Benjamin Rush Medicinal Plant Garden
Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and colonial Philadelphia doctor and civic leader, helped to found The College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1787. During his tenure, he urged College members to maintain a medicinal garden as a natural and cooperative way to replenish their medicine chests.
The College finally took his advice in 1937 when it celebrated its 150th anniversary. The current garden is named in honor of Dr. Rush. The garden contains more than fifty different kinds of herbs, illustrating their medicinal value historically, as well as their value in contemporary medical therapy. Benches in the shade of a magnolia tree offer visitors a pleasant spot to learn, enjoy, or just relax.
We now have a prize-winning garden! During the early summer of 2011 a new multicultural medicinal plant bed was created by our Karabots Junior Fellows. This was awarded first prize for a community children’s garden by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society in their City Gardens Contest.
Our garden contains more than sixty varieties of medicinal plants as well as a number of donated trees, laid out with four identical raised beds, or parterres. Labels in the garden list common names, scientific names, and selected uses for the plants. A comprehensive listing of the plants and their medicinal uses and properties can be found in our Garden Brochure.