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Botanical Name:Victoria spp.
Common Name:Victoria Waterlily
Native Region:Tropical South America
Native to the Amazon Basin, the Victoria waterlily (Victoria amazonica) is an amazing plant with leaves reaching a diameter of 10 feet. Another species, Victoria cruziana, is native to the cooler climates of Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. The Victoria ‘Longwood Hybrid’ is a vigorous hybrid of V. amazonica and V. cruziana. The underside of the Victoria leaf is covered in long, sharp spines. Its intricate vein structure served as an inspiration for the architectural design of Victorian-era glass conservatories. These warm-season plants are not introduced to our pools until late June to ensure that they are not subjected to cold damage.
Garden Location:Victoria (Upper) Pool
Botanical Name:Anemone hupehensis
Common Name:Japanese Anemone
Native Region:Japan and China
This late summer, autumn blooming plant can be found in mass along Shady Lane at Denver Botanic Gardens. The large flowers are borne on upright branching stems and tower over a mound of green foliage. Flowers range in color from white to shades of pink and send off the summer with a mass of fluffy white seed heads. Japanese Anemone is long blooming and is a perfect way to brighten up a partially shaded woodland garden or perennial border and requires low maintenance.
Garden Location:Shady Lane
Botanical Name:Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’
Common Name:New England Aster
Native Region:Eastern North America
The Purple Dome Aster is a delightful perennial for fall color. This aster can be pinched back in July to accommodate the size you would like it to be. In a xeric garden this aster will grow to around 24 inches. It has nice erect stems and a gorgeous uniform flowering for border planting. The Aster novae-angliae also can come in a variety of colors.
Garden Location:Perennial Walk
Botanical Name:Eustoma grandiflorum
Common Name:Prairie Gentian
Native Region:Northern Mexico north to Colorado and Nebraska
The Prairie Gentian is an annual or biennial that grows upright to about 3 ft. The leaves are blue-green and the bell-shaped purple flowers are about 2" across, blooming in the summer. Cultivars in various shades of blue, pink and white as well as double flowered types are available.
Garden Location:Plains Garden pond margins
Botanical Name:Theobroma cacao
Common Name:Chocolate or Cocoa
Native Region:Central and South America
This plant is grown as a cash crop in its native regions. The cocoa tree produces large fruits, which contain 30-40 seeds and a sweet whitish pulp. Cocoa is made from these seeds, usually cured and fermented to reduce bitterness and enhance flavor. Chocolate for consumption is made with cocoa and is generally about 25% cocoa butter. Before Cortes introduced chocolate to Europe, the people of Central America enjoyed it as a drink: chocolatl. Cocoa beans were also used as currency, tribute and gifts.
Garden Location:Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory