Discover the wonder and diversity of plant adaptation....

From tropical climbers to tiny succulents, the Order Beds offer a taste of the massive diversity within flowering plants. At the heart are the most ancient, including Magnolias and Tulip trees. At the edges are the most highly adapted, including orchids and daisies.

Traditionally used for teaching, many botanic gardens have Order Beds, where plants are laid out in families. The Order Beds at St Andrews are based on a taxonomic system devised in the 1960s by an American botanist, Arthur Cronquist. Although plant systematics has moved on considerably since then, these beds have a historical value and are the only Order Beds in the UK with their original ornamental layout.