The Ira Nelson Horticulture Center is located on Johnston Street less than a mile from the main campus. Originally dedicated as the Ornamental Horticulture Center in 1960, five years later the center was renamed to honor Professor Ira S. Nelson, who was instrumental in its design and construction.
The horticulture center includes nearly 17,000 square feet of greenhouse space which houses a decades-old to recently acquired diverse collection of plants from throughout the world.
The adjacent grounds serve as a living laboratory and include many mature species of both native and introduced trees and shrubs, as well as numerous display and demonstration beds.
Typical classroom, lab and office space are housed within the 7,000 square foot head house. Also included in this main building is the vast herbarium collection comprised of dried, pressed ornamental plant samples collected throughout Louisiana over several decades.
The horticulture center staff is dedicated to maintaining the collection of plants housed under glass and on the adjacent grounds, balancing the horticulture center’s history with its future use by faculty, students and the community, ensuring its role as a teaching resource for a variety of educational opportunities in horticulture.