Audio by David Mitchell & Alan Bennell from 2005
This is the oldest of the glasshouses, built in 1834, at the time it was largest of its kind in Britain. In this hot and humid house you will find a palms and tropical trees, including mahogany (Swietenia candollei). As you enter one of the first plants you will encounter is the giant bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris), which is of great economic importance in tropical Asia where it is used in construction as scaffolding, fences and boats.
The palm at the centre of this house is Sabal bermudana, one of the oldest plants in our collection, at around 200 years old. It was moved from the previous site on Leith Walk around 1822 and was moved into its present position in this house in 1874 but not planted in the ground until about 1892.