Tag Archives: Tropical biodiversity

Amorphophallus konjac: Can You Resist the Lure of the Devil’s Tongue?

You are probably familiar with Amorphophallus titanum, the titan arum, which has the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, but do you know about its smaller, red tongued sibling Amorphophallus konjac? Family Description A. konjac is a member of the … Continue reading

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Nepenthes mira – The Wonderful Pitcher plant

The Nepenthaceae, and in particular the only genus in this family, the genus Nepenthes, has been described in a previous blog, posted on this site by Garance (Wood-Moulin 2013). In that blog the morphology and development of pitcher plants has … Continue reading

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You’re a botanist, what’s this then? (Or Tradescantia spathacea, this one’s for you mum!)

That sentence may sound familiar to many of you who frequent this blog (followed closely by “Botany, so you’re a gardener then?” but we won’t go in to that). Being asked about the identity of a random plant that mysteriously … Continue reading

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The Date Palm: A Special Plant from the Old World

The Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is grown throughout the arid and semiarid regions of the world, particularly in West Asia and North Africa. It is well adapted to the desert environment, where a dry and warm climate is important … Continue reading

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Tacca chantrieri – Halloween in the plant world!

Tacca chantrieri has a purple-black, curious yet magnificent inflorescence with wide-spread wings and whisker-like bracts hanging from the side. The inflorescence of this tropical plant almost looks like a bat or jungle cat in the wild. Thus giving the plant a common name … Continue reading

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Visitors from Talfourd Avenue go Tropical

On Saturday the 15th of March the Tropical Biodiversity Glasshouse project had the pleasure of hosting families from the Talfourd Avenue group. They kindly agreed to come test our new (and hopefully improved) glasshouse tour, which was designed and created … Continue reading

Posted in Countries, Fish, Hands-on, Interactive, Labelling, Learning and Teaching, Pond, Technology, Water Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A natural Frankestein: the orchid hybrid, Epidendrum x obrienianum

Humankind has always dreamed of chimeras, the Frankenstein´s monster or flying pigs. All this can actually happen in the plant world!! (although they cannot still fly). Many orchid growers have produced astonishing plants that can fascinate the human eye and … Continue reading

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Zebra Danio (Danio rerio) GCSE Learning Resource

Welcome to the first on-line learning resource based in the tropical biodiversity glasshouse at the University of Reading. This learning resource is based on the GCSE level curriculum for biology and is designed to be used as an entire one … Continue reading

Posted in Evolution, Fish, Learning and Teaching, Pond, Secondary Schools, Water Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The world’s most wonderful weed?

During one of my first days of study for a masters degree in Plant Diversity at Reading University, we visited the Tropical Biodiversity Greenhouse. A pungent odour from a very brightly coloured plant came straight to my nose! The plant … Continue reading

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Aframomum melegueta (Grains of paradise) is not Alligator pepper part 2

This gallery contains 7 photos.

 “I put a few between my teeth and crunched. They cracked like coriander releasing a billowing aroma, and then a slowly intensifying heat, like pepper at the back of my mouth. The taste changes in a second. The heat lingered. … Continue reading

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