ENGLAND: Cheshire – Chester Zoo

Moston Road, Upton-by-Chester CH2 1EU

t 01244 380 280


Chester Zoo
Photograph Courtesy of Chester Zoo

The Collection

The Zoo has a collection of over 1,500 cacti maintained by their lead horticulturist, Jo Adderley (a BCSS member).

The arid display is inside one of two greenhouse open to the visiting public. The first section is a tropical house which, as well as demonstrating the uses of some fascinating world plants has a display of Nepenthes, one of the five National Plant Collections held at Chester Zoo. (The Zoo currently house the largest collection of Nepenthes in the UK and a rare collection of Pleurothallidinae orchids.)  You pass through a newly constructed corridor and enter into the arid house.

The extensive collection is largely bench grown and what’s more it hosts the National Collections of three cactus genera: Copiapoa, Matucana and Turbinicarpus.  The public display has been split geographically and comprises a selection of Mexican cacti and succulents, plants endemic to Madagascar and the African continent, and a bed in the shape of South America with cacti from each region in location.  Other cacti held are Mammillaria, Melocactus, Gymnocalycium and Ariocarpus, along with many other genera. A number of succulents are also on show, including Gasteria, Haworthia, and some interesting Euphorbia and stapeliad species.

The entire collection can be seen from the public area but if you would like to get a closer look it is recommended that you contact Jo directly to arrange a visit. Email:

Nearest BCSS Branch

Chester & North Wales: www.chester.bcss.org.uk/BCSSChester/Home.html

Meetings are held at Ness Botanic Gardens. Please see the Branch website for meeting dates and programme.

A Member’s View

If you are interested in nature, as well as cacti and succulents, this is a definite must-see destination. There is so much to see that you need to plan the whole day at the zoo, not forgetting to visit the cacti and succulents of course!

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