Mt. Cuba

Entrance Garden

Take a drive through the Entrance Garden. The gate–hand-forged and incorporating motifs of native plants–stands as a declaration of what lies beyond, while the Entrance Garden dazzles with masses of stunning plants. The Entrance Garden is not open for visitation.

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Stokesia Laevis

Peachie’s Pick Stokes’ Aster

Peachie’s Pick Stokes’ Aster

Peachie’s Pick Stokes’ aster – An essential for a shade garden, this perennial is a floriferous and deer-resistant native that draws butterflies to its large, lavender blue blooms.

Lonicera sempervirens

Trumpet Honeysuckle

On the Main Drive

Trumpet honeysuckle is an attractive woody vining plant with showy clusters of 2” long, crimson tubular flowers. It is quite vigorous, growing from 10-20’ tall and is easily trained on a trellis, arbor or fence.

Featured Garden

Scree Garden

At work in the Scree Garden

The Scree Garden is an area where drought and heat tolerant plants grow.   This garden’s dominant design element is a large exposure of Gneiss and a crushed rock walking path that forms the rear border of the planting area.

Featured Garden

Rock Outcrop

At work on the Rock Wall

The Rock Outcrop garden is an exposure of an indigenous rock formation known as Gneiss.  It is an area of approximately 3000 sq. ft. and was created to represent a naturally occurring rock outcrop habitat where heat and drought tolerant plants grow.

Main House

Mr. and Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland completed their Colonial Revival-style house and began establishing formal gardens in 1937.

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Hydrangea quercifolia

Oakleaf Hydrangea

A plant with year-round interest

With its unique deeply lobed, oak-like leaves, large white flower clusters, and attractive exfoliating bark, oakleaf hydrangea is impressive when massed or used as a specimen.

Kalmia latifolia

Mountain Laurel

Pink and white blooms in June

An attractive broad-leaved flowering shrub that produces stunning clusters of white angular flowers in June.

Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Little Goldstar'

Little Goldstar Black-eyed Susan

Yellow blooms in summer

Tidy and compact Rudbeckia, perfect for containers around the Main House.

Formal Garden

The Formal Gardens surround the colonial revival-style Main House and feature a colorful display of plants, laid out with the symmetry and geometry that are characteristic of formal garden design.

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Erygnium Yuccifolium

Button Snakeroot

A towering addition to the full-sun garden

Button snakeroot foliage looks very similar to the desert yucca while the striking, creamy-white flower heads resemble thistles and are wonderful for dried arrangements.

Asclepias Tuberosa

Butterfly Weed

Eye-catching, bright orange blooms signal the peak of summer

Butterfly weed, a required food for monarch butterfly larvae, is also a great nectar plant for other butterflies and insects.

Magnolia grandiflora

Large flowered Magnolia

The flowers of southern magnolia are larger than the palm of your hand

With thick, glossy leaves and large, fragrant flowers, southern magnolia brings a commanding presence to the Round Garden. Its flowers can reach up to 8″ in diameter.

Featured Area

Round Garden

The Round Garden in bloom

A combination of native perennials and exotic annuals bring added color to the Round Garden throughout the seasons.

Trial Garden

In our 15,000-square foot Trial Garden, we conduct research on native plants, evaluating them for beauty, ecological benefits, and pest resistance. Species and cultivars of a selected plant are grown side-by-side, allowing our researchers to develop unbiased results and highlight plants best suited for the mid-Atlantic region.

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Trial 2015-2017

See blooms all summer

The Trial Garden is currently evaluating over 100 selections of phlox, one of the most popular perennials in today’s garden.


Trial 2012-2015

See the results

For four years Mt. Cuba Center’s research horticulturists studied Baptisia, a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant native perennial with profuse flowers that bloom in a variety of colors. In 2016, we released “Baptisia for the Mid-Atlantic Region,” a report detailing the results of the study of 46 different cultivars of Baptisia and rates the overall garden performance of each species.



Trial 2014-2016

Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline' blooms in the Trial garden

Monarda, commonly known as bee balm, has been a popular garden perennial for many years. Mt. Cuba Center set out to determine which Monarda are the top performing, most disease resistant selections for the mid-Atlantic region. We also investigated the differences in nectar among the cultivars and species. Our trial included 43 species and cultivars, including some plants that are relatively unknown to the gardening public.

West Slope

Appearing and disappearing from sight, the West Slope Path curves downhill and emerges slowly through an alluring mix of evergreen and deciduous trees. The path curves past vignettes of dense woodland and intricate tapestries of native perennials. The bottom of the path extends through a veil of evergreens, leading to the Ponds.

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Pinus Strobus Witch's Broom

Witch's Broom

See them along the West Slope

These Pinus strobus trees are special forms that grow from Witches’ Brooms—irregular growth patterns that result in large clusters of small shoots on woody species. Many dwarf species of woody plants come from Witches’ Brooms.


Adiantum Pedatum

Northern Maidenhair Fern

For all-season green

Look for this finely textured and frilly native fern on shady wooded slopes and ravines. Springtime sees the emergence of surprising pink fiddleheads.

Adiantum Capillus-Veneris

Southern Maidenhair Fern

delicate fronds on the West Slope

With elegant, lacy foliage this native can be used as a beautiful ground cover growing to a height of 20 inches.


The iconic beauty of our Ponds offers a serene environment for reflection, contemplation, and inspiration. A series of ponds are surrounded by plants that thrive in wet soils and are home to a startling abundance of wildlife. A small bog garden displays carnivorous plants and native orchids.

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Rhexia virginica

Virginia Meadow Beauty

Purple blooms in summer

Striking rosy pink flowers, purplish-green stem and unusually shaped yellow anthers help this plant live up to its common name.

Rhododendron prunifolium

Plumleaf Azalea

Bright flowers in summer

Reaching eight feet in height and sporting fiery orange-red flowers and dark green, shiny leaves, this native azalea brings delight to the summer garden.

Eutrochium purpureum

Sweet-Scented Joe-Pye Weed

By the bog garden

Sweet-Scented Joe-Pye weed towers over the late-summer garden and draws swallowtail butterflies to its lightly-scented blooms.


Lobelia cardinalis

Cardinal Flower

Lobelia cardinalis blooms red all summer long.

Cardinal flower is a sure bet for gardeners anxious to have hummingbirds visit their gardens.

Dogwood Path

Dogwoods frame the lush moss bank on this meandering pathway, where woodland and meadow plants intermingle at the forest edge. The path provides occasional views of distant garden areas as well as sections of secluded woods. The Dogwood Path is abundant in spring blooms, radiant summer greens, and rich autumn hues.

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Hydrangea Quercifolia

Oakleaf Hydrangea

Along the Dogwood Path

With its unique deeply lobed, oak-like leaves, large white flower clusters, and attractive exfoliating bark, oakleaf hydrangea is impressive when massed or used as a specimen.

Spigelia Marilandica

Indian Pink

Bright red and yellow blooms

A summer firecracker exploding with vivid red tubular flowers with a chartreuse yellow interior, hummingbirds can’t resist these blooms.

Eutrochium fistulosum

Joe-Pye Weed

pink blooms in summer

Joe-Pye weed is a robust summer-blooming perennial that is highly attractive to butterflies. This plant naturalizes nicely in meadows and woodland edges or can be used in the perennial border

Featured Area

Moss Bank

View to the meadow

The Moss bank offers a unique composition of mosses, shaded by the dogwood canopy above.


Liatris spicata

Spike Gayfeather

Purple blooms in summer

Because of their vertical nature, spike gayfeather has a small footprint, but makes a big statement. The thin, tall, airy floral wands create a mesmerizing “pop-up” effect that attract pollinators of all kinds.

Hypericum Densiflorum

St. John's Wort

At the top of the Meadow

St. John’s wort provides multi-seasonal delight. In summer a profusion of bright yellow flowers will brighten your rock garden or mixed perennial bed.


The Meadow showcases plants found in open sunny spaces and along woodland edges. Intimate paths cut through swaying native grasses, which form the canvas for a constantly changing collection of beautiful wildflowers. These grasses and flowering plants provide food and shelter for multitudes of wildlife and attract a variety of pollinators.

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Liatris spicata

Spike Gayfeather

Purple blooms in summer

Because of their vertical nature, spike gayfeather has a small footprint, but makes a big statement. The thin, tall, airy floral wands create a mesmerizing “pop-up” effect that attract pollinators of all kinds.

Rudbeckia fulgida

Black-eyed Susan

bright blooms in summer and fall

Black-eyed Susan is one of our best known wildflowers, delighting us with long lasting, boldly colored golden yellow to tangerine daisy-like blooms year after year.

Eutrochium Purpureum

Big Umbrella Sweet-Scented Joe-Pye Weed

In the Meadow

Big umbrella sweet-scented Joe-Pye weed is a butterfly magnet. This plant naturalizes well in meadows and woodland edges or can be used in the perennial border.

Woods Path

This awe-inspiring space is filled with colorful spring ephemerals planted below towering tulip trees. Native woodland plants form distinctive layers leading one’s gaze upward to the cathedral-like canopy. The Woods Path fulfills the wishes of Mrs. Copeland to have visitors “look up as well as down.”

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Clethra alnifolia

Summer Sweet Clethra

Seen along the garden border.

Summer sweet clethra (Clethra alnifolia) brightens up the summer garden border with its profusion of fragrant white, bottlebrush-like flowers.

Lilium Superbum


Spotted lining the path.

Turk’s cap lily (Lilium superbum) with it’s stunning candelabra-like arrangement of bell-shaped orange to red spotted flowers is a fanciful addition to your shade garden.

Allium cernuum

Nodding Onion

Seen low to the ground on the left hand side of the path.

Native bees love the white flowers of the nodding onion (Allium cernuum) and are frequent pollinators along with the hairstreak butterfly and hummingbirds. It will bloom through September.

Liriodendron tulipifera

Tulip tree

Lining the Woods Path

A signature tree of local forests, this “king of the magnolia family” grows rapidly in youth producing straight, unbranched trunks creating cathedral-like columns.