We hosted a visit from the 1st Whiteknights Brownies this evening in a very warm and humid tropical atmosphere. Over an hour we toured the world of plants asking questions such as ‘What eats chilli peppers and why?’, ‘how do banana plants stay upright?’ and ‘why doesn’t water hyacinth sink?’. As well as seeing the water plants and food plants the brownies met an ‘ant plant’ – a species related to coffee that grows a big swelling at its base for ants to live in.
Our visitors had the chance to touch and smell a range of plants including black pepper and grains of paradise, to feel how sticky sundews are and to discover the strange pink hairy banana lurking at the back of the glasshouse. Some brownies know their plants very well and have seen sugar cane growing in India or grow Venus Flytraps in their back garden (remembering to water with rainwater). Some very good questions were asked and lots of plant knowledge was displayed.