Penn and Plants


Penn’s sprawling West Philadelphia campus contains 279 acres and 182 buildings (excluding the hospital) surrounded by beautiful trees, flowers and shrubbery cared for by University Landscape Architect Robert E. Lundgren and the Office of the University Architect.

Each year, Lundgren and staff ensure that Penn stays looking sharp, replacing dying flowers or trees, pruning those in good health and adding fresh plant life to new buildings.

In this edition of By The Numbers, Lundgren gives us the lowdown on the steps the Office of the University Architect takes to make sure Penn always puts its best face forward.


General number of trees on campus. “From large trees in front of College Hall to flowery, like cherries or dogwoods,” Lundgren says.


Estimated number of trees replaced each year because of decay or death, either along the street or on campus.


Approximate number of flowers planted at Penn each spring. “We generally plant things like impatiens, begonias, petunias [and] geraniums,” says Lundgren.


Approximate number of trees and scrubs added to each new building constructed at Penn. “That would be in a courtyard or along the street or some related landscape to those buildings,” Lundgren says. “Some take up a larger space and have small courtyards, like Skirkanich, and some are much larger, like the Life Sciences building.”


Roughly, the number of bulbs planted at Penn each fall. “We plant daffodils, tulips, crocuses, things like that for the spring bloom,” Lundgren says. “And there are different time periods. Some are earlier bloomers and some are later. We try to stagger the season up graduation.”


Estimated amount of cubic yards of mulch added at Penn each year.

Originally published on April 23, 2009