Paphiopedilum Hybrids (Orchidaceae) Slipper Orchids

There are about 100 species of slipper orchids native to East Asia. In addition, numerous varieties and hybrids have been cultivated. The genus is easily recognized by its slipper-like labellum. The outer petals are long, strap-like, and often twisted.

The genus name refers to the godess of love Aphrodite, also called Paphia, as Greek mythology claims her to have emerged from the sea near Paphos, Cyprus. Pedilon is the Greek word for slipper or sandal. Slipper orchids are usually ground rooted, and only few species are epiphytes.

Malus hybrids (Rosaceae) Crab Apples

Apples, pears, and cherries are members of the rose family. Aside from the many cultivated apple varieties, there are about 50 different crab apple species.

They are limited to the Northern Hemisphere, mainly Europe, Asia and North America. Crab apples are often the size of cherries or even pea-size and unpalatable. Several crab apple species, along their varieties and hybrids, are valued as ornamentals for their impressive display of vast amounts of white, pink, or red flowers and fruits. In addition, they are valued by bees which are abundant in the trees in springtime.


Crocus hybrids (Iridaceae) Crocuses

In Germany, crosuses are traditional spring geophytes, frequently employed in horticultural settings. They hibernate by their underground bulbs which store nutrients. Early in the year they are among the very first spring flowers. Not all species and varieties of crocus are spring bloomers though. The saffron crocus, for instance, displays its purple flowers only in autumn.

The stigma is branched into three bright orange limbs. The yellow saffron spice is obtained from the branched stigmas of a special cultigen of crocus. In the Palmengarten you will find hundred thousands of crocuses which display a colorful fireworks of white, yellow, and violet in early spring.

Tulipa tarda (Liliaceae) Late Tulip

Tulips are native to the eastern Mediterranean and Near East. They prefer moist spring weather and and warm to dry summers.

They hibernate by storing nutrients in their underground bulbs. More than 100 wild species are known. Garden tulips have been bred from wild strains. A tulip blossom consists of six tepals, six stamens, and one central pistil.


Freycinetia cumingiana (Pandanaceae) Climbing Pandanus

The genus Freycinetia with about 180 species centered in tropical Asia and Polynesia, is part of the screw-pine family. They are climbing or scrambling shrubs with fleshy flower clusters, bearing brightly colored bracts.

The individual flowers are tiny and inconspicuous. Plants are either male or female and are pollinated by birds or bats. The climbing pandanus is native to the Philippines. You will find the plant in the Lowland Rainforest of the Tropicarium.

Cornus hybrid ‘Eddies White Wonder‘ (Cornaceae) Magnificent Dogwood

Dogwoods are trees or shrubs. They are limited to the Northern Hemisphere, especially North America and East Asia.

The local Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas) produces its many tiny yellow flowers early in spring prior to developing its leaves; the sour, but edible red “cherries” start maturing in September. Many dogwood species, varieties, and hybrids are cultivated as ornamentals. The most attractive ones have flower clusters which are surrounded by four showy white to pinkish petal-like bracts that give the appearance of a single huge flower.


Jeffersonia dubia (Berberidaceae) Asian Twinleaf

Jeffersonia dubia is a relative of barberries, but presents itself as a relatively small (up to 30 cm) herbaceous perennial. It is named in honor of the United States President Thomas Jefferson.

The shade-tolerant plant is ideally suited for rock gardens. The blue-violet flowers appear at the end of April to early May even before developing its first leaves. The deeply incised leaf which is nearly divided in half, gave it its name, twinleaf.

Epimedium rubrum (Berberidaceae) Red Bishop's Hat

The genus Epimedium comprises about 40 species, mostly native to the Mediterranean and temperate Asia.

They are herbaceous perennials with tiny, spurred white to yellow or pink flowers that develop in April. Epimedium is a popular ornamental ground cover and there are evergreen and shedding kinds.


Deherainia smaragdina (Theophrastaceae) Emerald Flower

This Mexican to Costa Rican shrub is named after the French botanist Pierre Paul Deherain who lived in the 19th century.

The emerald-green flowers are hardly discernible between the foliage leaves, only the faint-yellow stigmas stand out. The unpleasant putrid smell attracts flies which serve as pollinators. You will find the plant in the Monsoon Forest of the Tropicarium.

Paeonia ‘Pink Dew‘ (Paeoniaceae) Shrub Peony

Shrub peonies are native to Asia, mainly China. Their fragrant blossoms can reach up to 25 cm in diameter and occur in various colors. Some can reach up to two m in height.

Some peonies are shrubs, others herbaceous perennials. Shrub peonies are woody and buds develop from above-ground twigs, while the herbaceous perennials produce annual shoots anew every year from the underground rootstock. The Palmengarten displays more than 100 herbaceous perennials and some 50 shrub peonies.


Neomarica caerulea (Iridaceae) Walking Iris

The genus is native to tropical Africa as well as Central and South America, mainly Brazil. The yellow or blue-lilac to white flowers emit a strong perfume and only last for one day.

In a more mature stage, the flower stalk levels off and touches the ground. By that time many plantlets have emerged from the top of the flower stalk and now take root. This process continues, so that eventually there are chains of plantlets radiating in all directions away from the initial mother plant, thus its name “Walking Iris”. The plant is said to develop twelve leaves prior to flowering, leading to its second common name: Apostle Plant.

Pseudobombax ellipticum (Malvaceae) Shaving Brush Tree

The succulent tree is a native of Central America and northern South America. It can grow to 18 meters and its water-storing trunk can attain a diameter of one meter. Together with the famous baobab, similar in appearance, it belongs to the mallow family.

During the dry season the trees shed all of their leaves. The numerous stamens of the white to pink flowers give it the appearance of a paintbrush or shaving brush. Pollination is via bats. In the tropics, the impressive trees are often planted alongside streets or alleys. You will find a handsome representative specimen in the Seasonally Dry Tropical Forest of the Tropicarium.


Magnolia × veitchii ‘Rubra‘ (Magnoliaceae) Magnolia

Magnolias are trees or shrubs originating from North America and East Asia. Quite a few of the 200 species, along with several horticultural varieties, are grown as ornamentals in parks and gardens.

The star-shaped or cup-like flowers appear prior to the foliage or later on in summer after the leaves are fully developed. There are deciduous and evergreen kinds. The Palmengarten presents various magnificent magnolias, especially in front of Villa Leonhardi.


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