Point of Interest 1 Palm House

The Palm House, built in 1869, is one of the largest constructions of its kind in Europe. Aside from an impressive collection of subtropical palms, it also hosts giant shrubs, tree ferns, and numerous tropical foliage plants, creating the impression of a lush tropical landscape.

A grotto under a mound displays a colorful underwater world. Throughout the year, the galleries adjoining the Palm House feature alternating exhibitions, including traditional shows of spring flowers, camellias, azaleas, roses, orchids, and autumn flowers in varying arrangements. Particularly popular are exhibitions on different botanical topics, for which detailed printed documentation is made available. The galleries also serve as an ideal venue for artists to present their work.

Point of Interest 2 Rose Garden

Roses have played a central role for the Palmengarten for 140 years. From the start roses have been cultivated and presented in special exhibitions. The first Rose Garden was established in 1868 by August Siebert directly along Siesmayerstraße.

The present Rose Garden with its formal rose borders arranged around “Haus Rosenbrunn”, and with its romantic pergola on the rear side, together with the surrounding gardens in its immediate vicinity form a central and prominent element of the Palmengarten. The original concept was crafted by Josef Raff and Gustav Schoser. Now, the Rose Garden presents itself with a collection of some 50 varieties of roses. The center mainly displays roses in red and white – the colors of the City of Frankfurt – while the roses in the surrounding borders mainly present themselves in nuances of yellow and pink.

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Point of Interest 3 Great Pond

The Great Pond to the west of the Palm House is part of the original historic park designed as an English landscape garden. The shallow pond is home to various kinds of fishes and waterfowl. Along the boardwalk of the pond you have an appealing view of the waterfall and grotto under the Rock Garden.

At the far end of the boardwalk on the left you find the boat rental, open during the summer season only. Close by, along the western perimeters of the garden, is an extensive collection of rhododendrons, established in 1989. These are mainly hybrids originating from species from Eastern Asian and North America. Their extravagant flowers display magnificently at the end of May through early June.

Point of Interest 4 Rock Garden and Grotto

A rocky hill rises from the northern shore of the lake with an artificial waterfall emerging from its interior. A path runs through the hill. From the top you overlook the gardens and the lake. The Rock Garden’s acidic and alkaline boulders and soils present a combination of low-growing shrubs and perennials, dwarf bushes, and cushion plants from mountainous regions as well as a special section with alpine plants from the Southern Hemisphere.

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Point of Interest 5 Blossom House

If you pass by the “Villa Leonhardi” and the small spring, you will arrive at a greenhouse that features blooming ornamental plants. The greenhouse with a surface area of about 200 m2 is divided into a warm and cold section, throughout the year displaying a myriad of the most colorful flowers cultivated in the Palmengarten’s own nurseries. You can then walk north between borders planted with rare bushes and decorative shrubs.

Point of Interest 6 Bamboo Grove

Along the creek across from the Blossom House, the Bamboo Grove presents itself with a dense stand of tall bamboo canes that can attain heights of several meters. A narrow path takes you through this shady “jungle”, especially enjoyable on a hot summer day. Notice the exciting colors and patterns of the culms in different nuances of green, black, and yellow.

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Point of Interest 7 Subantarctic House

The unique Subantarctic House, conceptualized with the help of the late Scottish-German botanist and collector Ursula McHardy, features temperate-zone plants from the coldest regions of the Southern Hemisphere. The left-hand side of the house is devoted to plants from Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, and the Falkland Islands, while the right-hand side exhibits plants from southern New Zealand.

Point of Interest 8 Steppe and Prairie

The near-natural open area to the west of the Tropicarium, across from the “Goethe-Garten”, presents herbaceous perennials and annuals from the grassland steppes of Asia and Europe and the prairies of North America. The low nutrient supply and rapid soil drainage are ideal conditions for these plants.

The adjoining meadow, which is mowed twice a year, is home to a diverse array of rare grasses and meadow flowers which now are seldom observed in nature. Directly along the Tropicarium and adjoining the “Goethe-Garten” there are two beds with Mediterranean plants. The climatically privileged setting allows the cultivation of plants that otherwise would not survive the winter here – note the impressive umbrella pine.

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Point of Interest 9 Water Lilies & Tropicarium

During the summer season the ponds surrounding the Tropicarium host various kinds of hardy and tropical water lilies, the South-American giant waterlily, as well as the splendid sacred lotus.

The Tropicarium is divided into sections according to climatic and vegetation zones with plants representing the arid and humid tropics. You may want to consider starting with the humid tropics:

Mangrove & Coastal Rainforest > Montane Rainforest & Cloud Forest > Bromeliads > Lowland Rainforest > Monsoon Forest > Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest > Thorn Forest > Semideser > Fog Desert (perspective) > Lobby with Globe > Exit

In order to convey an impression of the diversity of the tropical areas and their vegetation, the plants here are divided into groups according to their natural habitats. The southern group of greenhouses is devoted to plants from the arid tropics, namely semidesert, fog desert, deciduous dry forest, and thorn forest. The northern complex for the humid tropics features plants from monsoon forest, cloud forest, mangrove swamps, and lowland rainforest. In the center is a house for bromeliads. Not accessible to the public, but partially visible from the outside, are the greenhouses which contain the Palmengarten’s botanical collection. The flower beds around the Tropicarium, and also those along the main pathway and in front of the “Gesellschaftshaus”, present a new colorful vista every year.

Point of Interest 10 Succulent Garden

A special seasonal outdoor display of unique plants is located behind the Tropicarium to the East: an array of impressive non-hardy succulents – cacti, agaves, aloes, and euphorbs – from America, Africa, and the Canary Islands. These are displayed from May through September only. A number of impressive “semi-hardy” palms remain outdoors all year round – with according protection in winter, though.

A selection of exciting fuchsias, reared in the Palmengarten’s own nurseries, is presented in immediate vicinity.

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Point of Interest 11 Entrance Hall Conservatory

The main entrance is integrated in the reconstructed center part of a historic greenhouse originally built in 1905. The facilities here include a shop, classrooms, a lecture hall (Siesmayersaal), as well as the offices of the “Grüne Schule” and “Freunde des Palmengartens”. The upstairs greenhouse presents various kinds of carnivorous plants and bromeliads (especially tillandsias) along with unique container plants.

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