Edmonton's conservatory not only boasts a wide variety of botanical plant life but also a unique architectural design of pyramids reminiscent of the ones found in Egypt. Opened to the public in September 1976, the conservatory was design by Peter Hemingway, renowned Canadian architect.

The Muttart Conservatory is open year round allowing visitors to escape into different parts of the world. It is meant to allow people to experience plants found globally and although the rooms are rather small, it is intriguing to see plants you cannot come across in our region.

There are 4 separate pyramids found within the Muttart Conservatory; the Tropical Pyramid, the Arid Pyramid, the Temperate Pyramid and the Feature Pyramid.

The Tropical Pyramid was one of the prettier and slightly bigger rooms. As soon as you walk in, you feel a rush of hot and humid air, not only to mimic the regions temperate but also to allow the plants of the tropics to grow. The room is covered in green, luscious plants, some being tall enough to reach the ceiling. The fragrant and beautiful, bright plants are found from all over the tropical grasslands, tropical evergreen forests and tropical forests. Of course, going at the end of September, many of the flowers were at the end of their season and past their bloom. We're sure if we went earlier in the season, we would be graced with even more vibrant colours. There is also a waterfall found towards the centre of the room where you can find some small fish and water lilies.

The Arid Pyramid consists of plants from 5 continents of the world, all from either hot or cold dry climates. Here you can find cacti and a ridiculous amount of different aloe vera plants amongst others. Many of the plants have taken on different peculiar shapes to adapt to the irregular moisture and a widespread difference in the day and night temperatures found in the desert amongst other similar regions. An interesting tidbit; for anyone who has come from regions of Northern Africa, you can also see the history of dates and oases that were vital to the sustainability of people living on non-arable land. Some cultures survived off of these oases and dates for generations.

The Temperate Pyramid consists of many of the plants that we can find here in our region and within the Rocky Mountains. The foliage and plants found within this room are consistently changing with the seasons, so depending on when you go, you get to experience a variety of rich colours and displays.

The Feature Pyramid changes 5 to 7 times a year. With each change, a new theme is displayed along with the appropriate plants and decorations. When we went the feature pyramid was themed as the "Cornucopia of Colour". There were some pumpkins and squash and the decoration was for the Thanksgiving and Halloween seasons. However, the room was the smallest of the 4 pyramids and wasn't as pretty as the other 3 pyramids. That is not to say that other themes may be more decorated and more visually intriguing.

The pyramids are self-guided but there are tours that you can take if you wanted to hear more information on each of the areas. We decided just to stick with the self-guided tour so we could take our time although it would be interesting to see what a guide would have to add.

Muttart Conservatory Photos


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