This beautiful small tree is located in the middle bed of the north greenhouse. It is a native of the forested areas of South Africa.
The Tucker Greenhouse has its share of ‘critters’, but right now there is a ‘bloom’ of these nasty whitefly insects, AND they are slowly defoliating a large Ficus tree in one of the tropical greenhouses. They seem to like certain plants better than others too. They love feeding on members of the Araceae, and Moraceae plant families in particular.
For a great description of whiteflies and the havoc they can wreak on plants, see the following from Planet Natural, a research center for organic gardeners…
For a lively rendition of the song “My banana has no bones”, sung by Dr. James Bircher, please click here.
The Tucker greenhouse was given a Titan arum tuber from the New York Botanical Garden five years ago. Each year after its stem and leaves die back, I lift the tuber and transplant it into a larger pot. The summer heat in the Tucker greenhouse is way too hot for this tender plant, so, I bring it home to my patio for the long summer. This year it grew to a height of 1.5 meters. I recently brought it back to the Tucker greenhouse to live until next summer. If everything I’ve read is correct, the Tucker greenhouse Titan arum could bloom in two more years! Fingers crossed.
For more information on this amazing plant, check out this link from Kew Gardens http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/amorphophallus-titanum-titan-arum