Tropical palm house
The palm house has a tropical climate with temperatures between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius, and it is only insignificantly cooler at night. The humidity is high and should never go below 70%. The Palm house collection comprises several priceless rarities that need daily care.
The Palm house was built in 1864 and there are a number of trees from that time still standing, among others the large cycads (Cycas zeylanica) and the Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis), the latter associated with Polynesia and Mutiny on the Bounty.
Tropical economic plants such as cocoa (Theobroma cacao), star fruit (Averrhoa carambola), sapdillo (Manilkara zapota), and cola (Cola nitida) can also be seen in the Palm house.
Cycad (Cycas zeylanica)
This cycad is native to India and Sri Lanka (former Zeylon). Our handsome specimens are more than 150 years old. In the crown of the male plant, a ca 50 cm long cone is produced each year. On the surface of the cone scales pollen is formed. The pollen grains are dispersed into the air and reach the adjacent female. After pollination, seeds are formed on the margin of large, brown, scaly leaves in the female.
Cycads belong to the gymnosperms and hence bear naked seeds.
Cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao)
The cocoa tree is an ancient economic plant from tropical regions in South America. The tree flowers and bears its fruit directly on the stem on coarse branches, which can be seen in the greenhouse during spring and summer.
The fruits are yellow to dark red and the seeds, or cocoa beans inside are blue to purple. The cocoa beans are allowed to ferment for a week, and in the process they become brown and loose their astringent taste. After drying, cleaning and roasting the cocoa beans, the fat is removed by pressing. The fat is also known as cocoa butter. The remaining part of the cocoa bean is called cocoa mass and is used to manufacture chocolate.