Wednesday, November 27, 2013

NYBG Conservatory - Deserts of America and Africa

In the first installment of our tour of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory in New York Botanical Garden we featured their collection of rainforest and aquatic plants. Now in the second installment we'll be featuring their collection of succulents, xerophytic, and drought tolerant plants as seen in the sections Deserts of the America and Deserts of Africa. 

It was overcast outside whilst we were looking in the rainforest sections which has affected the light levels inside. By the time we have passed through the tunnel into the 'arid' sections the clouds have parted and it was sunny again which made for touring the remaining areas extra enjoyable. And quite appropriate too, like the weather gods have been orchestrating the lighting effects whilst we were there: dark and atmospheric whilst in the rainforests, bright and sunny whilst in the deserts!

You'll see a Washingtonia palm and a display of Tillandsias as you go out from the tunnel
I like the way they presented these Tillandsias which looks more like contemporary decor. Something similar can be adapted as an option when one fancies displaying air plants in the house.
Spiky heaven!
Love the bright pink opuntia fruits contrasting with everything else.

The Agave stricta (left) looks like its glowing
A more muted Cacti bed

Looking back to where we came out from
Yucca filifera, nice!!
Dioon edule
A young clump of Yucca schidigera

Aloe sp.
Encephalartos sp. - a handsome specimen!

Aloe antandroy

A towering Euphorbia specimen

And that Euphorbia again with Gaz for scale
Encephalartos horridus

One last glance into their desert plants before we proceed into the final section of the conservatory...
Apart from the main areas with permanent displays there is actually another section of the conservatory that is allocated for seasonal displays and temporary exhibitions. The collection of plants here are eclectic due to the nature of the purpose of the space but is well worth a perusal.

Reminded us of the houseplant section of a garden centre. Fab tropical colours!
Maajestic balls of Staghorn ferns Platycerium bifurcatum and...
Platycerium stemaria

And one last look before we exit the conservatory.
We had a splendid time looking around the conservatory and seeing so many gorgeous plants. The weather made a total turn around from dull and dreary at the start to gorgeous and sunny by the time we got out from the conservatory, very summery even. The immediate surroundings of the glasshouse were looking especially good and will be featured on a separate post to follow soon.

And befitting the location of the post we wish all our readers in the US a Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Mark :-)


  1. Mark, the NYBG conservatory is certainly worth visiting! I hope I have a chance to go there once by myself. I was most impressed by the many mature specimen plants. You rarely get to see plants like this. Thanks for taking us on the tour!

    1. A pleasure Christina, and hope you get that chance soon!

  2. Thanks for the tour. I've not ever been to NY so I did not know about these marvelous glasshouses. They have a wonderful collection. I liked the staghorn fern balls the most. I used to have a small one, but that was long ago. Thanks for the memory.

    1. Thanks David! Those big staghorn fern balls do have a commanding presence. Wish we had a big enough indoor space to grow one as well as that.

  3. WOW! These photos brought a smile to my face. Amazing.

    I love the sign in front of the cactus that says 'please do not touch the plants'. Maybe it was meant to be sarcastic and I'm not picking up on the subtle sarcasm!

    1. Glad to hear that Amy! There is an element of irony there with that sign beside a cactus but the temptation to touch is always there and you'll be amused by what other visitors can do :)

  4. Fabulous! Hope to see it myself someday.

  5. Definitely worth a visit. I was particularly impressed with the meticulous labeling of all the plants - that's a departure from my experience with most of the local botanical gardens.

  6. That last section has some plants that are downright disturbing! I love all the desert plants, I fel for them on my trips to Arizona, I think if I had to garden somewhere else I would love it to be desertish, such wonderful shapes and textures.

    1. That last section is a mixed bag isn't it? Perhaps mainly because of the purpose of the place being a site for changing exhibitions. Some parts of the Med would be perfect for arid gardening :)

  7. Glad to see that the weather gods are looking after you, even if the fire gods are not.

    1. True Ricki! The fire gods have been tame after their naughty episode this year...

  8. Some of the plants you featured look more like weird sea creatures than plants! Just seeing all of these exotic plants reminds me of the diversity of the earth. The only desert I have visited in person is the one near Phoenix, Arizona. I felt like I was on a different planet!

    1. It does look like a coralscape isn't it Debs? Love the architectural form and structure of most succulents.

  9. I think I would have wanted to spend days here! Not enough photos could have been taken. How beautiful and well done. Love the photos and the epiphytes on the wall incredible!


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