Kew Gardens - The Palm House

17 May 2003

A visit to the Palm House at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew

And what is this weird sight that greets us? It is a banana flower, specifically a Canary Banana, musa acuminata.

And there are the bananas. The banana plant resembles a tree but is, in fact, a giant herb. Originating in the Indo-Malaysian region, bananas were first brought to Europe in the tenth century.

Tabernaemoniana divaricate

Medinilla magnifica, from the Philippines

Ixora 'Peter Rapsey'

Pachystachys lutea

An unidentified hibiscus

Hibiscus 'Miss Kitty'

Pleiocarpa mutica, from West Africa

Madagascar periwinkle (Cartharanthus roseus). Traditionally used in remedies for diabetes and digestive complaints, more recently it has been used against cancer, containing two alkaloids extracted to treat leukaemia and Hodgkin's disease.

Catharanthus roseus 'Albus'

Mitriostigma axillaris

Scadoxus cinnabarinus, from West Africa

Mimosa pudica var. unijuga


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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson