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Elegant, stately palms fill the 64-foot crystal Palm Dome at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. Over 150 tropical palms and cycads are on display here, with some over a century old. The Palm Dome also features an "orchid nook" that showcases flowering orchids that are part of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory's extensive orchid collection. Bromeliads can also can be found in the nook.
The North Garden is a living grocery, building supply store, and pharmacy in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. Visitors can find chocolate, papaya, fig, pomegranate, mahogany, and many other plants that directly influence human life in the North Garden.
The Water Gardens at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory are home to Victoria Water Lilies, also referred to as "Blooming Victorias." Surrounding the visitor center, the water gardens provide an amazing sights that can't be found anywhere else in Minnesota. Como Park is the only public garden in the state to grow and display these giant platter-like lilies. The Blooming Victoria, or also known as the "Queen of the Water Lilies," are capable of growing to almost six feet in diameter. They are quite impressive plants, able to support the weight of a child. Visitors are advised to not touch the lilies due to extremely sharp thorns present under their
The Victoria Water Lilies are hermaphroditic plants. The pollination process occurs during the night. Emerging from underneath the water, the lilies then bloom and start the process of changing from females to males. After the plants emerge from under the water, their petals glow white and secrete a pineapple-like aroma to attract pollinators. Once pollinated, the lilies descend back under water and turn scarlet red.
The Fern Room has a pleasant ambiance with floating mist, a gentle waterfall, and spotted light. Ferns are among the oldest plants species that still survive today. As visitors walk among the lacey green foliage they step back in time through a garden of living fossils. There are more than 100 fern species and fern allies residing in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory's Fern Room.
The Ordway Gardens
The Ordway Gardens at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is part of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. These gardens offer views of the conservatory's impressive collection of Bonsai trees, as well as the Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden throughout the year. The Ordway Gardens wing includes the Bonsai Pavilion, Huss Foundation Terrace, Huelsmann Foundation Meditative Garden, and the Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden that is reached by the Jo and Gordon Bailey Pine Grove Walk.
Visitors are immersed in the history and beauty of the Japanese collections at the conservatory in this Japanese garden and plant pavilion. This is the only place where guests can see a collection of Japanese plants that is top-curated in Minnesota. The Huelsmann Foundation Meditative Garden provides a display of Bonsai trees. The Bonsai collection at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is the largest in the upper Midwest.
Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden
A living symbol of friendship and peace, the design Charlotte Partridge Japanese Garden was a gift from the people of Nagasaki, Japan, the Saint Paul's sister city. Created by Masami Matsuda, a renowned landscape designer in Nagasaki, the garden represents the honored Japanese design principles incorporating trees and plants that are hardy in Minnesota. The garden is built to delight visitors' senses with the infusion of true Japanese design.
The Orchid House at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is home to several different species of orchids as part of the award-winning neo-tropical Orchid Conservation Collection. While orchids can be found throughout the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, the more unusual and smaller orchid species can only be seen in the Orchid House.
Visitors can find a spectacular outdoor view of Como Park, the Frog Pond, and the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory and its gardens. The overlook is surround by magnificent fir and pine trees and adjoins the Enchanted Garden.
An assortment of perennials, annuals, shrubs, and trees are grown in the Enchanted Garden for their butterfly attracting properties. The garden is a haven for butterflies with plants providing nectar for butterflies and food for caterpillars. Much of the plants found in the Enchanted Garden are native to Minnesota. Visitors can enjoy the garden while walking amongst butterflies.
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