Greenhouse Mandarin tree (Citrus reticulata) Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Gilles Murray) Bananas in a banana tree (Musa x paradisiaca 'Gros Michel') Photo: Espace pour la vie/Claude Lafond Papaya (Carica papaya) in fruit Photo: Espace pour la vie/Gilles Murray Cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum myrianthum) in the tropical food plant greenhouse Photo: Space for Life/Michel Tremblay Coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) Photo: Espace pour la vie/Yoko Wakiyama Pepper tree (Piper nigrum) Photo: Espace pour la vie/Catherine Boudreault The jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) usually weighs several kilograms, up to 25 kg Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Michel Tremblay) The Tropical Food Plants Greenhouse Photo: Michel Tremblay The Tropical Food Plants Greenhouse Photo: Michel Tremblay OngletsDescriptionThe tropical food plants showcased in the Greenhouse come in an astonishing variety of shapes and colors. A glance in your fridge and cupboards is all it takes to notice the number of fruits, vegetables and species that are of tropical origin. Coffee, bananas, avocados, cashews, ginger, vanilla, pineapples: the list is long, because these foods have become so much a part of our everyday diets. But the plants that produce these foods – what do they look like? Here’s to diversity! Nearly 80 species share the Tropical Food Plants Greenhouse, ranging from ground-hugging herbaceous plants to large fruit trees that reach the top of the greenhouse. And visitors get to discover that all parts of the plants can be used to feed humankind: fruit (bananas, grapefruit, avocado); rhizome (ginger, arrowroot); stem (sugar cane); bark (cinnamon); leaves (tea, curry); seeds (rice, coffee). The Tropical Food Plants Greenhouse alerts visitors to the importance of tropical food plants within the plant world and in our societies. The plants presented originate from regions with very different climatic and ecological conditions. That makes for quite the challenge when it comes to providing for the specific needs of each species to keep them in good health and producing fruit. Area504 m²Temperaturedaytime 24°C, nighttime 22°C (variable according on the season)HumidityBetween 50 and 80%For more informationIndoor plants Map Shade garden Flowery Brook and Lilacs Frédéric Back Tree Pavilion Aquatic Garden Reception Gardens Peace Garden Courtyard of the Senses Chinese Garden Youth Gardens Alpine Garden Japanese Garden Leslie Hancock Garden Shrub Garden Toxic plantsMedicinal plantsMonastery GardenQuébec Corner Garden of Innovations Food Garden Perennial Garden Arboretum Rose Garden First Nations Garden ExploreWorth exploringFor the curious Venture up on the Tropical Food Plants Greenhouse footbridge to get a perspective from high up of the plants surrounding you. Make sure to see the jackfruit. Our specimen often has a developing fruit. The jackfruit is known as the tree that produces the world’s biggest. At maturity, its football-shaped fruit can weigh up to 50 kilograms. There’s also a place for spices in the greenhouse. Nine of those – cardamom, star anise, vanilla, allspice, pepper, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and mace – are presented in transparent cylinders spread out along the pathway through the greenhouse. The interpretation panels focus on a curious aspect or a less well-known fact connected to the plant that supplies the spice. Did you know?Did you know?Preserving the biodiversity of food plant Biodiversity doesn’t find expression only in the number of different plant species, but also in the diversity found in a single species. Think of all the varieties of apples we’re familiar with and whose distinctive flavors we enjoy. How can we protect this extraordinary diversity? That diversity could serve to develop new varieties resistant to the diseases and pests that threaten our crops. The accompanying texts in the Tropical Food Plants Greenhouse raise these questions by using the case of the banana tree. Powerful economic drivers Food plants are found at the heart of the economy of a number of producing tropical countries. The gathering or harvest, along with the processing of all these foods, generate hundreds of thousand of jobs and affect billions of people. Certain plants, like rice or manioc, are the staple food of many populations: their production is essential to survival. Others, like coffee or cacao, play a decisive economic role, as these are popular export products, in great demand on every continent.There are also fruits, like bananas and mangoes, produced in massive quantities in order to meet growing needs in the four corners of the planet. The information conveyed in the greenhouse pays special attention to plants like sugar cane and the date palm, whose production has important repercussions on the environment.