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CU Alumni appreciate the Conservatory during Reunion Weekend

Reposted from Discovery That Connects, the School of Integrative Plant Science blog:

Cornell alumni, some visiting campus for the first time since creation of SIPS and opening of the new Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory, had an opportunity to learn more during the midday Botany and Plant Sciences Alumni gathering on Saturday June 10.  Visiting alumni were treated to refreshments including just-harvested Honeoye strawberries from Marvin Pritts, historical photos and videos, and conversation with current faculty and staff.

Midday tours were also provided in the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory where visitors could view the newly opened Victoria Lily among many other attractions.

Victoria lily poised to flower

Victoria lily at 7 a.m. June 9.

Victoria lily at 7 a.m. June 9.

The Victoria lily (Victoria x ‘Longwood Hybrid’) in the Palm House water feature is poised to flower, perhaps the evening of June 9.

The Conservatory will be open during the School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) Alumni Gathering Saturday, June 10 from 11:30 a.m. 1:30 p.m. in G22 Plant Science.

Learn more about the Victoria lily.

Stop by for a study break!

There are always plenty of plants to engage with at the Conservatory. Of particular note now:

Brownea spp. flowering in the Palm House low on the tree for great viewing. If you can’t make it before this flower fades, there’s another bud adjacent to it poised to bloom.  (View Brownea time-lapse video.)

Brownea spp.

Brownea spp.

There’s a new Victoria x ‘Longwood Hybrid’ water lily in all it’s spiny glory in the water feature in the Palm House. It’s not flowering yet, but it is thriving since its move from a tub the Plant Science greenhouse. (View Victoria lily time-lapse video.)

New Victoria lily in the water feature in the Palm House.

New Victoria lily in the water feature in the Palm House.

Brownea flowering again

Stop by the Conservatory soon if you’d like to see the spectacular display of our Panama Flame Tree or Rose of Venezuela (Brownea spp.)

This small evergreen tropical tree is a native of South and Central America where it grows in the rainforest understory and is used as a source of medicine, wood and handicrafts. It is a member of the Fabaceae plant family.

The flower is short-lived and will likely fade in a few days. But if you miss it this time, it’s been flowering every few months since moving into the Conservatory’s Palm House near the water feature.

Brassia spp. (spider orchid)

Brassia spp. (spider orchid)

Brassia spp. (spider orchid)

Brassia is a genus of commonly cultivated orchids that are native to Central and South America. They have flowers with long and spreading tepals which lend them the common name spider orchid.

The resemblance is key to their pollination strategy. Female spider-hunter wasps mistake the flowers for spiders, sting the lip of the flower and try to grasp the ‘prey’ without success. Doing so, they contact the pollinarium, which sticks to its head, then hopefully attacks another Brassia flower and pollinates it.

 

IHS visits LHBC

60 Ithaca High School students visited the Conservatory March 10, where research support specialist Ed Cobb and SIPS assistant director Magdalen Lindeberg (disguised as Marie Antoinette) helped them make connections between plants and the French Revolution.

Marie Antoinette played a big role in popularizing potatoes in France, and even favored their flowers.

Marie Antoinette played a big role in popularizing potatoes in France, and even favored their flowers.

Cobb explains how the  L′Orangerie du Château de Versailles made it possible for French nobility to enjoy citrus fruits far outside the plants' native range.

Cobb explains how the L′Orangerie du Château de Versailles made it possible for French nobility to enjoy citrus fruits far outside the plants’ native range.

After the history lesson, IHS students explored the rest of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory collection.

After the history lesson, IHS students explored the rest of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory collection.

Cobb and Lindeberg

Cobb and Lindeberg with potato flowers

Brownea timelapse

If you missed the flowering last week of the Brownea spp. in the Palm House (no one was there to witness it Wednesday night), you can watch the dance in this video

Flowering now: Brownea spp. (Panama Flame Tree, Rose of Venezuela)

Flowering now: Brownea spp. (Panama Flame Tree, Rose of Venezuela)

Brownea spp. (Panama Flame Tree, Rose of Venezuela)

Stop by the Conservatory before the weekend if you’d like to see the spectacular display of our Panama Flame Tree or Rose of Venezuela (Brownea spp.)

This small evergreen tropical tree is a native of South and Central America where it grows in the rain forest understory and is used as a source of medicine, wood and handicrafts. It is a member of the Fabaceae plant family.

The flower is short-lived and will likely fade by the weekend. But if you miss it this time, it’s been flowering every few months since moving into the Conservatory’s Palm House near the water feature.

Flowering now: Pseudobombax ellipticum (Shaving Brush Tree)

Flowering now (February 10): Pseudobombax ellipticum (Shaving Brush Tree) in the Palm House near the door to the Student House. The Central American native is covered with buds, promising an extended flowering season.

Pseudobombax ellipticum

Pseudobombax ellipticum

Nature photographers visit LHBC

Click on slider images for larger view:

 

Members of the Cayuga Nature Photographers group visited the Conservatory February 4 to sharpen their skills and share techniques in the warm confines of the glasshouse. Group members range from beginners to accomplished professionals. They meet monthly and sponsor outing to help improve each other’s skills.

Additional images from the group’s newsletter editor Paul Schmitt:

Photo by Paul Schmitt

Photo by Paul Schmitt

Photo by Paul Schmitt

Photo by Paul Schmitt

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