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Last Updated: Friday, 18 March, 2005, 17:43 GMT
Capital palm house reopens doors
Prince Charles called the palm house a "treasure"
The UK's tallest glass palm house has been reopened by Prince Charles after being returned to its original Victorian splendour.

The Temperate Palm House at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, was shut for 18 months while it underwent a total refurbishment.

The prince said the 23-metre-high Grade A-listed building, designed by Robert Matheson in 1858, was a "treasure".

He said that the palm house had been "brilliantly restored".

The refit included the installation of a new heating system and floor while some of its 15,500 plants were pruned or removed to give the display a new lease of life.

However, none of the plants will be lost to its collection and DNA has been kept of every species for future scientific study.

Temperate Palm House
The Temperate Palm House has been refurbished

Speaking to the public outside the palm house, Prince Charles said: "So many plants are under threat of extinction throughout the world, so what the National Botanic Gardens' role is, is of enormous importance in preserving biodiversity.

"Robert Matheson's beautiful palace of plants is indeed a treasure, not just for the gardens and the city of Edinburgh, but to the whole nation, thanks to the inspired vision of the team here and all its collaborators and the generous support of key benefactors, without whom nothing would happen.

"It has been brilliantly restored and has accorded a new sense of purpose for the 21st Century."

The prince also visited Glasgow's Botanic Gardens where he viewed a memorial to his grandmother, the late Queen Mother.

The city council-commissioned memorial is on display in the Begonia House.

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03 Aug 04 |  Scotland
Historic glass house closes
10 Nov 03 |  Scotland

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