The Orchid Greenhouse

Would you like to experience a small tropical environment in the middle of Indiana? You can at the Orchid Greenhouse.

Ball State created the Wheeler-Thanhauser Collection to conserve rare and endangered species of orchids, disseminate them for conservation, and use the collection for research and education. We display orchids with other tropical plants to give you the impression of being in a small tropical environment. A tropical display room provides an educational setting for students, and visitors alike, complete with edible plants such as coffee, banana, cinnamon, vanilla and more give you a hint of the cooler, high-elevation rainforest environment; visitors can get a glimpse of the cloud-forest orchids which grow there. You will also witness a display of tropical poison arrow frogs, since rainforest conservation is about both plants and animals.

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 docent program and the Friends of the Rinard Orchid Greenhouse.

Our collection is open to the public to Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for self-guided tours. Assistance from the curator, Cheryl LeBlanc, is available Monday through Friday by arrangement.

The Wheeler-Thanhauser Collection is located within Christy Woods, on the southwest end of our campus. Foot access is available via University Avenue or Riverside Avenue. Please contact Parking Services at 765-285-1208 for information about parking on campus.

Contact Info
Wheeler-Thanhauser Orchid Collection and Species Bank 
Field Station and Environmental Education Center
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306


Field Station and Environmental Education Center
Ball State University
Muncie, In 47306

Phone: 765-285-2641