The Muttart Conservatory is a unique horticultural display garden that brings together a collection of plants from a diverse range of climactic conditions.
Architect Peter Hemmingway designed the structure in the early 70s. He combined the practical requirements for plant height with a striking visual effect. The pyramid shape is static and non-directional, providing stark contrast to its natural setting in Edmonton’s North Saskatchewan River valley and the softness of the living world within.
As you enter the Tropical Pyramid, feel the humidity and warmth that supports the lush, dense growth typical of a tropical rain forest.
Suddenly you find yourself in a sunny, green paradise, accented by brilliant splashes of colour: orchids, passionflowers, hibiscus and birds-of-paradise.
Like a mighty umbrella, towering palms and fig trees form a closed canopy over the smaller trees and shrubs, shading them from the intense rays of the sun.
Environmental conditions in the Temperate Pyramid are carefully controlled to allow the plants within to undergo a natural cycle of dormancy and active growth each year. The result is visually dramatic seasonal changes. Controlling the temperature permits the plants to begin their springtime flush of growth in the middle of Edmonton’s winter.
The plants that inhabit the Arid Pyramid originate in North America, the Mediterranean, Africa and Madagascar. These plants have the ability to survive dry air, irregular moisture and wide day/night temperature fluctuations. Many of these plants are of economic importance.
The Show Pyramid is changed completely about eight times a year. Each display features flowering plants that create seasonal celebrations of living colour.
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