Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Getting back to business...

I've been away at a conference for the past 4 days. It was cold, wet and rainy. It was nice to get back into the greenhouses where its warm. I was very surprised at how much everything grew. I found this sign on the blackboard. It made my day. Thanks UTK recycling!
I really like finding bugs in and outside of the greenhouses. On every single fennel I saw yesterday, I saw this caterpillar.
It will turn into a beautiful swallowtail butterfly (Papilio zelicaon). 
Meanwhile, inside the greenhouses, there is an Illicium floridanum that is flowering.
As per the name, it a native to Florida.
Also flowering is this cactus. It smells mildly of rotting meat, especially at evening. The genus is Stapelia and the common name is Carrion Flower. The smell is to attract flies to pollinate the flowers. Gladly, there are no carrion flies in the greenhouse.
Lastly, you may have seen Nepenthes Pitcher plants, but have you ever seen their flowers? These ones are males.

Friday, September 18, 2015

All about orchids

Today I'm posting photographs of orchids. I'm sorry I can't tell you what they all are; most of them don't have any labels.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

This was the highlight of my day: Individual banana flowers.
This was also exciting this week. I had a Monstera fruit rot and pull apart in my hands last Friday. This week, I checked if there were any more rotting fruits. The one came off. Apparently these things are edible. They taste like a cross between a pineapple and a banana. They are ripe when those green things come off. This one was rotten on the other side, but not quite ripe enough to eat. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't delicious either.
This was the cactus that has been blooming for a long time. The flowers open and close diurnally.
When someone brought a plant in from outside, they also brought a caterpillar inside. This is a Polygonia interrogationis, or Question Mark butterfly.

And this is what it turned into. Apparently it tries to blend in with its background. In this case, it was a dark room. I think the silver points are meant to be eyes.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

This banana is diploid, not triploid. It has great big seeds inside of it.

The banana is about to flower.

This is a young cacao pod.

Bromeliad flowers

Costus flower. We also have a red flowering individual and a variegated individual.


Illicium flower. This is one of the oldest lineages of flowering plants. Dr. Joe Williams is interested in their flowers.


As the Hesler Biology Building's Greenhouse Manager has recently retired and no one has been hired to take his place, I have been tasked with the job of watering the plants and weeding in the interim. I would like to share with you some of the plants that have been flowering and fruiting in the greenhouses. The first post will be what I've seen over the past two weeks. Every post since then will be weekly.