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Mexico house (house 6)

The last greenhouse on the south side is the Mexico house. It is amazing how many different species can thrive in such a small space: cacti and other succulents as well as drought tolerant plants from America belong to our collection giving you an impression of the flora and the arid climate conditions of their home countries.

On entering the greenhouse, the first thing you will notice are the tall columnar and globular cacti (Cactaceae) dominating the view. The characteristic eye-catching silhouettes of the Agaves (Agavaceae) will be familiar, too. You have to look closely to notice the other low or bolster-like growing cacti and plant forms of other families. There are the orpine family (Crassulaceae), the pepper family (Piperaceae) and the bromeliads (Bromeliaceae).

The best known flowering plants adapted to arid conditions are the cacti. The name “cactus” has become the epitome of all prickly, succulent plant forms and is incorrectly used for thorny succulents of completely different plant families bearing only a physiognomic resemblance to cacti. Most cacti have spines. These appear on special cushion-like structures known as areoles. They are greyish or brownish in colour, often white-woolly or hairy. They are extremely short or transformed side shoots. The nodes of these reduced side shoots develop into spines, bristles or stiff hair-like prickles instead of leaves. Like the spines, side shoots and flowers also arise from areoles. The sizeable and often brightly coloured flowers of the cacti are usually bisexual. They have numerous radially symmetrical sepals, a large number of stamens and an inferior ovary with a branched style. The outer sepals are green with a smooth transition to the inner white, yellow, orange, red or purple coloured petals.

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