UW Greenhouse 4/3/12

Weather: Temperature in the green house was about 65 degrees F
Time: 1:30-3:20

We met at the Uw greenhouse today to look at different plants and their evolutionary adaptations to their native environments. First, Richard gave us a tour of the rainforest region and showed us a Lodoicea maldivica seed and plant. The seed can weigh up to 60lbs and is considered the largest seed in the world. The seed resembles a coconut in hardness and color. The leaves of the plant are pleated to give them strength and to funnel water directly into the roots when it rains. He showed us Monstera delciosa, which is a tropical plant that initially only grows in the dark. Once the vine finds light, it becomes phototropic. The leaves formed are large and contain many prominent holes.

We proceeded to meet with Susan in the Desert themed region of the greenhouse. She showed us welwishia, a native plant to south western Africa. There were multiple plants of various sexes. Since the plant is native the the Nubian desert, the plant evolved sunlight reflective leaves. These plants can also live up to 2,000 years old. Welwitshia has a an odd central base with long tenticle-like leaves growing outward. Susan discussed how green plants lose most of their water through evapotranspiration. The water evaporates through the plants leaf pores then they are open to take in CO2 for photosynthesis. To maintain their water, some plants in the desert photosynthesize without the need of of pores. Our next stop was a bog-like environment that is acidic and low in nutrients. In these environments, big plants need to be carnivorous or epiphytes in order to survive.

We met with Josh, and he showed us the miracle berry that inhibits your sour taste receptors. Therefore, after tasting the berry, you can eat a lemon and have it be sweet. The believed reasoning behind this berry adaptation was so the predators would then eat a lot of food after ingesting the berry, and thus letting the miracle berry seeds to be spread over a wider range.

Species list
Locoicea maldivica
Monstera deliciosa
Welwischia mirabilis
Miracle berry (Synsepalum dulcifum)

Publicado el 5 de junio de 2012 15:37 por lisettealbert lisettealbert


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