About | Gallery | Service | Firms | Fun | Research

Reconciling User Needs in Animal Exhibit Design Carlyn Worstell
Content - Introduction - Chapter 1 - Chapter 2 - Chapter 3 - Chapter 4 - Chapter 5 - Chapter 6 - Chapter 7 - Chapter 8 - Chapter 9 - References

9. Plant List for moderate climate

Botanic Name

Actinidia arguta

vigorous, fast-growing, adaptable vine with dark green leaves

Ailanthus altissima

tough, durable, tree that thrives in compacted and conditions, endures salty soils, interesting flowers and fruit – may be messy in visitor areas

Aristolochia durior

vine with huge leaves, very fast-growing and adaptable

Asimina triloba

large, shiny leaves, tasty fruit


fast-growing, use for screening, thorns may prevent animals from destroying


fast-growing, attracts butterflies, survives in gorilla exhibit at Belfast

Catalpa speciosa

a very adaptable tree with large leaves and prominent flowers, tolerates compacted and salty soils

Cedrela sinensis

straight-trunked tree with peeling bark that tolerates extreme soil conditions and self-propagates through suckers (which animals will control)

Celtis occidentalis*

grows in tough conditions including salty soil, grey bark

Cladrastis kentukea

grey bark, fragrant flowers, tolerates most soils

Cornus alba or sericea

large leaves, interesting stems in winter, propagates through suckering, tolerant of a variety of conditions

Crataegus x lavallei

does well in well-drained soils and is more disease resistant than other hawthorns, fruits may be messy in visitor areas

Gymnocladus dioica

endures great stress, rich blue-green leaves, interesting bark, quite fine-textured, so best if placed near back


evergreen, interesting - unpleasant scent, lustrous leaves, purple color in winter

Liriodendron tulipifera

large, glossy leaves, can grow very large, columnar growth habit, a well-established one has survived un-protected in Leipzig’s gorilla enclosure very well

Liriodendron tulipifera

many species of durable vines, salt tolerant


many species, especially macrophylla, have very large leaves, interesting bark, extremely adaptable, may tolerate salty soils

Mahonia aquifolium

evergreen, glossy leaves, fragrant flowers, abundant fruit, can be used in shady areas, chimps at Chester Zoo pick leaves (Sparrow)

Myrica pensylvanica*

tolerates salty soils, propagates readily through suckering

Paulownia tomentosa

large dark green leaves, used to re-vegetate strip-mined land because of its adaptability and fast growth rate, interesting fruits and fragrant flowers, tolerates compacted soils

Platanus x acerifolia

large, dark green leaves, tolerates nearly all soils

Pyracantha coccinea

stiff, thorny branches may deter animals

Pyrus ussuriensis

large, glossy leaves, somewhat salt-tolerant

Rhus glabra

spreads easily, difficult to destroy, interesting texture, tolerates salty soils

Ribes alpinum

fast-growing shrub, very adaptable, can be used for screening


quickly regenerates, tolerates salty soils, interesting stems in winter


fast-growing shrub, tastes bitter so gorillas tend not to eat it, although at Blackpool they enjoy the berries, has been said to be toxic - probably depends on individual populations (Stronge, Webster)

Syringa reticulata

tree-like form of lilac with fragrant flowers, very adaptable to difficult conditions

Tilia Americana

large, lustrous leaves, fragrant flowers, and small, hard fruit, columnar growth habit, adaptable to rough conditions, including salty soils


collected in nearby woods for use in gorilla exhibit at the Houston Zoo, anchored by eye-bolts to ceiling on wall beams making them favorite swinging and climbing structures, animals also eat the bark so they must be replaced periodically ( Maple & Hoff)


exotic appearance, thrives in poor soils, adds interesting texture, salt tolerant


*this plant is a favorite food of gorillas. It should be protected from animals or placed in visitor areas, and regularly cut for browse material.

Reconciling User Needs in Animal Exhibit Design Next Chapter

Revised 2017-05-17
About | Gallery | Service | Firms | Fun | Research