Santos Museum of Economic Botany

Step back in time to 1881 and discover the importance of plants in our lives; past, present and future.

The last of its kind in the world the Santos Museum of Economic Botany is home to an amazing permanent collection, much of which dates back to the original museum display 130 years ago. Also on show are intriguing, beautiful and immersive touring exhibitions which are sure to inspire.

The museum showcases countless plants and their various uses with a focus on minimising waste.

The building is a treasure in itself and has been lovingly restored featuring many original details.

If you love the MEB just as much as we do, pop into North Lodge or the Goodman Building and pick yourself up a copy of the souvenir book!

Permanent collections

Fruit Model Showcase

Made in Germany these delightful papier-mâché fruit models are for more than just admiring, they were used to educate farmers on establishing crops in the 1800s.

Fungi Model Showcase

Can you spot the real fungi? Challenge yourself as you explore the collection of 210 papier-mâché models showcasing fungi in different stages of growth.

Grove

Be spellbound as you discover artist Fiona Hall’s Grove, a cabinet of curiosities that explores the relationship between nature and culture.

Exhibition Space

The present blends with the past in designer Khai Liew’s exhibition space, a distinctive installation in timber and brass.

Opening hours

The Museum is open every day of the week from 10am - 4pm.

Entry is free to the Museum.

Closed on Christmas Day, 25 December.

Please note that the Museum is supported by our wonderful volunteers. We endeavour to remain open as advertised but due to unexpected circumstances, the Museum may occasionally need to close at short notice. Signage will be displayed advising on reopening times. We thank you for your understanding in the event of unexpected closures.

Image gallery

Recent posts

Goodman Building restoration works wins industry award

18 July 2023

Have you ever driven past the beautiful heritage-listed Goodman Building when passing the Garden on Hackney Road? Did you know this building was formerly the base for the Municipal Tramways Trust but now serves as the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium administration building.