Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney - Tropical Centre
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The Tropical Centre, built in 1990, displays plants, including palms and cycads from tropical Australia in a pyramid glasshouse which features a lovely example of Licuala ramsayi with its leaves beautifully silhouetted against the sky, as well as a Normanbya normanbyi which has almost outgrown the house, and a particularly spiny species of Calamus.
A climate controlled glasshouse in the shape of an arc has one end devoted to exotics from warm humid tropical areas. This is apparent as soon as one enters the house with temperatures being in the mid- 30's C (90's F) and the humidity near 100% (small fine sprinklers come on every few minutes to maintain this). It has the most impressive palm collection with some lovely examples of Chamaedorea tepejilote and Dypsis pinnatifrons, as well as Ptychosperma and other New Guinea genera. At the other end of the arc are plants from cooler mountain cloud areas.
Entry to the Gardens
is free, but there is an entry fee for the Tropical Centre.
Mike Gray (Figures 1,2,3&4)