It’s cold out. Like, really cold. As I write this, it’s 15 bone-chilling degrees. But you there is a place for respite.

A place for heat. A place for plants, a place where you could experience a little tropical warmth or desert air. That place is the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle.

Since I was a kid I’ve been coming here, but it’s been part of the fabric of the east side for a very long time. The conservatory opened on August 18, 1904. That’s before the first Model T rolled off the assembly line.

It originally had a wooden frame, but that was replaced with steel and aluminum in 1949.

So let’s take a look. If you want to go, it’s open Wednesday through Sunday each week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Did you know that when a palm gets too tall for the dome, there’s no way to prune it? It has to be cut down. 

Oh, and if you’ve made it this far, here’s a pro tip. The Conservatory has a Voodoo Lily/Devil’s tongue and it will be blooming in late February or early March. If you’ve never heard of the Voodoo Lily is known for its stinky stench, but it has a beautiful bloom.


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