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Friday, March 29, 2019

Inside The Amazon Spheres Part II

In last Friday's Time Travel post, we visited the Forest area of the Amazon Spheres. This week we're going to be taking a look around the other three floors of the Spheres, as well as at the Living Wall.

On the map below you can see the four levels and how they're laid out.

Map of the Amazon Spheres

There are a number of aquariums with plants and fish that make up the area of the Spheres known as the Paludarium -- basically combination aquarium/terrariums that attempt to recreate the environment of certain areas of the world.

As you turn away from the Paludarium area, you come face to face with the Living Wall. It's visible from all four floors, and at each floor you can see different sets of plants, set into the wall in large swaths. It's impossible to stand in any one spot and get a picture that encompasses the entire wall.

On each floor there are also raised beds containing a myriad of plants.

Lycopodium squarrosum, a clubmoss from Southeast Asia

The canopy walk, where you can walk out and look down onto the Forest area.

The floor slats in the canopy walk move disconcertingly, a bit like a suspension bridge. I walked about 10 feet out onto it before I quite realized that, and immediately turned around and came back. A floor that moves under me is not for me. I contented myself with taking photos down into the Forest area from the solid floor.

The canopy walk also takes you out to the Bird Nest

A central area of the Spheres is dedicated to an employee lounge space

On the top, fourth level is a smaller version of the Living Wall designed to be used as a selfie wall.

The Spheres selfie wall

Misters for humidity are built into the wall and go off at intervals

From the fourth level you can also look down into the Bird Nest

OK, that's enough about how the space is laid out. I'm sure you want to see more plants. There are lots of Begonias and ferns. Some had labels that I remembered to photograph, but I still may not have the names right, because this visit was two seasons ago, so be patient if there are any errors.

Begonia chloroneura

Begonia burkillii

Drimiopsis maculata/African false Hosta

Exotic flowers....

And a wide variety of Sarracenia/pitcher plants

And that concludes my posts about the Amazon Spheres.


  1. What an amazing place. I wonder if the people who work there become interested in growing plants in their own homes. Interesting that we've paved over so much of our urban areas and now are trying to bring a bit of nature back into them. Although one has to wonder about how "natural" it is to have all these tropical cloud forest plants growing in Seattle.

  2. This post bring back wonderful memories of my visit at the Spheres and I know I'll be back there one day. The pitcher plants in the last 3 photos are stunning! They almost look like they are made of glass.

  3. Beautiful photos Alison, I want to go back! I have to admit that moving sensation on the catwalk was a lot freaky. Especially when I was entranced with something below and another visitor would TROMP on by me and cause my brain to momentarily think EARTHQUAKE!!!

  4. I think I set my sights too low with the miniature lath house - I should have asked my husband to build me a miniature climate-controlled sphere. I could live in there.

  5. So very cool! What a rich texture of plant life. Thanks for the great pix!

  6. How long until Amazon sells personal-sized sphere and green wall kits? It seems like a missed opportunity!

  7. Wow, fabulous, thank you!

    I would think the large size of the "living wall" was actually a plus for the plants, greater and more stable humidity and light, even apart from the controlled condition of an enclosure.

    Oh those fabulous begonias! Too dry for the most fabulosa ones here.


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