Glasshouses at Dundee Botanics

I’ve been speaking to a lot of the staff at the Botanics recently, who have been more than helpful when identifying plants, as well as being happy to chat, whenever. I’m growing an interest in sturdier plants, with coastal material and stones being a particular interest in the studio, and now cacti as a new fascination.

This plant: Neoreglia pictured, is hard to miss in the Greenhouses just now. Its centre is really beautiful up close (in most cases is filled with water to bloom), with a flash of hot red surrounding it.

I think its clear to see I’m eager to equip myself to take photos close up. Been researching some great photographers working with plants.

Droplets of moisture

Aechemea 

Cacti in dry part of the glasshouses. 

Echinopsis Huascha
Looking closely at this cacti while photographing it, I notice all the little black hairs on the flower buds. Seen as fuzzy dots on the cacti before the bud grows, and reaching up with the flower stem over time. 

Closer inspection on the short cacti plant, it has little course black hairs which are more apparent when the flower is a bud. 

I think it’s clear to see these plants for what they are. They scream survival. I think most people recognise them for what they are – to be the plant which stores water and wards off animals with their spikes. I like how the bright colourful flowers are almost an attachment to the main plant. The cacti is harmful, durable and built to serve, and the contrast of the aesthetic flowers attached is interesting. 

Fluffy flower buds and colourful spikes.

Echinopsis Eyriesii

I was told to keep an eye on one of the buds from this cacti. A couple of days later, a bright pink flower had sprouted and opened up beautifully for, I think it was, one day only.

Inside flower.

I was also informed that some cacti have large circular flowers instead of long ones which would have the potential to be bird pollinated. Different flowers require different insects/birds etc to pollinate them. I was told an intriguing story of how Darwin found a plant with a flower of a specific length and figured that there must be an insect that would have a tongue to fit the length in order to pollinate it. He found it; it was a moth with the exact length of tongue required for the flower. Thinking about purpose of plants, insects, pollination.

(I like the long white fibres on this plant)

Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria Heterophylla, Araucariaceae) – from the same family as the monkey puzzle tree – one I have previously experimented with and desire to work with again. (There is also monkey puzzle around the Botanic Garden)

 Feels soft when you brush your fingers down the lines. Was told that it’s unusual behaviour for this tree to be multiplying the branches, but has done so near the top on one side. Was also amazed to hear that they flower large balls at the end of the branches.

Workspace inside one of the glasshouses

Steamy windows

Pond at entrance again which always looks beautiful

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