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Introduction: Large cactus house

Our sunny entrance hall is dedicated to plants of the Americas that have adapted to life in an arid climate. You are looking at a desert-like landscape of gneiss and sand featuring large large columnar or candelabra-like cacti and and barrel cacti. The agaves also stand out. You may recognize them as the large rosettes of stiff, upthrust leaves.

As a survival strategy in their parched environments, cacti store water in their trunks. Agaves store water in their leaves instead. All these water-storing plants are known as succulents, called leaf, stem, or root succulents depending on where they store water. The term “succulent” comes from the Latin word succulentus, or juicy. During this tour, you will also learn about other succulents. Many are from the Americas, but succulent plants are found in other parts of the world as well.

Not all the plants you see here in the entrance hall are native to the American continents. In the beds on the sides are representatives from other continents, such as the old bitter orange tree. Like all members of the citrus family, it originated in East Asia. You can also see the bird-of-paradise flower or Strelitzia from South Africa, with its bright orange and blue blooms.

The entrance hall is known as the “large cactus house” for the plants that dominate the scene.

Audio file download
Introduction: Large cactus house (MP3, 755 KB)

Audio production and copyright: Soundgarden Audioguidance GmbH
Text: Ehrentraud Bayer, Botanischer Garten München-Nymphenburg

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