University opens tropical garden

The University of Bristol has cut the ribbon at a tropical glasshouse zone in its new botanic garden.

The main focus of the zone is a pool made of dressed Cotswold stone, containing the giant Amazon water lily. It includes sacred lotus, papyrus and tropical food plants such as cocoa, sugar cane and custard apples. The 600sq m glasshouse was built in 2005 and cost just over £300,000. The new tropical zone joins existing temperate, subtropical, cool and propagation zones. The University of Bristol relocated its botanical garden, founded in 1882, 3.2km to a more central 1.7ha location in 2006. Curator Nicholas Wray said: “It’s a fantastic place in the middle of the campus and is very modern and contemporary. “The garden has four themes: evolution, the Mediterranean, useful plants such as herbs, and rare plants native to the South West. “It charts evolution over the past 500 million years, from algae, liverwort and ferns to seed plants and early flowering plant families.” Funders included Stanley Smith (UK) Horticultural Trust, the university and friends groups.

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