The Benjamin Rush Medicinal Plant Garden
Plant Exchange

Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and colonial Philadelphia doctor and civic leader, helped found The College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 1787. During his tenure, he urged College Fellows 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. It contains more than sixty different kinds of herbs that have historical and sometimes contemporary medicinal value. Benches in the shade of a magnolia tree offer Museum visitors a pleasant spot to learn, enjoy, or just relax.


In summer 2011 our Karabots Junior Fellows planted a multicultural medicinal plant bed. They won first prize for a community children’s garden in the City Gardens Contest sponsored by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.