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Designed by German architect Gustav Runge, the Palm House was prefabricated by J F Hoper in Bremen, Germany and erected in the Adelaide Botanic Garden in 1876 by the second director Dr R Schomburgk, as a conservatory for tropical plants and palms.
The design is a replica of a conservatory built for AW Rothermund at Oberneuland near Bremen which was demolished in 1933.
Restored during 1993/95 with funds raised by public appeal and a Commonwealth allocation from the 'One Nation' program, the building is the best and only example of its type in the world. It now displays plants from the arid land regions of Madagascar.