The Talcott Greenhouse houses the Botanic Garden's collection of non-hardy plants. Construction of the greenhouse section parallel to Lower Lake Road began in late 1896, immediately following the destruction of the original greenhouse by the fire of 1896. The wing to the west was built in 1898-1899, through the generous funding of James Talcott. After 100 years of almost continual use, the greenhouse received much-needed renovations in the 1990’s. Today the 6000 square foot Talcott Greenhouse displays a living collection of plants from around the world, while serving as a valuable teaching resource, and supporting Mount Holyoke College’s faculty and student plant research.
About three-fourths of the complex is devoted to the permanent collection, which includes orchids, cacti and succulents, ferns, begonias, bromeliads, aquatic plants, and other warm temperate, tropical, and subtropical plants. One-fourth of the space is used for propagation and production, as well as research space. Plants in the collection are used primarily as teaching resources and may be representative of particular genera, families, or geographic locations. Other plants may be in the collection for their economic importance, interesting morphological characteristics, or ornamental value.
The orchid Cattlianthe (SLC) Jewel Box 'Dark Waters' in the Orchid House.
Scadoxus blooming after dormancy.
Construction of the Conservatory at the Talcott Greenhouse, circa 1897 or 1898.