Definition of Wardian case in English:

Wardian case


  • A glass-sided airtight case used for growing ferns or other plants indoors or for transporting living plants over long distances.

    • ‘The Wardian cases on display, from manufacturer H. Potter, were beautiful and more were expected to arrive soon.’
    • ‘His efforts resulted in the shipment of well over 20,000 plants and seedlings, in Wardian cases, to the Himalayas.’
    • ‘Nathanial Bagshaw Ward's major innovation was the invention of what became known as the Wardian case.’
    • ‘The original Wardian cases were for all kinds of plants - mainly tropicals (including orchids).’
    • ‘The trees came as small plants in wooden cases, like miniature glasshouses, named Wardian cases after their inventor.’


Mid 19th century: named after Nathaniel B. Ward (1791–1868), the English botanist who invented it.


Wardian case