The leaves reach nine feet (almost three meters); its nocturnal blossoms are white with the first moon, and pink with the second, with a sweet aroma that will fill the night. Victoria water lilies (Victoria amazonica) are the largest in the world, and have been marveled at since first discovered in 1801.
An exhibit of contemporary topiary pieces is on display at this year's International Horticulture Expo, in Xi’an, China. The menagerie of living sculptures includes the country's national bird, a giant panda, and a cow.
A physician by trade, botanic enthusiast, and accidental inventor, Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward devised the first terrarium in 1829, and thereby launched a new age of horticultural possibilities—where ferns and mosses would grow indoors, and tropical exotics would travel the world.
How to say "I love you?" Flora's Lexicon, an exhibit at Carnegie Mellon's Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, in Pittsburgh, is all about the language of flowers, and the institute will be having a free open house this Sunday and Monday.
Mimosa pudica, or the bashful plant, is the introvert of the garden, yet, with a coy choreography that is curiously beautiful, it is impossible not to touch, and has fascinated botanists for centuries. At a light caress, its fern-like leaves will fold inward; a gentle thrust will collapse the petiole.
At the University of Stuttgart, Germany, a new architectural discipline is evolving, with leaves, branches, and roots. The research group is called Baubotanik (Botanic Architecture), and it is where the architects are gardeners, and the plants are architects.