Tropical House

The Tropical House (formerly the Lily House) was our first glasshouse to be built and was constructed in 1851 at a cost of £800.

Amongst many plants of worldwide economic importance, which are grown especially for the benefit of schools, are cassava, sugar cane, banana, cocoa – a native of the Amazonian rainforest, coffee and a para-rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis which is used to make car tyres!.

Ornamental plants, too, are well represented, such as Heliconia, Caladium with multi-coloured leaves, and Anthurium (flamingo flowers) with bright red bracts. Medinilla magnifica has large rose pink, chandelier like flowers and our specimen could be the largest in the U.K.

The Tropical House pool contains huge, colourful koi carp. In a shallow bed beside the pool grows Colocasia esculenta (taro) which is an important food in the tropics.

These are just a few examples of the many remarkable plants in the Tropical House. Linger here to appreciate the wonderful variety of flowers, leaf shapes, vivid colours and fragrances of the tropics.