Date: 
Thursday, March 28, 2013 - 10:30

Despite the chilly temperatures outside, plants inside Eden’s Rainforest Biome, including the rare jade vine, are flourishing, with vibrant colours hanging from every tree.

The jade vine (Strongylodon macrobotrys), which can grow up to 100m in length in its native home of the Philippines, is flowering beautifully in the Rainforest Biome’s Malaysian garden.

Eden’s horticulturists are particularly pleased with this year’s vines, as they are growing in the perfect place for Eden’s visitors to get a close-up view of the spectacular plant.

The low-hanging vines make it easy for Eden’s ‘Green’ Team to pollinate the plants with small paintbrushes. The team use the brushes to mimic the action of bats, who carry pollen from flower to flower while drinking nectar in the wild.

Elsewhere in the Biome, the team have been creating canopy gardens - planting multi-coloured bromeliads and orchids onto trees, so that visitors can get a good view of them.

The bromeliads, which attach themselves to tree branches in the wild in order to get more light and avoid competition, have been given a helping hand by Eden’s horticulturists who attach them to trees using tights.

The stretchy fabric allows the plant plenty of room to grow, and after the roots have established themselves the tights will eventually biodegrade.

Other plants currently flowering in the Rainforest Biome include the beautiful, bright red and yellow clock vine (Thunbergia mysorensis), the striking Madagascar star orchid (Angraecum sesquipedale) and the Myriocarpa stipitata plant, whose long pendulous tendrils resemble spaghetti.

Hetty Ninnis, Rainforest Biome Supervisor, said: “This is a fantastic time of year to visit the Rainforest Biome, as there are beautiful flowers everywhere you look, with fascinating stories behind them.”

The stunning array of plants will be flowering throughout Easter, coinciding with Eden’s Freaky Nature activities.

The popular event, which takes place from March 29 until April 14, will give visitors the chance to discover the freaky side of food, to find out which peculiar plants make it to the plate and exactly how they’re grown.

They can also learn how plants eat and how they stop being eaten themselves, as well as taking part in freaky food experiments. 

The activities include a fiendishly freaky take on crazy golf, a giant Velcro Wall, an exploration into the darker side of plants and the Bug Boutique.

For more information on Eden’s plants, activities and events, go to: www.edenproject.com