Science & Ag Journalism students taking notes for an article they’ll research & write on one of ten economically important plants located in the Tucker Greenhouse
Science and Ag Journalism students listening to me talk about the virtues of the Taro Root plant.
Bill Allen and Sharon Wood Turley brought their #1160 students in to the Tucker Greenhouse on Wednesday afternoon for a tour of the greenhouse and for a talk given by me about ten economically important plants. Plants like Taro root, coffee, vanilla orchid, sensitive plant, cacao, guava, blue agave, etc. They’ll learn how to research and write a news article on one of these plants.
This is a milkweed pod (or follicle fruit), in the genus Asclepias & found in the Apocynaceae family. Note the brown seeds inside. This pod was collected in October in the Tucker Mini-Prairie .
As this fruit ripens, the pod opens slowly, and the seeds inside slowly push their way out.
As each day passes, more seeds push their way out of the pod. Note the long, white, silky attachments on the brown seeds.
These are individual seeds with silky, white filament-like hairs. These silky, white hairs aid in dispersing the milkweed seed. The slightest breeze can blow the seed quite a distance.
If you are looking for a native plant to plant in your home gardens, think of the Monarch butterflies……Plant more milkweed!!!!
Helianthus tuberosus, commonly called Jerusalem Artichoke, is found in the Asteraceae family. It is native to eastern North America. It’s often cultivated for its edible tuber which happens to be very high carbohydrates. These tubers can be cooked like any root vegetable. If you were to dig up a Jerusalem artichoke plant, you would find tuberous roots that look very much like ginger root. They are 7-10 cm long. When harvesting the tubers, the Jerusalem artichoke stalks should be dug up after flowering and after a few frosts. This insures that the tubers will be more easily digested. There are currently lots of Jerusalem Artichokes blooming in the Tucker Mini-Prairie. I plan to mark the stalks and dig up a few plants later this fall. I’ll post photographs of the tubers too. I may even roast some tubers with garlic and olive oil.
Meet Skippy, the skeeter eater.
Skippy, the tree frog