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Plant Fact Sheets


The flora at Woodland Park Zoo plays just as important a role as the fauna. The hundreds of trees, plants, shrubs, bushes, and flowers here, whether in an animal exhibit or planted around the zoo’s 92 acres serve roles both ornamental and practical. Trees help stabilize soil as well as provide shade, canopy or shelter for animals. Other plants illustrate the types of plants found in the habitats of animals from the far reaches of the globe, but can also supply food or a nice place to escape the sun, wind or rain. Some plants and trees burst forth with floral displays, whether muted or spectacular, of blossoms that provide food for insects and birds, as well as beauty for zoo visitors.

The following pages outline just some of the hundreds of thousands of plants on grounds tended to by the zoo’s talented and hard-working Horticulture Department. Every attempt is made to match the right plants with the right animals for their health and safety as well as to help showcase the varied horticultural wealth of the world’s various habitats, from deserts to tropical rain forests.

To learn more about some of the plant species on exhibit here at the zoo, please choose from the Plant Fact Sheets dropdown menu to the left.

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Tree Canopy at Woodland Park Zoo 

Aerial photo of Zoo

Trees play a significant role at Woodland Park Zoo. Since its early days as a typical example of a Pacific Northwest evergreen forest, it has gradually been regaining forest canopy as the zoo has nearly quadrupled the number of trees that remained on grounds in the late 1950s. Since 1987 alone, the zoo has planted more than 4,000 trees and the 92 acres now boasts a 49% canopy cover. The zoo continues to be a green oasis surrounded by an increasingly urbanized community, offering shelter and food for dozens of native and migratory birds and other wildlife. Trees also provide climbing, shade and even food for some of the zoo's residents.

Rose Garden Rentals

You can rent the Rose Garden for your wedding or other intimate event.