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Indoor gardeners are sure to find something familiar here; many aroids are popular houseplants. A variety of aroids growing in a landscape setting are on display. A spectacular feature is the "Persian Pool", sixteen yellow lily pads surrounding a serene lagoon, which was created by the world acclaimed glass artist Chihuly expressly for the Aroid House.







Indoors, The Elizabeth Morse Genius Children's Garden provides a fun and comfortable setting for families and school children. A giant, meandering vine with larger-than-life sized roots, seed, leaves and flower provides opportunities for children to play while learning about plants. Families are welcome at this haven for children with its interactive displays.




The Desert House holds one of the region's most varied collections of cacti and succulents. These plants owe their popularity to their spectacular and unique forms, the promise of brilliant, short-lived flowers and their ability to withstand harsh, dry conditions. The size of plants in this room varies from the tiny living stone plant to the large pencil tree.







Jens Jensen, who designed the Conservatory in 1906, wanted to give visitors a glimpse of what Illinois might have looked like millions of years ago. Lush ferns, rocky outcroppings and an indoor lagoon evoke the swampy landscape of prehistoric Chicago. The Fern Room is home to the cycads; ancient cone-bearing plants.






While the Show House is being repaired, this room is the site of flower shows: Spring, Summer, and Holiday. All of the plant material displayed in the shows is grown at the Conservatory. Named one of Chicago's top ten event venues, this rental space sparkles with holiday lights and blooms with festive flowers and greenery.







Designed as an idealized tropical landscape, it's where graceful palms, interspersed with a variety of other tropicals, soar up to a vaulted ceiling. This room features a massive Sheelea Palm which is probably the largest of its kind in any conservatory in the country. In 2003 the Palm House underwent a restoration of its structure and plant collection.






This room is the site of spectacular flower shows each year: the Spring, Summer, and Holiday Shows. All of the plant material displayed in the shows is grown at the Conservatory. This room was damaged in the June 30, 2011 hailstorm and will not display flower shows until repairs are completed.








Stroll through four exotic botanical environments to discover how right now, inside every leaf, plants are capturing sunlight and using it to change small parts of air and water into sugar – the energy that sustains life on Earth.



Display house and garden photos courtesy of Gene Pierson, photographer.