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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 February 9, 2024

Kerriodoxa elegans (White Elephant Palm)

palm tree

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Brownea ariza (Ariza)

bright red flowers on this large tree

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Clerodendrum quadriloculare (Glory Bower Shrub)

long tubular white flower clusters

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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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Ixora 'Nora Grant'

look for bright tropical-pink flowers clusters on this small tree

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Clerodendrum × speciosum (Java Glory Bean)

bright red flowers cover this woody vine

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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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Calliandra haematocephala (Red Powderpuff)

bright red powderpuff flowers on tree

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Thunbergia mysorensis (Clock Vine)

pendulous red and yellow flowers bloom from the arbor near the upper level exit

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Heliconia orthotricha (Parrot Beak Flower)

upright red, yellow and orange "lobster claw" floral structures are forming on this plant

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Ravenala madagascariensis (Traveler's Tree)

look at the size of the individual leaves on this tall relative of bird-of-paradise

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Begonia coccinea 'Pink Shasta' (Angel Wing Begonia)

many clusters of medium-pink flowers

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Heliconia stricta 'Dwarf Jamaican'

bright red bracts on upward facing lobster claws

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Rotheca myricoides (Butterfly Bush)

blue and purple butterfly-like flowers

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

yellow-orange downward facing trumpet-shaped flowers

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Heliconia collinsiana (Hanging Heliconia)

fruit start yellow and ripen to bright blue-purple, in red hanging bracts alternating down the stem

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Hibiscus schizopetalus (Fringed Rosemallow)

bright red flowers have intricately cut petals

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Freycinetia cumingiana

orange conical buds open to show triangular shaped floral parts

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Carica papaya unknown cultivar (Papaya)

pale yellow flowers and green fruit turn orange when ripe

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Rondeletia leucophylla (Coral Pink Rondeletia)

bright pink flowers in rounded clusters

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Schaueria sp. (Lime Puff)

puffs of spent flowers persist for a long time on these plants

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Crinum asiaticum (Grand Crinum)

large whitish-pink narrow petaled flowers bloom for just a few days with bright reddish brown stamens and on top of similar colored stout stems

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Megaskepasma erythrochlamys (Brazilian Red Cloak)

white flowers emerging from bright pink bracts

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Saraca thaipingensis (Yellow Saraca)

tree with elongated clusters of orange, red and yellow flowers

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