Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The National Botanical Gardens and National Arboretum

We went to the Botanical Gardens primarily to see Corpse Flower, which had already bloomed, but was still pretty impressive. The flower is about 3 - 4 feet tall, and smells like rotting meat. When I was in Sarasota, I saw one that hadn't opened up yet; maybe someday I'll see one in full bloom.

Datura bud

I became fascinated by the different varieties of datura, a plant known for its poisonous and hallucinagenic properties. But I never knew they were so beautiful.

"Datura is a genus of nine species of poisonous vespertine flowering plants belonging to the family Solanaceae. They are commonly known as daturas, but also known as devil's trumpets...They are also sometimes called moonflowersjimsonweeddevil's weedhell's bellsthorn-apple, and many more. All species of Datura are poisonous, especially their seeds and flowers."  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datura

Datura seed pods

This one, which I think is datura innoxia, is huge! For comparison, look at the impatiens flower next to it.

I didn't have time to identify the orchids, but I like these trailing varities.

When we got to the National Arboretum, the indoor exhibits had already closed, but there was still lots to see outside... I think we had an hour before the whole park closed, so there was still much we didn't see - it's 446 acres! I would love to go back again and do some more hiking, and of course, see the indoor exhibits, which include bonsai.

I didn't look up the name of this tree, but my dad always called them smoke trees. We had some in our yard when I was growing up, and I loved them.

These columns used to be part of the Capital. Apparently the revised dome was too heavy for them, so they had to be replaced. You can read about it here.

Corinthian columns, if I remember my art history correctly...

I didn't think there were any azaleas that bloomed this late in the year, but I was wrong. And what a luscious color!

I hope you enjoyed the photos! Next will be the art museums. Expect a long post!


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