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Author Archives: Alastair Culham
Every day we eat our fresh fruit and vegetables to stay healthy but how often do you think about where they have come from or what plant they grow on?
On Friday evening we had the pleasure of hosting a keen and vibrant group of Beavers from the local 84th group along with their leaders and parent helpers. While the emphasis was very much on look and experience the exciting … Continue reading
On Saturday 4th July we welcomed the Nigerian Field Society UK branch to the Tropical Glasshouse. This was an especially interesting visit for me because many of the visitors had far more experience of tropical biodiversity, and particularly tropical botany … Continue reading
In March 2012 Kalman and Maria were helping prepare the tropical glasshouse for complete re-planting. There was heavy digging to do while we mixed 4-5 tonnes of home produced compost for filling the glasshouse beds and some photography which involved … Continue reading
Today pupils from Ranikhet Primary School visited the Tropical Biodiversity Greenhouse (Part of Reading University Herbarium in the School of Biological Sciences) to see, smell, touch and draw plants that grow in the tropics, and particularly the tropical rainforest. Two … Continue reading
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 … Continue reading
At 9am sharp today the tropical glasshouse was invaded by a hush of Librarians. Led by the intrepid Helen Hathway (Head of Academic Liaison and Support) and guided by our biology subject specialist Tim Chapman more than 20 members of … Continue reading
Monday afternoon was grey, cold and wet but the Reading 71st Beavers and their helpers braved the weather to walk to our tropical glasshouse. Thick coats were soon shed and the children had a chance to look around and interact … Continue reading
This diminutive orchid is commonly known as the Golden Chain Orchid, a name it shares with a few close relatives. The plant in our glasshouse was donated by a keen plantsman who grows a range of exotic species and is … Continue reading
We grow two types of banana in the tropical glasshouse, the pink, seed containing, Musa dasycarpa, and the much larger edible banana with small yellow seedless fruit for which we do not know the cultivar.