Fragrant flowers abound

image of a white flower

This flower is from one of many types of Citrus plants (Rutaceae family) growing in the Tucker Greenhouse. The fragrance of this flower is intoxicating. If you’d like to visit the citrus plants, they’re located in the southern most greenhouse.

image if a pink flower

This is a close-up of the pistil and stamens of an Amaryllis flower. The Tucker Greenhouse collection of Amaryllis plants (Amaryllidaceae family) have just begun to bloom. They have very fragrant flowers as well. They’re located in the northern most greenhouse.



Today’s Edibles: Pomegranate & Quinoa

Several weeks ago, the Tucker Greenhouse pomegranate plant bloomed.  It is now setting fruits.  Two of them!  I will periodically post new photos of these two developing pomegranates.  If you’d like to see the plant, or even photograph it in person, it’s located in the southern most greenhouse.  I call this variety, ‘Mr. Fenton’.

image of a red fruit

Developing pomegranate fruit.  Punica granatum (Lythraceae)

The picture below is a pomegranate flower in full bloom.

image of a red flower

Picture of a pomegranate flower blooming in the Tucker Greenhouse in December 2013

I grow Quinoa plants in the Tucker Greenhouse because they are a very cool example of a plant found in the Chenopodiaceae family, or Goosefoot family.  Chenopodium quinoa, more commonly known as Quinoa, is grown for its edible seeds.  It is closely related to other healthy edibles like spinach & beets.  The picture below is a Quinoa plant in full bloom.  If you’d like to see the Quinoa plants currently growing in the Tucker Greenhouse, they’re located in the south greenhouse.

image of a plant with tiny flowers

Chenopodium quinoa Chenopodiaceae family

image of tiny flowers

Close-up of tiny Quinoa flowers

Quinoa, once used by the Aztecs, is becoming quite popular today. If you’d like to read more about this highly nutritious food, click here.



Tucker greenhouse ‘volunteers’

Almost daily, an undergraduate student drops by my office to see if I need any help, or if they can volunteer to learn the ins and outs of greenhouse work.  I now have two, really nice, hard-working volunteers.  Today I taught Fiorella San Martin how to plant seeds.

woman planting seeds

One of the Tucker Greenhouse volunteers, Fiorella San Martin

Tanner Leslie, pictured below is the other Tucker Greenhouse volunteer.  Tanner is busy pruning plants in the very humid Tropical greenhouse.

man in a greenhouse pruning plants.

Tanner Leslie, another volunteer, pruning plants in the Tropical/pond room


Pruning Day!

Often the large trees inside of the Tucker Greenhouse need pruning.  If they don’t get pruned on a regular basis, their branches can press on the roof glass, and can actually break the panes of glass.  That is a dangerous situation.  I can prune most of the plants in the greenhouses by using pole pruners with telescoping poles, but when it comes to trees 30 feet up in the air, with large woody branches, I call in the MU Grounds crew special forces.  Check out the pictures below of Mike and Kellen, MU’s  talented and friendly arborists.

men pruning pants

Mike on the ladder and Kellen hauling out large branches

two men pruning trees

Mike Kyd (helmet) trying to determine where to begin pruning the large fiddle leaf fig tree.

Two guys pruning plants

Mike & Kellen removed many branches that were dangerously pressing on the roof and side glass.

two men pruning plants

Kellen using a pole pruner in the Tropical greenhouse.