Volunteer Park Conservatory: Seattle’s Tropical Plant Paradise

Posted on Jul 28, 2015

Part botanical garden, part architectural wonder, part carefully curated tropical plant paradise, Seattle’s Volunteer Park Conservatory is a gorgeous, century-old victorian-style greenhouse, nestled in the city’s Capital Hill neighborhood. The conservatory houses a stunning collection of ever-rotating specimen plants, organized by plant type into five viewing rooms.

We recently visited the Volunteer Park Conservatory while searching the city of Seattle for botanical inspiration. We have nothing like this in our fair city of Portland, and so the visit northward was well worth the effort. Modeled after London’s Crystal Palace, the structure is one of the only public greenhouses of its kind in this part of the world.

Cactus room at the Volunteer Park Conservatory

The five viewing rooms of the Volunteer Park Conservatory are:

  • Fern house (includes lots of other tropicals and carnivores!)
  • Bromeliad house (crawling with Tillandsia air plants)
  • Cactus house (plus loads of succulents)
  • Palm House (who knew there were so many species?)
  • Seasonal display (rotating – at the time of our visit, it was summer perennials)

Needless to say, we took a LOT of photos. Some of the things we were most capitivated by were the MASSIVE staghorn ferns and monstera deliciosa specimens, plus the orchid cacti laden with blossoms. And of course, the cactus room was full of plant gold.

Here are a few of our favorite photos from across the 5 houses of the Volunteer Park Conservatory. Next time you travel to the Pacific Northwest, don’t miss this historical trip into a veritable plant heaven. Have you ever visited? Share your experience in the comments!

1 Comment

  1. Linda Rosenfield
    December 18, 2015

    Wow! Blown away!

    I just moved back here from 2 years in Palm Springs.

    I KNOW cacti and bromeliads and more. I’m an avid gardener no matter what the weather.

    To the point…

    Please let me volunteer. Free any time day or night.

    Peace and glochids,
    Linda Rosenfield



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