A path in the orchid greenhouse

Visiting the Greenhouse

Visiting hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (closed to the public on Sunday).

  • Visitors are encouraged to continue practicing social distancing while in the greenhouse.
  • Hours are subject to change depending on staffing availability.

Greenhouse Expansion Updates

Click on the "Greenhouse Expansion" tab to learn more about our project, or click here to view a live stream of our construction process!

History and Virtual Tour

The Dr. Joe and Alice Rinard Orchid Greenhouse has a rich history at Ball State University dating back to 1970 after a donation from W.O. and Goldie Wheeler of the Wheeler-Thanhauser Orchid Collection and Species Bank. Watch our video for a brief history and virtual tour of the greenhouse.

About The Dr. Joe and Alice Rinard Orchid Greenhouse

Experience a small tropical environment in the middle of Indiana! With over 2,000 orchids, the Rinard Orchid Greenhouse contains the largest university-based orchid collection in the United States, including the Wheeler-Thanhauser Orchid Collection and Species Bank, and Betty Kendall Ladyslipper Orchid Species Collection.  The collection is a living museum which provides opportunities for education and conservation of rare and endangered orchid species and is used for orchid research.  The collection also provides opportunities for students and visitors to learn about a diversity of tropical species.  Students, faculty, local schools, community, and visitors can see and learn about orchids, edible tropical plants, poison arrow frogs, birds and other tropical creatures that are on display in a small tropical conservatory.

The 3,400-square-foot greenhouse is a resource used by students in biology, natural resources, art, technology, landscape architecture, and photography and presents a variety of educational programs open to the general public.  Docents assist visitors during guided tours.  Programs include weekly meditation, brown-bag lunch, Saturday programs, mini-educational programs, walk-in tours and guided tours by request.

Even in winter, the Rinard Conservatory  is always in full bloom. Changing educational displays, student art exhibits, and other seasonal features make the Rinard conservatory  and Orchid Greenhouse a great place to visit throughout the year.

Our collection is open to the public.

Learn more about our history and the species in our collection. View archived digital images of some of the orchids in the collection.  View our webinars Orchids 101 and Orchids 201 showing the basics of growing and caring for orchids.

Learn more about the Dr. Joe and Alice Rinard Orchid Greenhouse, our volunteer program and how to support the greenhouse via the Friends of the Rinard Orchid Greenhouse.

The Rinard Orchid Greenhouse is located within Christy Woods, on the southwest end of our campus. Foot access is available via University Avenue or Riverside Avenue. Limited parking is available near the greenhouse, adjacent to Christy Woods. Please contact the greenhouse at 765-285-8839 for parking information or questions about visiting the greenhouse.

Schedule a tour.

Stay up-to-date with Rinard Orchid Greenhouse events, news and new blooms by following us on Facebook and Instagram.