Reasons To Volunteer

The other week, I wandered around the US Botanic Garden, near the Capital building in DC, with my beau. I seem only to go during the winter, so I am telling myself I need to get there this spring and summer, at least to see the parts outside the conservatory.

There was lots to see indoors, however--it was the annual orchid exhibit, which always seems to be during the time I end up making it out there.

The Botanic Garden has a pretty robust (and probably highly competitive!) volunteer corps--and a fringe benefit of plant-related volunteering happens to be the occasional plant, cutting, or other propagable tissue. There are plenty of plants that make me go "Ooooh, me want!" when I wander through landscapes like the ones created at the Botanic Garden, and I've toyed with the idea of starting to volunteer there to perhaps, at some point, get to take some plant material home with me.

This visit, however, I felt more than a little strange to point out a lot of plants to my boy and say "I had that plant, but I killed it," "I used to have a bunch of this in a terrarium that I gave to my cousin," or "I tried growing that a couple times, but the USDA invaded my home and burned the plants after I smuggled them back into the US." Only a few plants really popped out at my as me-want plants, and they're perhaps not ones you'd expect.

This me-want plant probably isn't a shocker to anyone: Theobroma cacao, chocolate. It may be a surprise that I have never bought seeds to try growing it myself yet, but I haven't. So, at some point: me want.

I like Hippeastrum in general, although perhaps not as much as some people, and this H. reticulatum has white variegation, which makes me like it even that much more!

This Anthurium plowmanii (the photo shows the species name has two Ns, but The Plant List says nope.) may seem a little bland to many, but I've never tried growing Anthurium before, and I love the wavy leaves and kind of cupped growth pattern.

The Botanic Garden did, of course, also have a wonderful selection of gesneriads, Cryptanthus, and various succulents, but I didn't take a lot of pictures of those, and no exemplary plant really struck my fancy.

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2 Responses to Reasons To Volunteer

  1. Well, these are some beauties! Sounds like a great place to plan on visiting one day!!! Thanks for showing!

  2. AH I was there about a week later and I enjoyed seeing the cacao. It's funny that most people have never even tasted the fruit but we've all had the product of the seed. I got a chance to try fresh cacao a few years ago in the Dominican Republic -- it had a taste and texture not entirely unlike an apple!


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