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Introduction

Welcome to the Temperate Pyramid where plants change with the seasons. The major factors limiting growth in temperate regions are climate and hours of daylight. Please start the tour at the pyramid entrance. This map illustrates the five major temperate biomes.

Follow the directions and read the plant labels to find the plants along the tour. Hint: 1 metre = 1 huge step. Use the table of contents to read about each plant as you find them. Please remain on the path and do not pick any plant material.

Moving On

Walk ahead 6m to see the southern magnolia.

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Southern Magnolia

Southern Magnolia
Scientific Name: Magnolia grandiflora
Origin: Southeastern United States
Fun Facts:

  • Broadleaf plant
  • Evergreen (does not lose leaves annually)
  • Can withstand hurricane winds
  • Resistant to air pollution and drought
  • Some magnolias are deciduous (lose leaves annually)

Moving On

Look down the path on the right at the deciduous magnolia behind the bunya-bunya tree.

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Bunya-bunya

Bunya-bunya
Scientific Name: Araucaria bidwillii
Origin: Australia
Fun Facts:

  • Famous for football-sized cones
  • Cones are made every three years by female trees
  • Each cone contains 50-100 nuts
  • Related to the Norfolk Island pine and wollemi pine
  • Logged intensively in the past
  • Now protected and have made a comeback in the wild

Moving On

Walk 6m down the path
Look in the corner on the right. The horse chestnut tree has many uses as well.

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Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut
Scientific Name: Aesculus hippocastanum
Origin: Greece, Albania and Balkans
Fun Facts:

  • Nuts are inedible
  • Seeds resemble bumps on a horse's legs; hence the common name
  • Pink flowers have a yellow spot that attracts insects for pollination
  • Once pollinated, the flower becomes red, a colour that many insects can't see

Challenge Yourself

As you walk down the path, count how many different colors of plants you see. We have many different varieties of flowers in this pyramid!

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Stop and smell the flowers

As you walk down the path notice the fragrances of the Temperate Pyramid. Which plants do you think smell the best?

The essential oil from pine needles, twigs and cones are used in aromatherapy and as a cleaning product.

Eucalyptus oil has a strong smell and is used in sweets, cough drops and decongestants.

Moving On

Walk 5m down the path
 Look left to see the dawn redwood.

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Dawn Redwood

Dawn Redwood
Scientific Name: Metasequoia glyptostroboides
Origin: North America, Asia and Europe
Fun Facts:

  • Redwoods are the tallest living trees on earth.
  • Coniferous (produces cones)
  • Deciduous (looses needles in the winter)
  • Fossils date back 100 million years
  • Fossils found across North America, Asia and Europe
  • Was thought to be extinct until 1941 when a living specimen was found
  • Living trees now only found in China

Moving On

Walk around the corner and across the bridge
 Look left at the wollemi pine, another coniferous tree.

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Wollemi Pine

Wollemi Pine

Scientific Name: Wollemia nobilis
Origin: Australia
Fun Facts:

  • One of the oldest and rarest trees in the world
  • Fossils date back 90 million years
  • Living specimen not found until 1994
  • Related to the bunya-bunya, Norfolk Island pine and monkey puzzle tree
  • Leaves become more blue-green and bark bubbles as tree ages
  • Less than 100 living in the wild today

Moving On

Look behind you at the maidenhair tree, which like the wollemi, is old enough that it may have been food for dinosaurs.

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Maidenhair Tree

Maidenhair Tree
Scientific Name: Ginkgo biloba
Origin: China
Fun Facts:

  • Fossils date back to around 200 million years
  • Dinosaurs may have been responsible for dispersing seeds
  • Buddhist monks cultivate Ginko for medicine
  • Used to aid digestion, circulation, breathing, memory, cancer prevention
  • Used to enhance concentration and brain power
  • The only exact species in its taxonomic class Ginkoopsida

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Word Scramble

Unscramble the letters to form words for plants found in the Temperate Pyramid.

  1. AGIA
  2. AMOBOB
  3. NERF
  4. SHRUBLOBTET

(Hint: You can look at plant tags and signs to help with the answers.)

 View Answers

Moving On

 Look left to see rosemary. To enjoy the scent of this fragrant plant, lightly graze your hand across its leaves and then smell your hand.

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Rosemary

Rosemary
Scientific Name: Rosmarinus officinalis
Origin: Mediterranean
Fun Facts:

  • Commonly used culinary herb
  • During the middle ages it was a symbol of remembrance and worn at funerals and weddings
  • Memory stimulant
  • Promotes circulation and alertness
  • Muscle relaxant (aids digestion and cramps)

What other cooking ingredients can you find in the pyramids?

Moving On

Walk 15m down the path
Look right to find one example, the Japanese persimmon tree.

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Japanese Persimmon Tree

Japanese Persimmon Tree
Scientific Name: Diospyros kaki
Origin: Japan and mainland Asia
Fun Facts:

  • Drought tolerant
  • Produces baseball-sized fruit
  • Leaves used to flavour pickled radishes
  • Seeds are used to make a coffee substitute
  • Fruit used in cosmetics
  • Related to the ebony tree
  • Wood used for fine furniture and carving

Moving On

Walk 3m down the parth
Look right at another fruit tree, the pomegranate tree.

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Pomegranate

Pomegranate
Scientific Name: Punica granatum
Origin: Asia, India and the Mediterranean
Fun Facts:

  • Pomegranate juice is the base for grenadine (red syrup)
  • Juice contains enzymes that tenderize meat
  • All parts of the tree are used as a tannin for curing leather
  • Rind and flowers yield dyes for textiles
  • Ink is produced from leaves
  • Insecticide is derived from its bark
  • You may see fruit from September to February in the temperate pyramid
  • Fruits grow from March to May in the southern hemisphere

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Word Scramble Answers

  1. Gaia
  2. Bamboo
  3. Fern
  4. Bottlebrush

 Back to Word Scramble

 

Thank You

Thank you for visiting the Muttart Conservatory and learning more about the Temperate Pyramid. Visit the Temperate Pyramid in a different season to discover what happens when the plants are exposed to different temperatures and light levels. There are more QR Code tours available in each of the pyramids. If you would like to take part in a guided tour of the pyramids, please visit on a Saturday and Sunday when we have scheduled drop-in tours. Please visit the Muttart Conservatory website and Facebook pages for up-to-date information on upcoming special events and information about the facility.

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Moving On

Try another tour:

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