James Sigala is a horticulturist in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at The New York Botanical Garden.
It’s a wonderful time of the year to visit the desert glasshouses at NYBG’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. In the African Desert collection, a colorful and exotic array of inflorescences awaits you, such as the giant canary-yellow flowers adorning the 10-foot-tall Aloe africana, the tangerine-pink flora of the Aloe chabaudii, and everything in between—including the beautiful African jade plant, which is also covered with blossoms.
It is still too early to marvel at the American Desert in full bloom (typically early April), however, just like the African Desert glasshouse, there is a plethora of otherworldly leaf and plant structures to study and enjoy. The sunshine also adds to the visionary experience, by illuminating the spines of certain cacti. All in all, the warmth of the sun and the enchanting arid landscape of the Conservatory desert glasshouses create a wonderful winter escape.