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Conservatory Flowers and Fruit Tour

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The Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory houses plants from tropical regions from around the world. Over 750 unique taxa (types of plants) are grown in the 11,000 square foot conservatory that first opened in 1966. Many of these plants have ethnobotanical purposes in their native region. Popular food plants, such as chocolate (Theobroma cacao), papaya (Carica papaya), bananas (Musa spp.), vanilla orchid (Vanilla planifolia and imperialis) and strawberry guava (Psidium spp.) flower and fruit in the conservatory. The conservatory and the adjacent Marnie's Pavilion also house a palm and bromeliad collection. You can also view more tropical specimens via the Orangery windows into the collection greenhouses.

Updated August 31, 2021

Theobroma cacao (Cacao)

The chocolate tree is in flower and fruit almost year-round. The fruit are ripe when they turn yellow.

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Kerriodoxa elegans (White Elephant Palm)

palm tree

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Platycerium grande (Staghorn Fern)

fern on palm trunk

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Medinilla speciosa

pink rounded fruit on shrub

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Musa itinerans var. guangdongensis (Burmese Blue Banana)

look up to see fruit starting to form on this tall banana species

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Ixora 'Nora Grant'

bright pink flower clusters on tall shrub

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Norantea guianensis (Red Hot Poker Vine)

orange flower spikes at top of banyan tree, best viewed from upper balcony or path by lower main entrance

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Heliconia 'Pedro Ortiz' (Heliconia)

dark red lobster claws

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Calathea 'Helen' (Calathea)

yellow flowers; brightly marked leaves

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Justicia aurea (Golden Crown)

yellow flower spikes

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Jatropha integerrima (Peregrina)

red flowers in small clusters

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Hibiscus 'Snow Flake'

bright red flowers towards conservatory south wall

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Psychotria kirkii (Nodule-leaved Bird Berry)

small white flowers develop into red fruit

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Pachystachys lutea (Lollipop Plant)

yellow bracts with white flowers

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Justicia spicigera (Mexican Honeysuckle)

orange flower clusters

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Carica papaya unknown cultivar (Papaya)

pale yellow flowers and green fruit turn orange when ripe

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Costus barbatus (Spiral Ginger)

red bracts with yellow flowers

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Chrysophyllum cainito (Star Apple)

dark-colored, overly mature fruit can be seen in canopy of this large tree

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Begonia coccinea 'Pink Shasta' (Angel Wing Begonia)

light pink flowers

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Ravenala madagascariensis (Traveler's Tree)

look at the size of the individual leaves; flowers are large near canopy

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Vriesea 'Cool Moss'

potted plant with white horizontal variegated leaves, flower spike

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Brugmansia × cubensis 'Charles Grimaldi' (Angel's Trumpet)

large yellow-orange trumpets from small tree

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Euphorbia punicea (Vegetable Leather)

bright red-orange bracts on relative of Poinsettia.

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Asclepias curassavica (Blood Flower)

bright red, orange and yellow flower clusters

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Poison Dart Frogs (Garden Features)

How many yellow and black or blue and black dart frogs you can find in the terrariums? There is a terrarium near both the lower and upper level entrances.

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