Strongylodon macrobotrys close up

New York Botanical Garden: Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Enid A. Haupt Conservatory it is the NY Botanical Garden centerpiece and a fine example of the Victorian-style glasshouse. It underwent quite a few restorations since it was built in 1902 and today it hosts 11 interconnected galleries, each recreating a different natural habitat. A green paradise under glass, and although we visited one year in late May, I can only imagine how much more wonderful would be to visit there during the winter time!

The Aquatic Collection includes, besides aquatic plants of course, a few tropical vines that make a lush curtain across the room. Strongylodon macrobotrys (Fam. Fabaceae), called the jade vine or turquoise jade vine, it is a vigorous vine from Philippines, which looks almost artificial when flowering. Its waxy flowers of an almost never seen colour, needs to be touched to be sure you are not visiting in a parallel reality! (In some cases plants have waxy flowers/leaves as an adaptation to keep them from becoming waterlogged). Unfortunately the rapid destruction of the rainforest in Philippines put Strongylodon macrobotrys on the list of vulnerable species. Other interesting vines flowering were Aristolochia gigantea (Fam. Aristolochiaceae), a Brazil native, called Brazilian Dutchman’s pipe or Giant Pelican Flower and Thunbergia mysorensis – Indian clock vine.

There would be so much to talk about other species like the Mexican tree fern – Cibotium shiedei or Cavendishia grandifolia, but for now while I am updating posts, just a few highlights: