Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The NY Botanical Garden's Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Today's blog post comes to you from the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the NYBG. It's a pretty amazing complex of glasshouses...

You might be wondering though, who is Enid A. Haupt? The Smithsonian does a nice job of summarizing her horticultural philanthropy in this article, and the Wiki does a deep dive here. Suffice it to say Enid is the reason why I was able to visit: "a gift of 5 million dollars saved the New York Botanical Garden’s greenhouse from an unseemly demise in a swamp. Beautifully restored, it is now a showcase at the garden." (source)

You enter the conservatory building through the palm house at the center, that's where I snapped the above photo of an Alcantarea imperialis (Vriesea imperialis). There were many interesting palms, but they were rather tall, and the horizontal ground plane so small, that I couldn't get a good photo of any of them. Instead I quickly veered left into the land of bromeliads, ferns and such. Honestly I could not find a good informational source for how the conservatory greenhouses are laid out. I just wandered and appreciated.

Bromeliads (Quesnelia marmorata 'Tim Plowman') growing on the trunk of a palm. Yes please!

Bromeliad covered branches arching over the walkway.

Hello epiphytes!

So now the direction of my travels changed completely because I needed to find the restroom, which was smack dab in the middle of the fall mum display to the right of the palm house entry. The mum display area was rather crowded and I had no desire to be a part of it. I did pause long enough to snap a photo of the mosaic plant, Ludwigia sedioides.

Another plant I love that the damn raccoons have made it impossible for me to grow.

Moving on from the mums I came across some ginormous staghorn ferns, this one a Platycerium willinckii cultivar.

Oh! And over there another Alcantarea imperialis, this one blooming.

Isn't it stunning?

There were several carnivorous plants in a case (visible in the background of the photo above), one of them Brocchinia reducta, a carnivorous bromeliad. I really need to add this plant to my bromeliad collection.

Walking through the next door you entered the desert. I knew there was still a lot of rainforest to see, but I also didn't want to have to backtrack through the mum display, so I just kept moving forward hoping the buildings would eventually connect (they did!).

Cyphostemma juttae

Check out that tree-like opuntia!

Cleistocactus icosagonus

Such a crazy plant!

With fabulous flowers.

This transition display—between desert and rainforest—was very striking.

I wish there had been some sort of signage though, explaining the concept of the display.

An underground walkway connected the two conservatory wings, I was leaving the desert and walking back into the rainforest. I loved this signage as it kind of defines my garden aesthetic. 
I fell hard for this Elaphoglossum langderfili, just look at that ruffled edge!

If you're curious learn more here: Elaphoglossum – the deer tongue ferns.

I briefly grew this adorable fern, or one very like it. Mine was a Neolepisorus truncatus 'Lemon Lime' from Evan. It lasted a little over a year, but finally decided I wasn't worthy.

Sphyrospermum buxifolium

It's a tropical blueberry.

There's another elaphoglossum tucked in there.

Elaphoglossum vestitum

I briefly stepped out into the courtyard to get a little fresh air and soak up the sun. What a beautiful day!

Back inside now and admiring a trio of very happy vines. The first a passionflower that I didn't get definitive ID on.


Thunbergia mysorensis, the Mysore trumpet vine.

And the last one, Aristolochia gigantea.

My final photo from inside the conservatory (click here for my look at the garden's grounds), Tacca integrifolia, the white bat flower. Pretty fabulous!

Where's my Garden Blogger's Bloomday post? I usually post for Bloomday on (or near) the 15th of each month, in fact I have posted for 163 consecutive Bloomdays! However, now that I'm posting 3 times a week—on Monday, Wednesday, Friday—rather than Monday thru Friday, it seemed a little wasteful to stay faithful to the Bloomday meme, especially when there isn't much going on, bloom-wise some months, and chances are I've posted what is blooming over on Instagram. All that's to say, no Bloomday post this month. Or maybe next month? We will see...

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All material © 2009-2022 by Loree L Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude


  1. I've never met a conservatory I didn't love and this one is fabulous. How I wish I could grow bromeliads mounted to other plants like that! (It's just too dry here to get most to thrive here and I seldom get blooms.) I adored both the mosaic plant and the tropical blueberry. I tried to grow the white bat flower in my lath house last year but, to put it in your terms, I found I wasn't worthy of it.

    I was wondering where your Bloom Day post was but I'm not surprised by your decision. I've considered going that route myself.

    1. I've seen several successful goes at growing mounted bromeliads in your area Kris...I bet you could! As for Bloomday, ya. I just couldn't bring myself to post again, same flowers, different month.

  2. That is one fabulous greenhouse. Love the concept of not being worthy of certain plants. My new mantra. If I recall correctly Enid Haupt was the publisher of Seventeen magazine which my sister and I loved. I remember as a teen seeing a picture of Haupt's apartment filled with orchids and greenery. It looked heavenly. I was smitten.

    1. Yes! I believe she was behind Seventeen, which I too enjoyed. Now you've got me determined to find that photo!

  3. That Alcantarea is something ! I visited NYBG many years ago , and Wave Hill on that same weekend. I had my first point and shoot digital camera and my photos are god-awful. At least I can look at them to prove I was really there. I love conservatories too-and those back yonder on the Atlantic side seem to be bigger and better. And more of them too.

    1. Ha, your comment about your photos had me thinking back to my first visit to Lotusland. I was obviously still learning the skill behind digital garden photography, I was so bummed at how bad my photos were.

  4. This place is pure magic! I can't fathom such a conservatory being lost for lack of funds. A heart-felt thank you to the generous philanthropist who gifted the restoration money: this fabulous greenhouse is housing the most unusual plants.
    Such as the mosaic plant, a new one to me, totally amazing! You must have been livid when the raccoons destroyed yours!
    The blooming Vriesea knocked my socks off. Wow!

    1. There was a time when I was livid, now just resigned. It is such a magnificent plant...

  5. They need a walkway up at the top so visitors can admire the palms from above. Kew has that. But at least Enid saved the conservatory from a swampy demise. It seems lovely. Conservatories always seem like another world, another planet altogether.

    A magic place apart from the regular world, dazzling, but where humans are not always intended to be comfortable in. Where plants rule, not humans.

    1. Interesting that you mention the walkway. There was one in part of the rainforest section but it just seemed pointless. It would have been much better in the palm house. Your last observation has me fantasizing about what it would be like to spend the night inside a conservatory like this. They could make some serious money that way!

  6. Mind blown a about Thunbergia mysorensis. Hard to believe it is related to Thunbergia alata. They look very, very different. I think I've fallen in love with Aristolochias. I want to collect all of them.

    1. Seriously! (about the thunbergia) and I agree about the aristolochia. Such a cool genius.

  7. Edith's Edens. Love that. What a wonderful legacy to leave behind. So many gorgeous plants. Our local conservatory grows Aristolochea gigantea in the butterfly house. They attract carrion eating butterflies and moths. Sort of tarnishes the butterfly image a bit. Cool plant though.


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