Nestled in the valley on the south side of the North Saskatchewan River are four large pyramid-shaped greenhouses that make up the Muttart Conservatory (9626 96A St. off 98th Ave., 780/442-5311, Mon.–Fri. 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m., adult $9.75, senior $7.25, child $5).
Three of the greenhouses contain the flora of specific climates. In the arid pyramid are cacti and other hardy plants found in desert-like conditions. The tropical pyramid holds a humid jungle, one of North America’s largest orchid collections, and colorful and raucous exotic birds, who live among the palms. The temperate pyramid features plant species from four continents, none of which would grow naturally in Edmonton ’s harsh environment.
The contents of the fourth pyramid change with the season but always feature colorful floral displays such as red, white, and yellow poinsettias at Christmastime. Take bus number 85 or 86 south along 100th Street to get to the conservatory.