Friday, August 22, 2014

Bonn Botanical Garden

After the Czech Republic, our next stop took us all the way across Germany by train, to Bonn, where we visited the University of Bonn's Botanical Garden. They have a wonderful collection and let us choose plants in the garden to sample from; they actually did all the work once we had identified the plants we wanted, which made our job there easy. We spent some time in the greenhouses, where they had a wonderful collection of Salvinia, one of only five genera of water ferns (Salviniales).

Salvinia has very interesting, complex hair-like structures on the top surfaces of the leaves. Their purpose isn't entirely understood, but they are thought to maintain a layer of air on the top surface of the leaf that may help the leaves remain dry and/or shed water if they get flooded. You can see these hairs in the first photo, of Salvinia molesta.

Salvinia molesta
Salvinia molesta (big) and Salvinia minima (right)
Salvinia cucullata
Salvinia biloba
Salvinia oblongifolia
Some beautiful aquatic non-ferns...
Nymphoides aurantiaca
Ludwigia sedioides
The garden was full of these wonderful animal sculptures. This was near the end of the trip so the alligator/crocodile reminded us of home!

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