Heirloom plants are open-pollinated plants that were grown in earlier periods of time. Americans have chosen to preserve these seeds and have passed them down from generation to generation. The medicinal and cultural uses of heirloom plants have transcended national boundaries, and have been preserved here at the Smithsonian Heirloom Garden as a way to celebrate America's colorful and diverse past. These plants have not changed since then, still smelling and looking like the plants our grandparents and their grandparents' grandparents used long ago. Listen to an audio tour of the Smithsonian Heirloom Garden and discover how some of its plants played a vital role in America’s immigrant traditions, early consumer practices, and medicinal folk traditions.