|Mistletoe growing on a poplar tree|
After a while Niamh took us into the warmth of the glasshouses, which was very welcome on a cold January day. There we learnt that all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. According to Niamh, cacti are only seen in the Americas, which means you will never see them appearing in a spaghetti western! We also learnt many other interesting facts, such as teabags are made out banana leaves, and that vanilla comes from the seedpod of an orchid. Even in winter there were many orchids in flower in the orchid house, giving a gorgeous display. Finally Niamh showed us the carnivorous plants, like the pitcher plant, and our own native butterwort, which trap insects with their sticky juices, and slowly digest them. Alas there were no venus flytraps on display, as apparently people can't resist poking them to make them snap shut, and the plants become exhausted and die. Overall, the group were very happy at all that they saw, and agreed that a trip to the Botanic Gardens is highly recommended!
|Learning about exotic plants in the warmth of the greenhouse|
|Learning about orchids|
|Some of the many ferns to be seen in the glasshouse|