Situated in the northwestern outskirts of Beijing, the Beijing Botanical Garden covers an area of 564,000 square meters. While the garden is counted among the major tourist attractions of the city, it also is an important base for science education and research. The Botanical Garden features many different areas, including a lake, the Perennial Garden, Peony Garden, Ornamental Peach Garden, and various other gardens featuring camellias, bamboo, tree peonies, ornamental cherries and many others. The most important attraction within the Garden probably is the Conservatory, a greenhouse, about 10.000 square meters in size. It holds the Rain Forest House, the Orchid House, Desert Garden House, and other various exhibitions. Several thousand differing plant species can be found throughout the gardens, some of them famous or very rare specimen. The metasequoia, for example, is one of these rare species. Discovered in the 1940s, these fast-growing, large trees that belong to the same family as the famous Californian Giant Sequoia, have been cultivated in one area of the Botanical Garden.