The Prairie

The Bennett-Johnson Prairie, established in 1965, was established to present plants which existed on the tall grass prairies of central Minnesota before the days of settlement. Indian grass and big and little bluestem are the dominant grasses of the prairie, which is sprinkled with blooms from spring to late fall.

A south-facing slope contains many plants including goldenrod, heliopsis, asters and golden Alexander. A marshy section contains red-osier dogwood, cattails and phragmites, a tall stately grass. Pasque flowers, prairie smoke and downy gentian bloom in a mesic area. 

To accomplish what natural prairie fires did years ago, the prairie is periodically control-burned in the spring to prevent the growth of large trees, shrubs and unwanted weeds. In the prairie, one can sense the majesty of the land's natural beauty.


For information on where to find plants, gardens, collections and memorials on the Arboretum grounds, plus floor plans of the main Arboretum buildings, click here.

Gardens & Collections

Display and Specialty Gardens
Annual Garden
Dahlia Trial Garden
Daylily and Chrysanthemum Walk
Dwarf Conifer Collection and 
Waterfall Garden

Entrance Garden 
Fern Walk
Hedge Collection
Home Demonstration Gardens
Hosta Glade
Iris Garden
Japanese Garden
Lilac Collection and 
Blackman Garden
Lily and Dahlia Collection
Maze Garden
Ornamental Grass Collection
Peony Walk
Perennial Garden
Rain Gardens
Rose Gardens
Sensory Garden
Shade Tree Exhibit
Terrace Garden
Woodland-Azalea Garden

Visitor Center
Dahlberg Welcoming Terrace
Keating Terrace
Newton Dining Terrace
Sweatt Entry Terrace
Wall Teaching Garden
Wright Terrace Gardens
Wildflower Garden
Garden for Wildlife

Native Areas
The Prairie
Spring Peeper Meadow
The Bog Area

Azalea Collection
Bailey Shrub Walk
Hydrangea Collection
Lilac Collection
Miscellaneous Shrub Collection
Pea Shrub Collection
Potentilla Collection
Rhododendron Garden
Spirea Collection
Viburnum Collection
Weigela Collection

Arborvitae Collection
Ash Collection
Birch Collection
Buckeye Collection
Corktree Collection
Crabapple Collection
Elm Collection
Hawthorn Collection
Larch Collection
Linden Collection
Locust Collection
Magnolia Collection
Maple Collection
Nut Collection
Oak Collection
Pine Collection
Poplar Collection
Prunus Collection
Small Tree Collection
Serviceberry Collection
Spruce Collection
Weeping Tree Collection
Willow Collection