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Botanic Gardens are always interesting to visit, any time of year. Since there are 1,775 botanic gardens in 148 countries world-wide*, you may find one near you (you can search here).

The Cuningham House conservatory, which houses sub-tropical plants.
Winter roses (Hellebore sp.) – members of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae).
Hyacinth flowering.
Ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris).
Rosehips in The Heritage Rose Garden, near the Hospital.
Bark of Père David’s maple (Acer davidii).
Pine mound.
Nursery, near the Visitor Centre
Native plants, near the Visitor Centre.

There is a summary of the collections in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens here, more detail here, and a map here.


We have a “carnivore corner”, a collection of carnivorous plants. The sundew has just flowered. Like many carnivorous plants the flowers are held high above the rest of the plant on a long stem. The long stem may serve to keep the pollinators from being eaten, though where the pollinators are not the same species as prey, it may be to maximise exposure of the flowers to the pollinators.

Sundew flower stalk

The flowers show five-part radial symmetry and are about 10-15mm across.

Sundew flower detail

There are a series of flowers on the stem. Each flower, in turn, opens in the morning and closes at nightfall, never to open again. The next day, the following flower opens.

Sundew flower head

The sundew catches small insects when they blunder into the sticky mucilaginous goop that sits on the ends of the stalks that cover the leaves.

Sundew leaf

Once the insect sticks, the leaf rolls up around the prey enmeshing it. The mucilage contains enzymes which digest the insect and the resulting ‘soup’ is absorbed by the leaves. The photo below shows a fruit fly trapped by the plant.

Sundew with prey

Flickr Photos

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