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Gardens conservatory Wave Hill 14

Marco Polo Stufano Conservatory

A home for plants from warmer regions of the world

With Glyndor Gallery at the south end of the garden and Wave Hill House on the north—two former estate houses—the Conservatory occupies a central position in the landscape. Wave Hill's Founding Director of Horticulture, Marco Polo Stufano, in honor of whom the Conservatory is named, understood that our glasshouse, modest in scale, invites visitors to savor each carefully selected specimen.

The Conservatory was designed and built in 1906. In 1969, it was rebuilt. The existing structure was taken down to its foundations, with only the original portico of the Conservatory retained.

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Palm House

An open and airy space, the Palm House is filled with floral scents and colors and fascinating foliage throughout the cooler months. In summer, most of these inhabitants empty out into the Flower Garden and beyond.

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Photo: Joshua Bright

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Tropical House

On one side of the Conservatory is the Tropical House. Rainforest conditions are achieved by "damping down"—hosing down the floor and heating pipes with water two or three times a day—thus maintaining high humidity. "The overall goal," writes Tom Christopher, author of "Nature into Art: The Gardens of Wave Hill", "is to create a jungle understory of filtered light that is packed with ferns, bromeliads and other tender plants."

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Cactus and Succulent House

The Cactus and Succulent House occupies the right flank of the Conservatory. Its waist-high benches march down either side of the long, narrow space, with plants from the Americas, including cactus, on the left, and plants from other continents on the right. More than 1,100 contained-grown plants can be found here.

More on the Conservatory

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McLoughlin’s aloe

This small plant is native to Ethiopia and Djibouti and not common in cultivation.

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Harlequin evening flower

On a sunny day, the harlequin evening flower is open by noon and can be seen this week on a windowsill in the Palm House.

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South African Bulbs

As each of our South African bulbs As each bulb is about to bloom, it is put on display in the Palm House.

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