The collection represents plants from the world’s tropical rainforests, one of the most important habitats on earth.
Despite only covering six per cent of the landmass, more than 80 per cent of documented species can be found there. The warm and wet conditions are ideal for a wide diversity of plants but some 4.7 million hectares per year are destroyed every year due to human activity.
Built in 2004, the Tropical House was a late addition to the Double Walled Garden, designed as a new attraction by renowned architect John Belle.
Born in Pontcanna, Cardiff, this was his first significant project in Wales after an illustrious career in the US. The project aimed to create an environment where a tropical rainforest could be recreated, providing the atmosphere and conditions for tropical plants to thrive.
When exploring, visitors will find plants of economic value, human use and incredible diversity. Those who look high into the canopy will see orchids and passion flowers – wild relatives of houseplants – and extraordinary ferns beneath. They may also find plants that produce everyday items like coffee, chewing gum or chocolate.
We aim to help visitors connect with these special places, understand their value and, hopefully, become conservation practitioners, too.
Tropical rainforests need our help to protect their biodiversity and the Tropical House is the perfect place to learn more about the challenges they face.