Public greenhouses in the Washington area

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Public greenhouses -- some small jewels, others crystal palaces -- can introduce you to the delights of plants under glass that at best will inspire and at least offer you the pleasures of a greenhouse without the fuss. Here are a few favored by The Post's Adrian Higgins.

National Zoo

The zoo's Amazonia house features a two-story re-creation of an Amazon rain forest under glass, including exotic fish and birds. Open daily 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

3001 Connecticut Ave., NW.

202-633-4800. Free.

U.S. Botanic Garden

As Washington's most lavish plant conservatories, the botanic garden features a central "jungle," with an elevated walk in the canopy, surrounded by a series of smaller greenhouses and halls representing plant habitats. Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 100 Maryland Ave., SW. 202-225-8333. Free.

Hillwood Museum

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