Tropical Collection

This collection features various plants that are of cultural and industrial interest in regions of the tropics. Our accession choices reflect our instructors’ interest in ethnobotanical topics. The collection includes representatives from all major groups of plants to reflect the incredible diversity of the tropical flora.

The collection houses a variety of monocots. One of them is Beaucarnea recurvata, commonly known as the ponytail palm. Despite its appearance and common name, the species is not a true palm. Its name...
Classified as “critically endangered” on the IUCN’s Red List, the species was thought to be extinct until 1994, when rock climbers discovered it in a canyon in New South Wales, Australia. Unlike most...
Our Australian tree fern (Cyathea cooperi) towers above all other plants in the tropical greenhouse. With its magnificent crown, the fern is an important component of the Australian rainforest...
The tropical collection also houses various plants of significant historial and cultural value. The rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is originally native to the Amazon rainforest but has been...