News & Media
Unusual opportunity to see amazing Jade Vine in bloom
Visitors have a rare chance to see the rare and endangered Jade Vine, or Strongylodon macrobotrys, in profuse bloom over the Easter period. The Jade Vine is one of the most amazing plants ever seen in the UK. It is a member of the pea family, and native to the Philippines.
Due to extensive habitat loss, this climbing plant is now a vulnerable species, at risk of extinction in the near future due to rainforest destruction. It is also extremely rare in cultivation, and there are only a few places where the public can see these fantastic flower clusters. The light green-blue flowers are a one-off in the plant world, and The Living Rainforest is fortunate to have one of the best specimens in the UK. The plant does not flower every year and it is difficult to predict when the next event will occur. The last time the plant sent down as many flower spikes was 5 years ago. Back then, in 2002, the vine produced a record number of flowers and later produced a record 10 mature, mango-sized Jade Vine fruits.
In the wild, the jade, claw-like flowers are pollinated by bats. Horticulturists at the centre mimic the bats’ pollinating behavour to achieve pollination. It remains to be seen how many seed pods the plant will produce this year.
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