12 October 2008

Atlanta Botanical Garden

My vacation included a trip to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. One morning was spent viewing and documenting the highly unusual and very interesting plants, as well as a great number of those that might be suitable for locations in my own gardens. A photographic system was developed on the fly that included photographing a plant followed by photographing the tag. Unfortunately, the lens stop focus on the automatic camera produced some plant tag photos that were blurry and unreadable.

This week, a few of the photos of the plants that were considered interesting are presented. Although not appropriate for the home gardens here, these plants were unusual or unique enough to catch my interest.

The Angel Trumpet tree (Solanaceae) was the biggest surprise. This South American native contained vibrant orange cremesicle flowers that were delectably fragrant 50 feet (15 m) away. White flowers have been seen before, but never this color. Internet information sites state they are related to the potato and tomato family and are extremely poisonous. They take a lot of water, and need warm temperatures to survive winters. Both requirements make it unsuitable for Alexandria, VA.

The North American Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia leucophylla ) grows
in marshy areas of the Florida to Mississippi gulf coast. It apparently is in danger from habitat destruction, and the botanical garden has a conservation program to help its survival. The botanical garden created a natural bog where these plants were flourishing. Hybrid variations of this wildflower exist with variations in size, flower shape, and flower color.