Plants & Wildlife

Explore our online plant records database, discover seasonal horticultural highlights, learn more about how we manage this incredible plant collection, and how we provide important wildlife habitat in an urban environment.

An Arboretum & Botanical Garden

Mount Auburn is a botanic garden and arboretum with a nationally-significant collection of woody and herbaceous plants.  This collection includes 5,000 trees (640 different species and cultivars), over 6,000 shrub plantings (600 taxa), and 4,000 groundcover plantings (770 taxa) planted throughout our 175 acres.  Explore our online plant records database, discover seasonal horticultural highlights, and learn more about how we manage this incredible collection. Mount Auburn is committed to caring for the landscape and fostering its health and environmental sustainability in a dynamic and changing world.

For questions about our Plant Collections, contact flora@mountauburn.org

Horticultural Highlights

Horticultural Highlights

Rhododendrons, Mountain Laurel, and Kousa Dogwoods add plenty of late-spring color to the landscape. The annual and perennial plants planted in flower beds throughout the Cemetery are now also at their peak.

June Horticultural Highlights

What's In Bloom

What's In Bloom

Almost every day in spring brings new blooms to admire. This list is updated weekly with all the latest trees and flowers in bloom so you can plan your visit to see spring unfold in the landscape.

What’s In Bloom 2024

Flora Mount Auburn

Flora Mount Auburn

Looking for a specific plant from our collections? Use our online plant collections database to search and locate more than 15,000 trees, shrubs, groundcovers, and plants found in our landscape.

Explore Flora Mount Auburn

An Urban Wildlife Habitat

With its lushly-planted 175 acres, Mount Auburn provides the perfect habitat for many species of urban wildlife. Spotted Salamanders, frogs, turtles, and coyotes are among the species that make the Cemetery their year-round home. For several species of migratory birds, Mount Auburn provides temporary shelter for a few weeks each April and May. Mount Auburn is committed to protecting important wildlife habitat in this densely developed urban area.

Birds & Birding

Birds & Birding

Mount Auburn Cemetery is a premier birding destination. The Cemetery’s diverse horticultural collections and natural features attract many specimens of birds, both migratory and year-round residents.

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Spring Migration

Spring Migration

The month of May is when the peak abundance of migrant birds is found at Mount Auburn. Our week-by-week timetable will give you a preview of what you might expect to see on a visit this spring.

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Native Amphibians

Native Amphibians

Mount Auburn has worked over the past decade to reintroduce native aquatic amphibians missing from the Cemetery.  Read more about the species you might expect to see or hear on a visit to Mount Auburn.

Amphibians of Mount Auburn

Stories with Roots

When people think of Mount Auburn's stories, they often think of the over 100,000 people buried in the historic landscape. Along with their stories, Mount Auburn's collections house the story of the landscape itself, the artistic statuary of the memorial monuments here, but also the notable stories of a handful of horticultural specimens with extraordinary roots.

From the Boston Public Library to Mount Auburn

From the Boston Public Library to Mount Auburn

In 1999 four Japanese Maple trees, were hoisted six stories from the Boston Public Library Courtyard to Asa Gray Garden.

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The Prince of Wales Beech Tree

The Prince of Wales Beech Tree

A historic tree, planted by the Prince of Wales in 1860, is given new life through the practice of horticultural grafting.

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An Evolving Landscape

The creation of Mount Auburn in the early 19th-century as an experimental garden and burial ground reflected the changing tastes of the public. The 175 acre Cemetery maintains much of its original character, but it is also an evolving landscape that Mount Auburn staff and our community partners are continually enhancing. The early 1990's marked the start of a new era of changing tastes at Mount Auburn. The Cemetery began making more intentional choices in the preservation and enhancement of the Cemetery’s natural and cultural resources. In the spirit of the mission of Mount Auburn to commemorate the dead and inspire the living in a landscape of exceptional beauty, a number of landscape and habitat enhancement projects have taken place to ensure that Mount Auburn remains a place of great beauty.

Woodland Restoration: Consecration Dell

Woodland Restoration: Consecration Dell

In 1997 the Cemetery began an ambitious project to return Consecration Dell to a naturalistic woodland. Today the landscape, with new native plantings, is maintained as the last vestige of the early rural cemetery and an important habitat for urban wildlife.

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Revitalizing Asa Gray Garden

Revitalizing Asa Gray Garden

In 2018, Asa Gray Garden was revitalized to highlight the Cemetery’s healing and inspirational qualities. New benches provide quiet reflection spots. An expanded central water feature and reflecting pool bring a sense of calm, easing the transition from the bustling world outside to the serene landscape within.

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Indian Ridge Path Habitat Restoration

Indian Ridge Path Habitat Restoration

In 2019, Mount Auburn began a three-phase project to restore the landscape along Indian Ridge Path, one of our oldest and most significant areas. With more than 15,000 new plants, the project will promote wildlife habitat and biological diversity, while enhancing the site’s natural beauty.  

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Willow Pond Restoration: Rain & Butterfly Gardens

Willow Pond Restoration: Rain & Butterfly Gardens

Willow Pond embodies Mount Auburn as a landscape of change. With multiple sustainability initiatives active since 1992, Willow Pond has been revitalized and restored as a landscape where plants and wildlife can thrive.

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Auburn Lake: Revitalizing a Historic Waterbody

Auburn Lake: Revitalizing a Historic Waterbody

Auburn Lake was created in the 1850s by deepening a low-lying “boggy meadow” to enhance the Cemetery’s landscape. Records show it was dredged in 1883. By 1998, 115 years later, significant sediment had accumulated due to the decomposition of leaf litter, aquatic plants, and other organic matter.

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