University News

WIU Greenhouse Open During the Summer

June 9, 2015

Share |
Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL - -The Western Illinois University Botany Greenhouse is open during the summer for WIU and Macomb communities. The greenhouse has been open since 1967 and continues to serve both WIU students and the community in many ways.

The greenhouse, owned by the WIU biology department, provides many opportunities for students during the school year. Occasionally students also volunteer to work in the greenhouse.

Students may visit the greenhouse for labs, class activities and to do research on various plants. The greenhouse has plant material students need, and orders plants that are needed for research in the biology department.

"The greenhouse has plants from all over the world. Think of it as a library full of plants," Greenhouse Manager Jeffrey Hillyer said.

The greenhouse also trades plants with other greenhouses or plant facilities.

The greenhouse is split into five rooms: the Center Room, Xeric Room, Tropical Room, Southwest Room and Propagation Room. The Center Room is the largest room, which is about 1,300 square feet. It has a collection of various flowers. The Xeric Room has desert like plants, such as the cacti.

The Tropical Room has tropical plants from the tundra. The Southwest Room has a variety of plants, and the Propagation Room is used for various purposes, such as research and cutting.

The greenhouse is a challenge to maintain during the various seasons. It requires the appropriate temperature to stabilize the plants. The major thing that changes is trimming and maintenance. Hillyer said the glass is not a good insulator and requires a lot of cleaning to help maintain the temperature in the facility.

"Plants are resilient. They can survive anything. You just have to pay attention to what they are telling you," Hillyer stated. "I tell students that the greenhouse will be a joy to walk inside during the wintertime. It has to stay at 50 degrees, especially for the Tropical Room."

The Botany Greenhouse is open during the summer, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Anyone who is interested in visiting the greenhouse is encouraged to call and set up a tour .

For more information, contact Hillyer at (309) 298-1004 or via email at Visit the WIU Greenhouse blog site at

Posted By: Erika D Davis (
Office of University Communications & Marketing