Posts Tagged 'plant update'

Plant Update – July 5

PlantUpdate_baltimore

Our golden candle plant is flowering! 

The golden candle is actually one of the first plants guests see upon entering our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit.

golden candle plant

Also known as the lollipop plant or the golden shrimp plant, it has yellow spiky structures (known as bracts) that protect white flowers. The leaves that surround the golden candle plant’s yellow structure are each around six inches long. The plant earned the nickname “shrimp plant” because the bracts are arranged in a pattern that resembles scales on a shrimp.

golden candle plant

The golden candle can grow to be about two to six feet tall in its natural habitat, the rain forests of Peru. While the plant blooms year-round in its native rain forests, it often blooms seasonally when grown in the United States.

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!

Animal Updates – July 27

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our blog every Friday to find out what’s going on… here’s what’s new this week!


New Vanilla Vine

Guests can now spot a Vanilla Vine (vanilla planifolia or the vanilla orchid) climbing in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit.

This vine climbs the trunks of trees throughout the world’s tropics.  Originally native to Mexico, this species has been spread around the globe, farmed for its valuable seed pod, in order to produce vanilla flavoring.  In its native habitat the flower, which will eventually produce the desired pod, is pollinated by a small stingless bee that is endemic to Mexico.  This confined the vanilla industry because without the particular species bee, the pods would not form.  It was only when the discovery that the flower could be hand pollinated that the vanilla industry was able to spread worldwide.

New Damselfish 

Two brightly colored Azure Damselfish have been added to our Survival through Adaptation exhibit.

These fish are easy to spot because of their bright blue and yellow coloration!

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!

Animal Updates – March 30

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our WATERlog blog every Friday to find out what’s going on… here’s what’s new this week!

Reef Scorpionfish 
We’ve added three Reef Scorpionfish to our Caribbean Camouflage exhibit.

Most scorpion fishes live on or near the bottom. They lie in crevices, in caves and under overhangs. This type of scorpionfish can change its color to better match its surroundings. For example, if it’s near sand, it will camouflage to look like sand while if it’s near red rocks, it will change its coloration to match the rocks. Thus he can blend in with its surroundings and go unnoticed by its prey.

Spring Blooms 
Our Cochliostema odoratissimum is currently in bloom in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit.

This large herbaceous plant is a tank-epiphyte, meaning the leaves form pockets at their bases to collect and store water. The leaves later absorb the water through small leaf hairs called trichromes. This characteristic gives this plant a very bromeliad-like appearance, making this species sometimes called false bromeliad; however, because this plant is rare in cultivation it has no scientifically recognized common name.

The leaves of the plant can grow in-excess of 1 meter in length and grow in a rosette, meaning its stem does not elongate and is comprised of overlapping leaf bases. The flowers erupt from clusters that form on the top of stalks, originating from the base of the leaf whorls. These clusters each produce a couple dozen flowers and must be hand pollinated in cultivation in order to produce fruit. The flowers have a deep blue to purple coloration and are highly fragrant.

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!


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