The Talcott Greenhouse houses the Botanic Garden's collection of non-hardy plants.
About three-fourths of the greenhouse is devoted to the permanent collection, which includes warm, temperate, tropical and subtropical plants such as orchids, cacti and succulents, ferns, begonias, bromeliads, aquatic plants and more.
A quarter of the space is used for research, propagation and production. 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.
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. First constructed were the greenhouse’s show house and head house. 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 1990s.
Today the 6,000-square-foot Talcott Greenhouse serves as a valuable teaching resource, providing collaborative opportunities for academic departments, programs and centers across campus.