The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
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Few places on Earth are as beautiful as Michigan on a fine fall day. Stroll through the trails & gardens during the early morning or later afternoon at this special time of year.
Check out the bloom calendar.
study spots
Looking for a location to hold a group meeting? We have some of the University's best study spots.

Plant diversity abounds in the Tropical House. Revel in lush vegetation as you take in the great variation in plant and flower shape, size, color and texture. Plants in the tropical house are from warm, frost-free climates, so this a great place to visit year round. Many plants are continuously flowering -- the orchid and bromeliad displays are changed each week. Others, such as the sausage tree (Kigelia pinnata) and tulip tree (Spathodea campanulata), flower in the summer. For the food-oriented visitors, look for our chocolate tree (Theobroma cacao), bananas (Musa), pineapples (Ananas), black pepper (Piper) and coffee (Coffea).

This is an engaging teaching collection that has taken a century to build. Themes include evolutionary relationships and novelties, co-evolutionary adaptations, culturally important human domesticates and, reflective of our times, at-risk species. Our oldest plants were acquired in 1910 when the teaching collection was potted plants grown in a greenhouse at what is now the Nichols Arboretum.

The Tropical House is in the Conservatory at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens site.

back to conservatory


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