Tropical High Elevation House
The Fuqua Orchid Center’s Tropical High Elevation House features orchids and other plants that grow in the tropics between 4,000 and 10,000 feet above sea level, planted in a naturalistic setting. The displays draw from three distinct regions: South America’s Andes Mountains; the tepuis, or tabletop mountains, of southern Venezuela; and Mt. Kinabalu on the island of Borneo. Plants at this elevation require daytime temperatures below 75° F, and, at night, a balmy 55° F, making the Tropical High Elevation House one of the coolest places in the Garden, no matter the season.
The centerpiece of the High Elevation House is a waterfall constructed of Georgia granite boulders mantled with brilliantly flowered Andean orchids like Odontoglossum and Masdevallia. 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. Discover carnivorous Nepenthes and Heliamphora pitcher plants as you'd find them in the wild.
The flat, table-topped "tepui" mountains of Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia have been termed by writers as "islands in time" or "ecological islands." Geographically isolated from the surrounding savanna and from neighboring table-top mountains, each tepui hosts its own unique flora and fauna.
Carnivorous bromeliads, orchids, and insect-trapping sun pitchers, Heliamphora, are some of the featured flora that surrounds a recreation of this rocky table-top landscape.
Mount Kinabalu, on the island of Borneo, at 4,101 meters is the highest peak in Southeast Asia. The diversity of plants found on Mt. Kinabalu is among the richest on earth.
Orchids of this region include Coelogyne and Dendrobium. Tropical Rhododendron flower throughout the year. Spectacular Nepenthes lowii and N. rajah, tropical carnivorous pitcher plants found only on Mount Kinabalu, flourish in the High Elevation House.
The Andes Mountains
The mist-shrouded forests of the Andean Mountains are some of the richest orchid habitats in the world. Half of Ecuador's 3,000 orchid species occur in a narrow band between 2,900 and 10,000 feet above sea level. At low temperatures, warm-blooded animals like hummingbirds are much more important as pollinators than are cold-blooded animals likes bees. Many of these flowers have evolved to attract hummingbirds specifically, which seek out bright red and orange flowers.