Plant Profile: Coffee

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks on the planet, trailing only water and tea in global daily consumption. Although it’s a drink many people rely on for a morning pick-me-up, it can be easy to overlook the plant that produces this culturally and economically important caffeinated beverage. What is Coffee? Coffea is a…

Plant Profile: Holly

It’s a plant perhaps best known for decking the halls, but holly goes far beyond holiday decorations.

Plant Profile: Corpse Flower

Perhaps one of the most sensational plants at any botanic garden, the corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) always draws a crowd. This impressive species is known for its size, smell, and the relative rarity of its bloom. What is it? The corpse flower is a member of the Araceae family, also referred to as the aroid…

Plant Profile: Avocado

What is an avocado? Persea americana is an evergreen tree, native to Mexico, Central America and South America. It belongs to Lauraceae, the plant family that also includes cinnamon trees. Avocado trees produce green-skinned, round or pear-shaped fruit containing a single large pit (seed). Botanically speaking, avocado is actually a berry. Its yellow flesh is…

Rare Flower Comes to the Climatron

Keep your eyes peeled on your next trip through the Climatron, and you may spot the beautiful flower of Nesocodon mauritianus. It’s the first time the Garden has been able to put this rare plant on display—and the latest development in our efforts to save this showy species. What is it? Nesocodon mauritianus is a…

Victoria Water Lily Care Comes Full Circle

For the first time in a century, the Garden is bringing the heat back to one of its most iconic displays. The Victoria pool in the Central Axis is now heated, extending the growing season for these aquatic giants and allowing them to reach their full plant potential. It’s the latest development in our care…

Plant Profile: Hops

Stop by the beer aisle at your local grocery store and you’ll find dozens, if not hundreds, of brands, styles, and flavors of beer to choose from. The selection can range from classic American lagers to stouts to more adventurous choices like imperial India pale ales. Despite the diversity, nearly all beers share the same…

Plant Profile: Cacao

There are few plants whose scientific name translates as “food of the gods,” but the Greek name for cacao—Theobroma cacao —does. It makes sense that this plant, famous for being the key ingredient in modern day chocolate, has become important for many cultures around the world. Ethnobotany: The study of the relationships between people and…

Plant Profile: Jackfruit

  The Climatron is home to nearly 3,000 plants, but none are quite as remarkable as Artocarpus heterophyllus. Better known as Jackfruit, this tropical tree stands out for a very big reason: it bears the largest fruits of any tree in the world. What is a Jackfruit? Artocarpus heterophyllus is native to India and Malaysia—but…

Plant Profile: The Poinsettia

Perhaps no plant has as stronger connection to the holiday season than the poinsettia. The brightly colored shrub has been a feature of Garden floral shows for more than a century, and remains an annual star of the Gardenland Express Holiday Flower and Train Show. What is a poinsettia? The poinsettia, Euphorbia pulcherrima, is a…

Plant Profile: The Pawpaw

What is a Pawpaw The pawpaw is the largest native edible fruit in North America, but chances are you’ve never heard of it. The pawpaw (Asimina triloba) has been largely forgotten in the forest, often known only to foragers and in folklore. The pawpaw’s native range encompasses much of the eastern United States, including large…