If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Tiffany’s might have taken some inspiration from the blue-green seafoam of one of our favorite species (and rightfully so). See it now in the aquatic plant house of the Conservatory—it won’t be swirling its colorful skirts forever.
When you visit the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory for the Holiday Train Show, be sure to detour through the other houses in search of this stunning vine, Mucuna benettii. Also known as the Red Jade Vine or Flame of the Forest, it is a member of the legume family, and along with its blue-green cousin Strongylodon macrobotrys a distant relative of the more familiar wisteria. To see Strongylodon in full bloom, come and visit us again in March and April for the Orchid Show. She’ll be putting on a show to rival the orchids by then!
The Garden’s Horticulture staff that work in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory have a really unique perspective on the amazing plants growing within this one-acre wonderland. Recently I received a slew of beautiful portraits–including several from The Orchid Show—from Rafael Moricete Jr. and thought you might like to see a few, too.
One of my favorite late February, early March features in the Conservatory is the electric blue-green of the blooming jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys). The jade vine is indigenous to the Philippines, where its tendrils scramble up tropical rain forest trees in an effort to seek out sunlight. The beak-like flowers dangle from a long raceme that can extend for several feet (the flower inflorescences can reach up to nine feet in the wild). The mint-green color of the flowers is almost eerie, and something that needs to be seen in person to fully experience. These flowers are pollinated by bats in their natural habitat, and produce large, melon-like fruit.
Because our Strongylodon macrobotrys is looking especially elegant in recent weeks, and because we’ve had at least a couple of requests for more pictures of it (via Twitter in particular), I figured I’d put together a sampling of the jade vine in all its unchallenged splendiferousness. You’re welcome to read more about the green and red jade vines here, but in the meantime, we’re perfectly content with you basking in the eye candy of this winter favorite. And if you hurry, you might even be able to see it for yourself in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.
The jade vine is in bloom, at long last. You probably see us referring to this seafoam green siren at least a few times a year, and with good reason–it sports unmatched color and form. Few plants boast the kind of spontaneous annual following that this one’s earned. Look for it in the Conservatory!
Strongylodon macrobotrys — Photo by Ivo M. Vermeulen
Walk through the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and you may come upon a peculiar chandelier of a plant, with a vine spiraling right up to the roof and clusters of flowers dangling from it like upturned flamingo bills. You can’t miss the rings of vibrant, coral-red blooms.