ENGLAND: Cambridgeshire – Cambridge University Botanic Garden

1 Brookside, Cambridge CB2 1JE

t 01223 336 265


Cambridge University Botanic Garden
Photograph Howard Rice (howardrice.co.uk)

The Collection

Cambridge Botanic is a heritage-listed, 40-acre garden, which holds an amazing nine National Plant Collections. It is planted with year-round interest and seasonal inspiration in mind, and features plants from all over the world. The glasshouses host a number of different environments, including Mountains, Tropical Wetlands, Tropical Rainforest, Oceanic Islands and Arid Lands.

Recently re-landscaped, the Arid Lands greenhouse contains African plants on one side and New World plants from the Americas on the other. There is a strong educational focus to the display which is intended to show the variety of mechanisms to cope with lack of fresh water, comparing the succulent plants with others that live alongside them, such as Fouquieria splendens (often grown by BCSS members but is not especially succulent). The display highlights convergent evolution; that is, the phenomenon whereby completely unrelated plants from Africa and the Americas have evolved to look rather similar.

Overall the cactus and succulent collection is not particularly large or specialist. There are some large aloes and agaves and a number of cereoid (columnar) cacti, mostly in open beds with other genera, including Opuntia, Ferocactus and Mammillaria. There is a very good outdoor display as well, with hardy succulents and a few cacti.

Nearest BCSS Branch

Cambridge: http://www.viridis.net/cactus/cambcss.html

Meetings are held in Great Shelford. Please see the Branch website for meeting dates and programme.

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