Cactus House


Cacti of every shape and size in the Botanic Garden Berlin. - <em>by SL Wong</em>.
Cacti of every shape and size.

Go the Botanic Garden and sit in the warm greenhouse, was a how-to-survive-a-Berlin-Winter tip offered us by our friend Silke. Indeed, warmth and greenery were the highlight of the sprawling glasshouse complex of the Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem (Berlin-Dahlem Botanic Garden and Botanical Museum).

My favourite section was that of the cacti. Originally from the Americas, their (to me) other-worldly shapes and appearance provided much fodder for the imagination.

The cacti and succulent plant collection is grouped around a century-old Goldkugelkaktus or Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii). A critically-endangered species (but luckily, widely cultivated), this Mexican endemic was first described in 1885 by Berlin cactus dealer and expert Heinrich Hildmann. As such, it is highlighted in the Botanic Garden as a ‘Berlin plant’, species with a connection to the capital. ω

Experienced: 09.09.2009 || Recounted: 19.05.2014

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