8 unique greenhouse plants

By Heather Cachola, @HeatherCachola

There is long-awaited construction slated to start in July on the College of Science’s greenhouse.

During the period of construction, all of the plants must be removed from the greenhouse because of safety concerns for the workers and plants. Some are rooted into the soil of the greenhouse, some weigh more than 500 pounds and others are 75 years old, said Richard Cole, facilities operations manager for the Plant Biology greenhouse.

Below are an assortment of the unique plants that can be found.


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Plumeria obtusa- Plumeria or Frangipani, c.n.-  Indonesia, found all tropical areas, 15 years old. Cutting was taken in Hawaii on Sept. 11, 2001. Flowers are known for their scent, used in Hawaiian Leis and worn in hair.

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Phalaenopsis hybrid- Moth Orchid, c.n. — China, Indonesia, 16 years old. Used as a cut flower. Orchids are Epiphytes, which are plants that derive moisture and nutrients from the air and rain, and usually grow on another plant.

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Nepenthes X Miranda- Pitcher plant, c.n. — Southeast Asia. Carnivorous plant that traps insects and absorbs nutrients from its prey. Insects, spiders, and even small frogs and lizards can be trapped in the plants pitchers.

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Encephalartos ferox, Holly Leaf Cycad, c.n. — South Africa. More than 75 years old. Ferox, the species name, is Latin for ferocious, because of its spiny leaves. Cycads are living fossils. The male and female plants produce cones and are gymnosperms. This genus of plants are endangered.

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Dioon spinulosum- Mexico and South America, nearly 100 years old. This ancient plant can be traced back to the Mesozoic era. It is also a gymnosperm.

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Coffea Arabica- Coffee, c.n. Ethiopia, but grown in Africa, Hawaii, Latin America and the Caribbean. This photo is of the fruit, the seed or bean is roasted and ground. It’s believed to be mentioned as a drink as early as 15th century.

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Bougainvillea spectabilis, Bougainvillea or Paper flower, c.n. — South America, this ornamental vine is found all over the tropics, it is also sold in hanging baskets for Northern gardeners.