Large Cactus House
The tour of the display houses begins in the Large Cactus House (Hall A). Gneiss and sand recreate a landscape typical of the deserts and semi-deserts of America. The impressive ball and columnar cacti and the mighty agaves are particularly impressive.
The plants that thrive in low rainfall areas such as deserts, semi-deserts, dry rocky areas and grasslands are called xerophytes. These have developed various methods to survive long periods of drought. Some cover their leaves with a rough, leathery skin to greatly reduce evaporation. Others store the water available at short notice during rainy periods in fleshy, juicy tissues and are therefore called succulents.
Roots, stems, and leaves can serve as water reservoirs. Root succulents are rare, while stem and leaf succulents are common. Among stem succulents, there are forms that store the precious wetness only in the bulbous thickened stem or foot, while others use the entire shoot with main and side branches as a water reservoir.