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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.

 

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

Angraecum sesquipedale (Darwin’s Orchid) in flower

Angraecum sesquipedale

Angraecum sesquipedale

Angraecum sesquipedale — also known as Darwin’s orchid, Christmas orchid, Star of Bethlehem orchid, and King of the Angraecums — is flowering this week in the Student Room of the Conservatory. (Look for it on the east bench.)

But its story began 150 years earlier when Charles Darwin first observed the flower’s foot-long nectary and famously wondered: “Good Heavens, what insect can suck it?”

Darwin’s fascination with Angraecum sesquipedale — and with answering this question — led him to predict a species of moth with a proboscis capable of extending 10 to 11 inches, able to reach the flower’s nectar reserves. To explain the phenomenon, Darwin suggested an arms race of sorts resulting in flowers with perpetually lengthening floral tubes, and moths with perpetually lengthening tongues — a prediction that represents one of his major contributions to evolutionary biology.

Read more.

Despite the short days, there are other interesting plants in flower in the Conservatory.

We’re open this week (Dec. 19-23) 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We’re closed along with the rest of Cornell Dec. 24 through Jan. 2, reopening Jan. 3.

Time lapse videos of Wee Stinky’s 2016 flowering

If you visited during the latest flowering, you only saw a snapshot. These videos will help you take in the whole process:

‘Wee Stinky’ first night – October 14, 2016. Approximately 10 hours compressed into 25 seconds.

‘Wee Stinky’ third flowering – October 14, 2016. Approximately 34 hours compressed into 80 seconds.

Victoria lily is flowering today (October 20)

If you’d like to stop by and see this fascinating flower, the Conservatory is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Learn more about this plant. Sign up for email updates (form in right column, bottom on mobile) and we’ll let you know when the next flower bud opens.

Bill Crepet, chair of the Plant Biology Section took this picture around 6 p.m. Wednesday:

vic-lily

Full length version of the video you watched on social media:

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