Indoor Collection - Fuqua Orchid Center
The diversity of plants found in the Cloud Forest of the Andes Mountains in South America rivals that of any other area in the world.
The centerpiece of the High Elevation House is a massive waterfall constructed of Georgia granite boulders mantled with brilliantly flowered Andean orchids like Odontoglossum, Masdevallia and Phragmipedium. Neotropical blueberries bearing bright clusters of tubular flowers and exotic bromeliads are prominently displayed. Fallen logs are laden with mosses, ferns and delicately flowered miniature orchids such as Stelis and Porroglossum.
The lush, colorful entrance to the Orchid Display House in the Fuqua Orchid Center has all the elements of a formal garden: geometrically shaped beds, symmetrical design and architectural accents.
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Indoor Collection - Fuqua Conservatory
Located at the front of the Fuqua Conservatory, an ever-changing display welcomes guests to the Tropical Rotunda.
Within the lobby are several glass cases containing a living collection of poison arrow frogs set within a naturalistic setting. These exhibits are part of the major frog conservation program based at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Many of these species have formed viable populations within the Tropical Rotunda.
The equatorial regions of the world occupy around 10 percent of Earth's surface and contain more than half of the world's plant and animal species. Many of these regions are under threat from deforestation, climate change and development. The Tropical Rotunda has hundreds of species from these tropical regions.
These collections are a valuable tool for education, research and conservation. They are arranged in communities that provide a living model of specific habitats from selected geographical regions.
The Desert House at the Garden contains succulent collections native to Madagascar and Southern Africa.
Madagascar is an island off the coast of Africa where biodiversity is threatened by invasive species and rapid forest loss. Of all the species that occur in Madagascar, 85 percent are endemic, or native, only to the region. The Desert House showcases plants from the dry region of Madagascar known as the Spiny Forest.
Asian pitcher plants, or Nepenthes, inhabit the Special Exhibits area of the conservatory. There are more 140 species of these tropical carnivores ranging from Malaysia and Indonesia to Madagascar and the Seychelles. The size, shape and color of the pitchers vary with different species.
The Orangerie houses a wide range of tropical and sub-tropical species of high economic and medicinal importance.
The collection is a valuable educational tool and provides the visitor with the opportunity to see, touch and smell some of the plants which are so important in our daily lives.
The tropical conservatory is alive not only with plant collections but also with many animals. This successful cohabitation is indicative of horticultural practices that encourage a healthy and balanced ecosystem.
The trilling of the dart frogs and the mating call of the geckos are evidence of creatures mostly unseen. Beautiful yellow saffron finches, native to South America, fly about the canopy while various species of quail patrol the under-story brush seeking insects and greenery on which to feed. Tropical wood turtles and tortoises openly bask in their terrestrial habitat, occasionally sipping collected water from a cupped leaf or stone.
The Rose Garden offers a representative collection of old-fashioned and landscape roses to visitors. These varieties are managed organically and are interplanted with appropriate perennials.
Peak bloom is in May and June, with a late summer/early fall re-blooming period. The stunning color and fragrance of the roses, combined with perennials, make the Rose Garden a favorite spot for late-spring visitors.
The Hydrangea Collection, developed with the assistance of the Atlanta Chapter of the American Hydrangea Society, is one of the finest in the Southeast. It contains more than 160 cultivars of Hydrangea macrophylla (both mophead and lacecap types), Hydrangea serrata cultivars (Mountain Hydrangea — a lacecap type from Japan), and our Native Hydrangea arborescens. These peak in late May and June, with stunning blooms of pink, blue and white.
At the same time, climbing hydrangeas (both native and Asian) can be seen in full bloom climbing the trees of the Anne Cox Chambers Southern Seasons Garden. July and August are filled with the blossoms of cultivars of Hydrangea paniculata, Hydrangea aspera and Hydrangea involucrata.
The Dwarf and Rare Conifer Garden provides year-round interest. The wide variety of cone-bearing plants suitable for culture in the Southeast are displayed in front of the Conservatory. It is a great place for urban gardeners to get ideas for how to use conifers in small spaces.
The hardy palm collection, located around the greenhouse and Conservatory, provides a hardy version of the palm collection inside the Conservatory — an indoor/outdoor continuum.
The collection includes species of Sabal, Washingtonia, Trachycarpus, Rhapidophyllum and other palms under evaluation for use in Atlanta and Southeastern landscapes.
Commonly known as cobra lilies, our Arisaema collection consists of Asian species and cultivars that are counterparts to our native Arisaema, or Jack-in-the-pulpit.
Found in the Woodland Shade Garden, these exotic aroids lend a tropical look to the shade garden with flowers of chartreuse green, white or purple. They are one of the highlights of the spring bloom in the Woodland Shade Garden.
Scattered throughout our perennial borders and the Children's Garden are many summer bulbs that provide brilliant colors and textures to the heat and humidity of the summer. Cultivars of Hedychium, Zephyranthes, Crinum, Lilum, Gladiolus, Crocosmia, Lycoris, Canna, Hymenocallis, and Suaromatum offer an ever-changing display for visitors.
The collection of water plants in various ponds features hardy and non-hardy water lilies, water lotus and other aquatic plants. It is one of the best collections of aquatic plants in the Southeast. They begin flowering in May and many will bloom until frost. The highlight of the summer is the huge (5-foot wide) pads of the Victoria water lily, and annual grown from seed each year for display in our ponds.
The brilliant annual displays in beds and containers at the Atlanta Botanical Garden are always a favorite among visitors. Unusual combinations of foliage and flower provide stunning beauty throughout the year, even in the winter.
The display areas that comprise the Conservation Gardens function as the main educational component of the Native Plant Conservation Program. Native pitcher plant bogs are a major focus of this garden. Six themed bogs have been constructed to show the characteristics of a natural bog habitat.
A hybrid of Asian styles, the Japanese Garden is designed on a small-scale and offers many ideas for urban gardeners. With its sheltered teahouse and small waterfall and pond, it is also a quiet spot to contemplate the beauty of the garden. Bermed areas are filled with rare cultivars of heavenly bamboo (Nandina), dwarf Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) and dwarf conifers.