Glasshouse turns up the heat

Environment Minister Mark Speakman today opened the first glasshouse in 90 years built to propagate and grow plants in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.

Glasshouse, Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney

“The glasshouse can be climate controlled to grow plants from almost any region on Earth,” Mr Speakman said.

The glasshouse will propagate and grow plants for The Calyx, which will be a world leading horticultural display centre when it opens in June.

“The Calyx will house up to 18,000 plants to form the southern hemisphere’s largest green wall,” Mr Speakman said.

The glasshouse, despite its name, is made of plexiglass and twin polycarbonate to maximise light and UV transmission.

“The twin polycarbonate walls insulate the glasshouse, keeping it cooler in summer and warmer in winter, cutting energy costs by up to 40 per cent compared with a traditional glasshouse,” Mr Speakman said.

The materials used in construction are fully recyclable and will last up to 30 years without replacement.

Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands Executive Director Kim Ellis thanked the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens for their $1 million contribution to the project.

“The valuable addition of the new glasshouse to our beautiful world-class Garden is yet another reason to celebrate during the Garden’s landmark 200th birthday year,” Mr Ellis said.

The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is Australia’s oldest living scientific and horticultural institution. It manages a collection of native and exotic plants from across the globe. Almost four million people visit the Garden every year.