Matthaei Conservatory

Difficulty: ????
Part of the SummerGame2014 Game

Something pretty amazing and rare is happening at the University of Michigan’s Matthaei Bontanical Gardens inside the Conservatory. There is an 80 year old agave plant (from Mexico) that has been getting ready to bloom for several months now. It’s been sending out an epic stalk that has grown to 28 feet - so tall they had to remove the glass from the ceiling to let it grow to it's full potential. This week the first real blooms have started to emerge! Once the bloom is done the plant will die - but with identical “pups” left behind to grow new agave plants. Let’s take a trip!

The Matthaei Botanical Gardens are located on Dixboro road about 1 mile from Plymouth Road. It’s free to enter the Conservatory, but parking is $1.40 per hour (daily max of $5). For complete directions, hours and details visit [here]

The Conservatory was opened in 1964. It is a commission by Alden B. Dow and is an exceptionally rare structure. [here]

1. After you have used the bathroom and visited the delightful gift shop it’s time to start our Conservatory exploration. Enter the doors and you will find yourself in the Tropical House. Stop at the gorgeous goldfish pond right near the door and admire it’s mossy, fern surround beauty. Find your first code on the sign in the pond - it’s long, scientific name for the lily found there (the third line of text)

2. Next locate the sign that explains the “Tropical Biome” surrounding you. Locate the the color coded guide on the map - your next code is the word representing the magenta/purple spots on the map.

3. Now travel along the path and take the first right along the curved brick wall. There’s a lovely tree to find - a tree that Willy Wonka and the Oompa Loompas might find perfect for making their favorite food. Once you find the tree located the two-word name on the 2nd line of the sign - this is your next code

4. Now in the same general area turn around and look for the plants growing in small stalks all over the ground - they look like they have small, yellow pineapples on their tops. Your next code is the name of the plant - all one word

Enjoy the rest of the Tropical House and when you’re ready move on to the Temperate House to find your next clue. When you pass underneath to enter the Temperate House be sure to stop and visit the wonderful, unique and giant botanical kaleidoscope on your far left. Be sure to spin the pot of plants in the middle before you look in the viewfinder!

5. Enjoy the sights of the Temperate House - including the small bonsai tree area on the left (and don’t forget the new, extensive, bonsai garden outside in the Botanical Gardens). Make your way to the fern/koi pond at the far end. To the left of the pond there’s a fragrant, white, climbing flower growing there. Your next code is the two word name of this plant -

6. Okay now it’s time to head back to the Desert House and visit the agave/century plant! After you give it a good long gander work your way to the rear of the Desert House and find a cactus with long “tentacle” like “arms” - it looks almost fuzzy and it has a name that would be a fitting tribute to the winter we all just survived - especially if winter was also a ferocious dinosaur. Your last code is the name of the cactus.

Well done! Another park explorer badge done!

360 SummerGame2014 point bonus when earned

This badge has been awarded to 331 players

Game CodeDescriptionEarned On
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