Audio by David Mitchell from 2005

Curcuma rhabdota

Curcuma rhabdota

The plants on display in this house are from the same geographical region as the Montane Tropics House (South-East Asia). This wet-warm habitat has driven the huge diversity of plants which can be found in this region. In this house you will again see some of the research collections, in particular the gingers (Zingiberaceae) and the Gesneriaceae which includes Aeschynanthus.

Scientists at RBGE have been researching the Zingiberaceae since the early 1960s, and this long term research programme is reflected by the large number of specimens in our living collection, some of which you can see growing in this house. The family is related to bananas, bird-of-paradise flowers and Canna lilies, with around 51 genera and 1200 species. Several members are of economic importance – ginger, turmeric and cardamom are the most well known.

The luxuriant planting of this house will hopefully give you a feeling of what the tropical forests of South East Asia are like. The model of a buttress root which is at the entrance of this house will hopefully give you an idea of how large trees in this region can reach.

At the back of this Glasshouse you will find our biggest pot plant our Amorphophallus titanum (titan arum) that flowered for the first time in Scotland in 2015; You can read more about this plant here