab, on Lake Austin Boulevard, situated about 3 ½ miles southwest of the 40 Acres Campus proper. The greenhouses fall under the purview of the Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Facilities, College of Natural Sciences, at The University of Texas at Austin.
The BOT Greenhouse facility houses a wide range of plant families, known as “The Standing Collection”, which are used by undergraduate biology classes and labs, primarily for systematics, plant evolution, and plant physiology labs. Native plant beds surrounding the exterior of the greenhouse are used by native plant Biology classes and entomology classes, as well as ecology classes within the Geography Department. The undergraduate facilities are also used for uTeach classes, and for outreach science programs for local school system tours and young scientist programs, as well as tours for local garden clubs.
The WEL Greenhouse facilities on the top floor of the Welch Chemistry Building and the greenhouse complex at Brackenridge Field Lab (BFL) provide controlled growing environments for graduate, post-graduate, and faculty research, as well as for the FRI Group. The Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) offers first year students the opportunity to initiate and engage in authentic research experiences with faculty and graduate students in plant biology, as well as many other science related fields. Welch Greenhouse also contains limited lab research space.