free day adventure
T R A N S P L A N T E D
The Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse, a gleaming tower of thousands of pieces of glass and hundreds of thousands of pounds of steel, opened in July 2003, greatly expanding the offerings of the Cleveland Botanical Garden. And, as the garden says, it enables visitors to “explore two continents through one door.” Showcasing the spiny desert of Madagascar and the cloud forest of Costa Rica, the glasshouse includes 350 species of exotic plants, as well as 50 kinds of reptiles, amphibians, birds, and butterflies. If you want to see butterflies born and take flight, this is the place for you. If you want to observe leafcutter ants industriously carrying bits of green in single file on their own island, that’s here, too. New plants with unfamiliar names? Check it out. Trees and shrubs you’ve only read about, like baobabs? More types of spiny plants than you can shake an avocado branch at (and yes, fruiting avocado trees—and coffee and chocolate and papaya)? Colorful birds feeding a foot from where you stand? Endless photo opps? Yep. All of the above. Something for just about all of the senses. And, for the curious scientist in you, too, as those behind the scenes point out: “The glasshouse is unique among conservatories because it shows how plants, animals, geology, and climate interact in delicate balance.”
How do the animals, from the birds and butterflies, to the radiated tortoises and hissing cockroaches, affect your experience in each setting?
Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse Texture