Beauty and Mystery in Druid Hill Park

Exotic Flowers, Exotic Names

The Howard Peter Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens is a magic place of exotic garden spaces. The most prominent feature is the Palm House, built in 1888. Visitors walk through the Orchid Room into a lush display of 15 species of palm Trees. I love the names. The palms include Fishtail (Southeast Asia), Fiji Fan (Fiji, Tonga), Foxtail (Australia) and Cabada (Madagasacar).  Beneath extravagant leaves are palm grasses named Red Velvet ginger, Flaming Sword, Jungle Drum and Prince of Orange philodendron.  Other interior spaces include three gardens with native flowers in Mediterranean House (plants for mild rainy winters, hot dry summers); Tropical House (warm all year and rainy), and Desert House (little or no rainfall).  The lush palace near the Maryland Zoo is open Wednesday to Sunday except for some holidays.

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