The International
Plant Exploration

Plants from Southeast Asia have always been a component of the Garden’s collections. The mission of the International Plant Exploration Program is to collaborate with International Gardens and Institutions to help preserve and evaluate new species for use in southeastern landscapes.

Donate to the Program

The Atlanta Botanical Garden established IPEP in 2016 to construct a plant evaluation nursery, make formal seed-collecting trips to Southeast Asia and launch a visiting scholar program.  Other program goals include:

  • Preserve and disseminate the germplasm of plants from southeast Asia in the United States through seed and seedling distribution with appropriate botanical institutions.
  • Establish a program to evaluate new species from Southeast Asia for use in southeastern landscapes.
  • Create networks between the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the University of Georgia and botanical institutions in Southeast Asia. These are initial steps in developing plant propagation programs for future conservation efforts of these threatened floras.
  • Source new germplasm for plant breeding efforts in the United States.


Trip Report: China and Vietnam, 2019

Learn more

Trip Report: China, Fall 2018

Learn more

Trip Report: Vietnam, Spring 2018

Learn More

Trip Report: India and China, Fall 2017

Learn MOre

Trip Report: China and Vietnam, Spring 2017

Learn more

Trip Report: China, Fall 2016

Learn More

Trip Report: Vietnam, Spring 2016

Learn More

Trip Report: India, Spring 2015

Learn More

Meet the Team:
Scott McMahan

As the Manager of International Plant Exploration Program, Scott overseas the plant collection and evaluation nursery at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. He was previously the propagator for a large wholesale grower, as well as the nursery manager at the Garden for several years before opening his first nursery. Scott returned to the Garden as the IPEP manager in 2016. His focus is promoting the exchange of knowledge and plants with other botanical institutions around the world. He’s made more than 30 overseas scouting and collecting trips for the Garden, including to China, Vietnam, India, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Bhutan and Mexico.

Meet the Team:
Timothy Marchlik

Tim is the International Plant Exploration Program Nursery Assistant. He is responsible for the maintenance of the Gainesville Evaluation Nursery, propagation of the plants and joins Scott in domestic and international fieldwork. Tim received his bachelor’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Before joining the Plant Exploration Program, Tim was an Assistant Horticulturist at the Garden. His goals include evaluating new plants for hardiness, ornamental value, and invasive and propagation potential.