The Tropical and Sub Tropical Plant and Butterfly Greenhouse
This greenhouse is an excellent location for plants from humid tropical environments such as rainforests, including trees, climbers, epiphytes and ground flora. Maintaining temperatures between 20 and 30oC can be maintained almost year round, to which the plants respond magnificently, providing a lush tangle of vegetation characteristic of equatorial regions.
As in the Arid Plant and Plants and People (Warm Temperate) greenhouses, plants having worldwide economic importance are grown, especially for the benefit of schools, as well as the general public who may be unfamiliar with plants (e.g., banana, carambola, or star fruit, sugar apple, and spice-bearing plants such as cardamom, peppers and ginger). Ornamental plants, too, are well represented (e.g., Hibiscus, Anthurium spp. or flamingo flowers, Madagascar periwinkle, Hymenocallis spp., Tibouchina urveleana, Angels trumpet, Canna indica or Indian shot, Bird of Paradise or Strelitzia reginae, Impatiens and many more).
Tropical forests are rich in species of climbing plants and many examples are grown here. Some, such as passion vines, cling to their supports by spring-like tendrils. Others like the cheese plant, Monstera, climb by girdling roots which embrace the trunks of trees, whilst other climbers support themselves by twinning around supports. The stinking Dutchman’s pipe, Aristolochia, can be found twinning its way up to the catwalk. Its flowers trap carrion insects briefly attracting them by a foul smell, but use them to transfer pollen from one flower to another. Some of the most conspicuous climbing plants are the Bougainvilleas. These are vigorous climbers producing festoons of purple, salmon and red-pink flowers. There are also various species of Passion vine (Passiflora spp.) as well.
This Greenhouse also houses several ferns, orchids and palms as well as the tropical butterflies.