The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden contributes to global efforts on plant conservation by propagating and preserving endangered plants and through education and research.  The Cincinnati Zoo is a participating institution in the Center for Plant Conservation as well as a member of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, and it works with these and other partners to address the challenges of conserving the world’s rarest plants. The Cincinnati Zoo also subscribes to the Voluntary Codes of Conduct on invasive species and promotes the use and understanding of native species in its Native Plants Project.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden contributes to the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation’s Target 8 by propagating endangered plant species and banking seeds, spores and tissues in long-term liquid nitrogen storage in CREW’s “Frozen Garden”.  The Zoo contributes to Target 14  by providing a variety of educational opportunities centered on plant conservation. CREW also supports the conservation of Saintpaulia species in Africa with its African Violet Conservation Fund.

Researchers in the Plant Research Division of CREW (Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife) work to develop protocols for propagating rare plants through tissue culture and for cryopreserving seeds, spores, and tissues of endangered plants for long-term storage in liquid nitrogen.  Plants produced at CREW have been reintroduced to the wild in collaboration with a number of partners, including other botanical gardens, governmental agencies and NGO’s.

CREW also provides a variety of opportunities to learn about endangered plants and plant conservation, ranging from the Local Flora Project, outreach programs, tours of CREW, and information provided to visitors of the zoo and botanical garden.


Exceptional Plant Signature Project

Regional and Taxa Group Projects

Species Projects


  • Regional Seed Bank
  • Pteridophyte (Fern) Bank
  • Bryophyte (Moss) Bank
  • Endangered Plant Tissue Bank