Princess of Wales Conservatory

Travel from the deserts to the tropics with a trip through this glassy wonderland.

View of species from the dry tropics in the Princess of Wales Conservatory

With ten computer-controlled climate zones, the Princess of Wales Conservatory is a glassy labyrinth leading you through a series of fascinating ecosystems.   

In our zone dedicated to carnivorous plants, you’ll discover the conditions that helped predatory species like Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) or pitcher plants (Nepenthes) evolve to swallow their prey in less than half a second.  

There’s a new surprise at every corner of this winding glasshouse. Take in spiky cacti and succulents as you travel through the dry tropics and emerge into the dense, steamy zones where tropical orchids and bright bromeliads come alive.  

There’s plenty of beauty on display too. The celebrated giant waterlily Victoria amazonica floats in the wet tropical zone, where its spectacular white flowers open at sunset, filling the air with a strong perfume before they are pollinated and turn bright pink by the morning.  

A little bit of history 

In 1985 Sir David Attenborough buried a time capsule containing seeds of basic food crops and endangered species in the foundation of the Princess of Wales Conservatory. 

David Attenborough holding a time capsule before it was buried in the foundations of the Princess of Wales Conservatory
David Attenborough, 1985

It will be opened in 2085, when many of the plants it contains may be rare or extinct.

Nearest entrance

Elizabeth Gate

Vising the Princess of Wales Conservatory 

  • Our glasshouses are open until one hour before the Gardens close.  Please see our opening times for full details. 
  • We may occasionally need to close attractions for maintenance or visitor safety: check for planned closures and visitor notices before you visit.

Discover more of Kew

Did you know?