Beasts in the Conservatory:
Carnivorous Plants Exhibit
September 8, 2009 - January 3, 2010
In a quiet corner of the Bolz Conservatory an insect is slowly being digested in a clear pool of syrupy fluid. Is this a sinister torture device created by someone who hates bugs? No, it’s just another day in the life of a carnivorous plant in the Beasts in the Conservatory: Carnivorous Plants Exhibit at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. The exhibit is open from September 8, 2009 to January 3, 2010.
Carnivorous plants such as Venus flytraps, pitcher plants, butterworts, sundews, and sun pitchers produce chemicals that seem irresistible to insects. Once inside the plant’s trap, or on a sticky leaf surface, the insects can’t escape. Then, digesting liquids turn the bug into life-sustaining nutrients the plant needs for growth.
During Olbrich’s special Carnivorous plant exhibit this fall, learn about the native habitats of these fascinating plants; they live in tropical or temperate climates, including Wisconsin. Unfortunately, populations of many carnivorous plants have declined steadily over the years. Through this exhibit, discover current conservation efforts and ways you can help preserve these interesting plants for future generations. Olbrich’s permanent carnivorous plant display mimics a typical bog where many carnivorous plants live. Special for this exhibit, some rare carnivorous plants will also be on view. These include carnivorous sun pitcher and cobra plants, which are not native to Wisconsin.
Olbrich’s Bolz Conservatory is home to more than 650 species of tropical plants. The conservatory is filled with exotic plants, bright flowers, a rushing waterfall, fragrant orchids, and free-flying birds. The Bolz Conservatory is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission includes the Carnivorous Plant Exhibit and is $1 for the general public, and free to Olbrich Botanical Society members. Children ages 5 and under are free. Admission is free on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon.
For more information, call 608-246-4550. For membership information, call 608-246-4724. Olbrich Botanical Gardens is located in Madison, Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Monona at 3330 Atwood Avenue. Visit Olbrich's website at www.olbrich.org.
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