Experience the planet’s natural diversity in the Conservatory’s biomes. From the arid deserts of the American Southwest to the hot and humid Amazon Rainforest, the biomes allow you to explore these ecosystems right in the heart of central Ohio.
The plants featured in the Himalayan Biome include a variety of conifers, deciduous trees and shrubs, flowering plants and vines that have adapted to the harsh conditions of their habitat. Visit the Himalayan Biome throughout the year to experience a delightful change in the seasons, from the fragrance of the Star Jasmine each June to the wonderful colors of deciduous trees in fall.
The plants in this biome represent just a portion of the tremendous biodiversity found in rainforests around the world. Explore the plant life in this habitat at ground level and from above as you walk along the upper canopy bridge. Find epiphytes that climb or cling to large trees like the Mahogany, see if the cacao tree has any pods, and say hello to the Conservatory’s two resident Macaws, Mic and Max. Always warm and humid, the tropical rainforest is a popular escape during the winter months.
Get an up-close look at an environment very different from central Ohio’s. Cacti and succulents of all sizes fill this hot and arid multi-leveled biome. Spring and summer bring pops of color from unusual cacti blooms.
Experience this diverse environment at various elevations as you make your way along the winding path, viewing exotic flora native only to the volcanically formed Pacific islands. Spend some time examining the unusual ferns that genetically date back nearly 350 million years, and make sure to look up to find the breadfruit and banana tree. At the lower level of the biome, take a break at the edge of the Koi pond and visit with the curious fish.
Every spring, the Pacific Island Water Garden is transformed into a tropical haven for hundreds of butterflies during the Conservatory’s annual Blooms & Butterflies exhibition.
Built in 1895, this historic glass house is often the focal point of the Conservatory’s special horticulture displays. Changing with the seasons and with the exhibitions presented at the Conservatory, the Showhouse lends itself to creative horticulture designs and magnificent floral displays throughout the year. On either side of the Showhouse are two rooftop gardens, the Zen Terrace and The Grove, which were added in 2008.
The Grove and Zen Terrace are rooftop gardens adjacent to the Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse. Glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly can be viewed on both rooftop gardens. The Grove overlooks the outdoor botanical gardens and the Brides Garden, with a glimpse of the Sculpture Garden. The Grove features vertical water fountains and colorful seasonal plantings. The Zen Terrace is Asian-inspired with elegant grasses, cherry trees and a wall display of hardy bonsai. The Zen Terrace overlooks the Bonsai Courtyard and outdoor botanical gardens.