Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden

5762 Roger Clapp Greenhouses, Orono, ME 04469


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Named in honor of the late ornamental horticulture faculty member Lyle E. Littlefield, this garden — dedicated to research, teaching and demonstration — is home to more than 2,500 woody and herbaceous plants, with an extensive collection of cold-hardy landscape plants. 

This lush garden is known for its 210 flowering crabapple varieties, 180 lilacs, 150 rhododendrons, and 35 magnolias. Enhancement of the native woody plant collection began in 2000 with the planting of 42 native plant species, donated by green industry businesses across New England. 

The 15,000 square feet Roger Clapp Greenhouses are also located on the University of Maine campus. The greenhouses contain over 200 species of tropical and desert plant species from throughout the world.

Considered a premier research facility, the garden was established by Littlefield in the early 1960s. Research focus includes evaluation for plants’ winter hardiness, ornamental characteristics and overall landscape potential. 

The garden is also a place for public and student enjoyment; situated among the plants are benches, a shrub-encased small pergola and a garden pavilion. ​