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Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Glasshouse Range


The glasshouse range contains a Temperate House, Alpine House, Tropical House, Succulent House, Carnivorous Plants, Belize House and a Cactus House.

The central part of the glasshouse range is the Tropical House, which is devoted to plants from the wet tropical regions of the world. The species of plants are set out to represent a rainforest, with a forest floor and high dense canopy. The Tropical House is divided into two sections representing the ‘American Tropics’ and ‘Old World Tropics’ . The latter section includes a jade vine Strongylodon macrobotrys.

Other planting includes Hevea brasiliensis (rubber), Swietenia sp (mahogany,) Cabomba (kapok), climbing vanilla orchid, cycads (Cycadophyta), Ficus benjamina, shrubs including Cinocha (from which quinine is derived) and a grouping of tropical crops including tea, coffee, sugar cane, banana, rice, cotton and pawpaw.

In 2004 the Titan Arum, which had grown to 1.6 metres in the tropical house, flowered for the first time. The flower, which has the distinctive noxious smell of rotting flesh, flowered for two days, with the spectacular flowering process broadcast live via webcam to over half a million viewers worldwide.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details


University of Cambridge


The original glasshouse range, which opened with the gardens, was replaced between 1888 and 1891 and was rebuilt with teak between 1932 and 1933. The glasshouse range has recently been fully restored to its original 1930s condition and is now open to the public.

Features & Designations


  • Temperate House
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  • Glasshouse
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  • Glasshouse (featured building)
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Key Information







Open to the public




  • Cambridgeshire Gardens Trust