Greenhouse Fridays, the Perfect Cure for Winter Doldrums
Greenhouse Fridays – a chance to experience the sights, sounds, and scents of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Greenhouses during these cold winter months – welcomes visitors to informal lunch time tours with emeritus professors Terry Webster and Gregory Anderson on the first and third Friday of each month, through March. The next tour takes place on Jan. 18, beginning at 12:15 p.m. Topics vary from Friday to Friday, but each and every tale told by these eminent botanists is guaranteed to be informative and fun.
Emeritus professor Terry Webster began his career at UConn in 1965, two years after the EEB greenhouses were opened. He says, “The older a greenhouse gets, the more it acclimates. It settles into a maturity that lends itself to the plants growing there.” (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)
During the tour on Jan. 4, Professor Webster spent a lot of time discussing epiphytes, or air plants, which includes some orchids. The name ‘epiphyte’ comes from the Greek words ‘epi’ meaning ‘upon’ and ‘phyton’ meaning ‘plant.’ Topics vary for each Greenhouse Friday tour, and visitors are encouraged to ask questions. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)
The best thing about the EEB greenhouses? According to Terry Webster, it’s diversity. “We have so much diversity here, there’s something for everyone. You don’t have to know a lot about plants … just look around … and see the differences in leaves, in flowers, in color, and size. The greenhouses have thousands of different kinds of plants, so there’s really something to appeal to everyone.” (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)
This ceriman, also known as the swiss cheese plant, is a species of flowering plant native to the tropical rainforests of southern Mexico, south to Colombia. The adaptive reason for the holes appearing in its leaves is unknown, but some speculate that it looks as if a hungry predator has already been at work, eating the best part of the leaves so other predators don’t bother. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)