As an agave plant prepares to bloom there for the one-and-only time in its lifetime, here are eight things to know about the Conservatory at Miami University’s Hamilton Campus:
1. The Conservatory, which houses more than 1,000 plants from around the globe, was a gift from Richard J. Fitton, a lifelong friend and advocate of the Hamilton campus.
2. It opened in 2005.
3. All the rooms in the Conservatory are open to guests daily (except Mondays), but “the desert room always seems to inspire the greatest interest, especially to young visitors,” says Miami spokesperson Perry Richardson.
4. The first plant addition, whose catalog number is 1005-0001, is a Dorstenia gigas, which staff affectionately call “Gigas.” It is in the Conservatory’s desert room.
5. The largest tree in the Conservatory’s collection is a bunyan pine, Araucaria bidwillii, which can grow to more than 150 feet high.
6. The building is surrounded by 11,000 square feet of glass, and can easily be spotted on campus because the glass roof and sides make its appearance so different from the other buildings.
7. Schools, clubs and other groups often visit, and the place is ideal for local family trips, especially during the winter.
8. The Conservatory is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.