Since its inception as a public garden, the Morris Arboretum has served as a center for botanical research. The original research staff included Dr. Rodney True, Dr. Edgar Wherry, and Dr. John Fogg. These and other scientists at the Arboretum have had considerable impact on our understanding of the flora of our state and beyond.

Today, our botanical research efforts focus on the occurrence of the native and naturalized plants that inhabit Pennsylvania. We recognize the importance of understanding the dynamic nature of the flora and seek to gain insights into these changes through work in the field, laboratory, and at the computer. We maintain the Pennsylvania Flora Database, a database of more than 400,000 plant records, to help store and disseminate the data we obtain in our research.

We also are working to extend the scope of our research efforts. Future directions include expanded work in plant systematics, ecology, and evolutionary studies.