Lucile Halsell Conservatory

The Conservatory complex features plants from around the world in the exhibit rooms which encircle the courtyard. Relax by the garden pond with its displays of hardy and tropical waterlilies.

  • Exhibit Room – In this epiphyte exhibit are orchids, bromeliads and other plants found in a tropical rain forest canopy. Not considered parasites, epiphytes exist by growing on another plant.
  • Robert and Helen Kleberg Desert Pavilion – This exhibit features plants from the deserts of Mexico and Southern Africa. These plants can survive by such adaptations as having thick succulent stems and leaves to store water, lack of leaves to retard water loss, spines instead of leaves, or reflective coatings of thick hairs.
  • Gretchen Northrup Tropical Conservatory – Half of the world’s plants and animals live in the tropical rain forests. Since light is limited, plants must grow tall, grow large leaves, and climb or attach themselves high up in the branches of tall trees in order to reach the light. Cocoa, coffee, and rubber trees all grow in the tropical rain forest.
  • Palm and Cycad Pavilion – Cycads are relics of the Carboniferous Age (dinosaur times). Palms provide food, shade, building materials, fuel, and clothing for people in the tropics. In this exhibit find Queen Sago (tallest cycad), Lata Palm, and the Coconut Palm.
  • Fern Grotto – Some of the oldest living plants are found in this exhibit. Ferns formed the great coal and oil deposits from which we obtain energy.