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The Department of Biological Sciences Greenhouse Facility is located in the Virginia Tech University Greenhouse Complex on Washington Street, beside the Virginia Tech Horticulture Gardens.

Mission Statement

The Department of Biological Sciences Greenhouse Facility supports the educational and research needs of the department. The Teaching Plant Collection is extensively used for teaching our undergraduate courses. The facility supports faculty and student research projects. In addition to meeting essential teaching and research needs, the facility provides tours for visitors and local schools. Also, other departments in the university use our plant collection for classes. For example, the Art Department uses the greenhouses for basic art and painting classes.


Undergraduate Courses Taught Using the Virginia Tech Greenhouses

BIOL 1015, 1016: General Biology Lab

BIOL 1115, 1116: Principles of Biology Lab

BIOL 1125, 1126: Biological Principles Lab

  • Fall Lab: Evolution of Plants from Paleozoic To the Present
  • Spring Lab: Spore and Seed-Bearing Plants

BIOL 2204: Plants and Civilization: The uses of plants as sources of food, medicine, drugs, spices, beverages, poisons, fiber, oils, and plant exudates.

BIOL 2304: Plant Biology: Introductory botany. Form, growth, function, reproduction, and ecological adaptations of major groups of plants.

BIOL 3204: Plant Taxonomy: Systematic survey of vascular plants, emphasizing identification, terminology, classification, evolutionary relationships.

Wage Position

Wage Position at the Greenhouses and VBI Plant Growth Facility

Greenhouse Assistant:

Maintain greenhouse facilities on weekends, Saturday and Sunday, holidays, staff vacation and sick leave days.

Properly water teaching collection and research projects.

Check the greenhouse's environmental equipment to maintain proper temperatures and functions.

Must be very independent, responsible, reliable, and have some knowledge in caring for plants.

Salary/hr.: $8.00

Hours/week: 3-4 hours per day on weekends, plus 3-4 hours on staff vacation and sick leave days.

Contact: Debbie Wiley (231-5112) or

"Corpse Flower"

Amorphophallus titanum

This species has the largest unbranched inflorescence of any herbaceous plant in the world. Commonly known as the "Corpse Plant", A. titanum has an intensely powerful stench that is released when it blooms. The bloom will last only 2-3 days. After the bloom dies, a leaf stalk will begin to emerge that resembles a tree sapling. 

For more information on the corpse flower, including photos, visit this link.



Teaching Plants Collection

The Virginia Tech Biological Sciences Greenhouse Teaching Plant Collection provides educational opportunities and experiences through the availability of high quality plant specimens. The Teaching Plant Collection features over 300 species, hosting a variety of interesting and important genera, including aquatic, desert, tropical, local, rare and endangered species. Our teaching plant collection has been specifically acquired and maintained to meet the needs of the undergraduate courses.


The Virginia Tech Biological Sciences and VBI Plant Growth Facility 


Whereas the Department of Biological Sciences and the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute have limited access to plant growth facilities, a new facility was designed, funded, and constructed.  The mission of the facility is to provide "state of the art" plant growth space to support and promote scholarship in plant systems by scientists at Virginia Tech. We strive to fully integrate this facility in the learning, discovery, and engagement activities of the department of Biological Sciences, the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and other plant related departments and institutes at Virginia Tech.

    plant growth facility
The Facility:
The "Biological Sciences-VBI Plant Growth Facility" (VT-PGF) consists of 3240 square feet of plant growth space divided into five 432 square foot growth bays plus one smaller bay for propagation. The plant growth bays are located on Smithfield Plantation Road and are attached to the Ecosystems Simulation Laboratory building (ESL). Access to restrooms is available in the ESL and the ESL space can be used in the future for facility support. A state of the art computer regulated control system (Wadsworth) will regulate plant growth bay environmental conditions and provide data on the internet. Researchers will be able to obtain specific environmental data from sensors located in each growth bay and request changes of conditions as necessary.
    plant growth facility


Facility Charter (PDF | 126KB)

Handbook for Facility Users (PDF | 142KB)

Information/Project Request Form (PDF | 60KB)

Hours of Operation

Normal Hours: 
8:00 am to 4:00 pm 
Monday - Friday


Deborah Wiley
Greenhouse Curator
(540) 231-5112 


Greenhouse #F5 
From Rt. 460: Enter VT Campus at Southgate Road. Take first left onto Duckpond Drive. Take first right onto Washington Street. Turn right at the Horticulture Gardens. The greenhouse facilities are right next door, in Greenhouse #F5. Be sure to get a visitor's parking pass from the Southgate Information Center.