Temperate House

Discover rare and threatened plants in the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse.

The Temperate House

Travel the world in this glittering cathedral – home to 1,500 species of plants from Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Following a major five-year renovation process, the Temperate House re-opened in 2018 to showcase the splendour of the world’s temperate zones.  

As temperate plants, all the species contained within its walls need to live in conditions above 10oC to survive. Despite being the foundation of much life on Earth, many of these plants are under threat.   

The Temperate House tells the story of how Kew and partners all around the world are working to rescue plants that are rare or already extinct in the wild.  

Filled with 10,000 individual plants, this vast collection may help us find solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues, from climate change to loss of biodiversity or food security.  

Enriched by over 250 years of plant expertise, the freshly restored Temperate House has once again become the beating heart of Kew – an iconic landmark and a beacon of the future for plant science.  

Nearest entrance 

Lion Gate. 
For step-free access, please follow the signs to the western side of the building. 

Visiting the Temperate House 

  • 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. 

Explore Temperate House

Discover some of the world’s most unique plants.

  • Kaka beak, Clianthus maximus

    Kaka beak

    Kaka beak (Clianthus maximus) is endemic to New Zealand. Its unusual common name refers to an endangered New Zealand parrot, known locally as the kaka. 

    For more stories see temperate.house 
  • Tree pincushion

    Tree pincushion

    Tree pincushion (Leucospermum conocarpodendron) is endemic to South Africa. Our specimen is grown from seed collected in 1803, germinated by Kew scientists. 

    For more stories see temperate.house 
  • Chilean wine palm (Jubaea chilensis)

    Chilean wine palm

    Chilean wine palm (Jubaea chilensis) is native to Chile in South America. Its sap has been widely used for palm wine, which can only be extracted by felling the tree.

    For more stories see temperate.house

An award-winning destination

The Temperate House was voted Best UK National Treasure at the 2018 National Geographic Traveller Magazine Reader Awards.

Acknowledgements  

Kew would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund, Defra, Eddie and Sue Davies, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Wolfson Foundation, The Linbury Trust, The Hartnett Conservation Trust, and other supporters. 

  • Lottery Heritage Fund logo
  • DEFRA logo

Thanks also to donors supporting the Horticultural and Construction Apprenticeships, including the J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, the Buffini Chao Foundation, Make My Day Better, The Ingram Trust, the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation, the Finnis Scott Foundation, the Ernest Cook Trust, CHK Charities Limited, the Sandra Charitable Trust, the Vandervell Foundation, the Radcliffe Trust, the Eranda Foundation, the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, the Lake House Charitable Foundation, the Helen Hamlyn Trust, the February Foundation, and other supporters. 

About the Heritage Lottery Fund 

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, or from precious memories and collections to rare and unique wildlife www.hlf.org.uk.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

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