Pretty much all of the buildings situated in Balboa Park were designed to catch one’s eye, but certainly one of the more unique structures on display is the historic Botanical Building. Built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, this filled with flowers building remains to this day one of the largest lath structures ever built in the world, and indeed it, together with the large Lily Pond out front, is easily one of the most photographed scenes of Balboa Park.
As an indoor botanical garden, the free to enter Botanical Building houses plantings that include over 2,100 permanent plants, featuring a fascinating collection of cycads, ferns, orchids, tropical plants, and palms. Actively supported by a large group of botanists and garden enthusiasts, the Botanical Building is also responsible for putting together most of the Park’s vibrant seasonal flower displays.
While certainly not the largest botanical building that I’ve ever visited, it certainly is one of the most charming, with the lathes casting wonderful patterns of light and dark, all whilst working hard at keeping the interior cool and just the right amount of humid. It’s a pretty space containing some very unique flowers that should then tickle the interest of pretty much any and every visiting garden enthusiast.
And yes, because I was visiting Balboa Park around the Halloween silly season, there were pumpkins. Lots of pumpkins.
Sandwiched between the Museum of Art and the Timken Art Gallery, quite frankly the Botanical Building is a piece of art!