My intention with this project was to highlight the worlds within the world of the UNI Botanical Center entirely using photographs from that location. I had an accident though and had to fill in with some earlier photographs from Palestine. Unless indicated all of the other plants are from the UNI Botanical Center. Many thanks to Julie Kang from the UNI Dept. of Biology and to Stephanie Witte who is the Manager of the Center.
The orientation of image and information here matches a left to right, top to bottom "read" of the images as they appear in the main floor Rod Library exhibit case. For me, as an artist, what I've always loved about macro-photography is its relationship to the Color Field school of painting. Because of this the photographs are not so much organized by scientific categories but by color.
The images above are from Leilah's Garden in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Anthurium sp. (Family Araceae)
Common names: Flamingo flower, Flamingo lily, Tailflower
Anthuriums are popular exotic plants that can be identified by their colorful, heart-shaped spathes, and long tail-like spadix. Originating from the tropics of South America, these plants can be found growing on the ground or as epiphytes.
Rhoeo discolor (L'Héritier) Hance ex Walpers (Family Commelinaceae)
Common names: Oyster plant, Moses-in-the-cradle, Boat-lily
Also known as Tradenscantia spathacea Swartz, Rhoeo discolor has bright purple and green strap-shaped leaves that are spirally arranged. These tropical plants are native to Mexico, West Indies and Central America, these plants are used for both medicinal and ornamental purposes.
Cordyline fruticosa (syn C. terminalis) (Family Asparagaceae)
Common name: Ti plant, Good luck tree
Cordyline fruticosa shrubs have bright colorful pink, purple, or red foliage. These monocotyledons are found in a wide range of locations including Australia, New Zealand, and all the way to Hawaii. Although beautiful as a houseplant, it is toxic to animals due to its production of saponins.
Calliandra tergemina var. emarginata (Willd.) Barneby (Family Fabaceae)
Common names: Powder puff, Fairy duster
Calliandra tergemina is an evergreen shrub with a native range from Mexico to Venezuela. It produces red or pink feathery flowers that are made up of numerous exposed stamens giving the plants its name, powder puff. Because of its open blossoms, this ornamental landscape plant attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds.
Musa acuminata (Cavendishii) (Family Musaceae)
Common name: Banana
The famous Cavendish banana is an edible perennial monocotyledonous herb that can grow up to 20 feet tall. It is pollinated by wind, insects, or bats but cultivated varieties are propagated almost exclusively by asexual cloning. The genome of M. acuminata has been sequenced in the hopes of advancing breeding techniques and suppress outbreaks of pathogens that compromise this important crop plant.
Musa textilis (Family Musaceae)
Common name: Manila hemp
Musa textilis, also known as Abacá, is an important commercial crop that is native to the Philippines. Botanically, Manila hemp is a bast fiber, where the fiber is extracted from the leaf stalks. It is cultivated for its extreme fiber strength that is used to make everything from rope, fabrics, and tea bags.
Musa acuminata ssp. ‘zebrina’
Common name: Blood banana
Musa acuminata ssp. zebrina is named for its zebra-like red stripes on young leaves. Native to Indonesia, it is primarily grown as an ornamental plant and its fruit is generally not eaten. M. acuminata ssp. along with other subspecies, is thought to be one of the ancestors to the cultivated banana plant.
Sedum morganianum E. Walther (Family Crassulaceae)
Common names: Donkey’s tail, Burro’s tail
Sedum morganianum is a pendant succulent with long hanging stems and fleshy curved leaves. Stems have been observed to grow up to 3 meters. They are native to Honduras and Mexico and although they can be found in a large geographical range, their microenvironment is limited high, altitudinal, rocky cliffs.
Pentas lanceolata (Family Rubiaceae)
Common name: Egyptian star flower/star cluster
Pentas lanceolata is a butterfly-attracting shrub with star-shaped flower clusters on a terminal corymb inflorescence. While this plant is native to Yemen and East Africa, it has become a popular ornamental horticultural plant and for butterfly garden enthusiasts.
Mammillaria sp. (Family Cactaceae)
Common name: Nipple cactus
The genus Mammillaria is one of the largest in the Cactaceae with approximately 270 described species. Most species are endemic to Mexico but their distribution range includes Southwest USA to Honduras. Although these cacti are relatively hardy when cultivated, approximately 170 species are known to be endangered due to habitat loss.
Vriesea sp. (Family Bromeliaceae)
Common name: Flaming sword
Vriesea is a group of epiphytic bromeliads native to Central and South America. Bromeliads, often found in hot and arid climates, use CAM (Crassulaceae acid metabolism) photosynthesis which allows the plants stomata to open only at night to allow carbon dioxide to be taken up by the plant for metabolism. This allows bromeliads, like Vriesea sp. to conserve water in hot arid conditions.
These two images are also from Palestine.
Parodia sp. (Family Cactaceae)
Common name: Globe or ball cactus
These globose to barrel-shaped cacti are native to South America and there are approximately 60 species in this genus. Parodia species are recognizable by their highly colored spines, which may occur in clusters or have hooked ends. The fruit and flesh of these cacti are often eaten raw or cooked.
The physical exhibit in Rod Library will be installed from November 1 until January 1, 2021. A photograph of it is below. Please visit and scan the adjacent QR code.