Far Out Flora

“The Domes” Tropical Time


The Domes

Last Sunday we roadtripped over to Milwaukee to check out the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory (The Domes) for some horticultural excitement.  I hadn’t been in years, but remember not being impressed the last time I was there. Built in the mid 60’s, The Domes were recently upgraded with new lighting and tons of great plants. Read all about it in a recent WSJ article. They did a great job! I think it may be only conservatory I’ve been to that offers alcoholic beverages at all times.  There are was a little cooler full of beers and single serve white wine for $4.00 a piece. Welcome to Wisconsin!

Ceiba pentandra

I’m not 100% sure that this is Ceiba pentandra… I was lazy and didn’t take pics of plant tags. Then I spent twenty minutes googling around to figure out what type of Ceiba I took a pic of.

Phoenix palm

Thanks to Jason the main man of The Palm Broker at Flora Grubb for helping me out in the ID department for these two.

Ravenala madagascariensis

A ginormous relative to the bird-of-paradise, Ravenala madagascariensis has freaky blue seeds with edible appendages.

Happy Tropical Land

Amorphophallus titanum

They have a big Amorphophallus titanum (corpse flower) hanging out next to a bunch of ephiphytes.

Zoe & the staghorn fern

The Domes are definitely worth a visit. Zoe slept the entire time we were there. You can check out all our pics on flickr.


  1. I am the horticulturist that was on duty the weekend that you came. (I’m in one of the photos). I am very pleased that you enjoyed your visit. I wish that you would have introduced yourself to me as I would have enjoyed meeting you and answering any questions you may have had. Thanks for visiting. Come back again!

  2. Thanks Mary, we had a great visit! Tons of great plants that were all very well marked (I’m picky about that sort of stuff).

  3. What a beautiful place! Looks like Zoe was having a good time hanging with the Staghorn! LOL And $4.00 beer and wine! We should all live in Wisconsin.

  4. Tropical plants—-drool! I love the photos…nice to see the northern tier having a good selection of tropical plants. A lot of botanic gardens like to use the same old tropicals and orchids. (I’m a bit spoiled, I lived in Florida for awhile…)

  5. Hi

    We are in the process of completing a DVD based on the interactive search program APSquery. The program is being developed by the Australian Plant Society – SA Region – a non for profit organisation.

    Would we be able to use some of your Grevillea plant images in the program?

    The max resolution used in 1000 x 1000 pixels and all photographers are acknowledged as well as receiving a copy of the DVD product

    For every image we use we can supply a ink to your website and email address.

    Awaiting your replies…

    kind regards

    Russell Dahms
    APS SA Region

  6. Hi

    I LOVE your blog , always such an inspiration. We are following you from Cape Town South Africa , you should come and visit our Kirstenbosch gardens , you will love it.
    thanks for a great blog.

  7. The Ravenala is really impressive. Awesome indeed!

  8. Megan,
    I wrote to you a while back in one of your blogs. I am trying to find out if you remember the name of the nursery you went to for your propagation class and where it was located. Your blog was on sequoia sempervirens and was from 2010. If you could help me . I would really appreciate it. We are doing sequoia cuttings and so if I was able to locate this place you went to with your class, I could contact someone there and see if we are doing them the right way. Thanks.

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