What’s new at the dome? Wait until you see the new Carnivorous Garden, found on either end of the swinging bridge. These plants will intrigue you! New exotic Sundews: the Giant Elkhorn and the Cape Sundew from Africa, have their own techniques for feeding time!
The Sundew’s leaves are covered with red tentacles that exude sticky drops of mucilage. Sundews got their name because these drops glisten in the sun like dew! The sticky adhesive acts like flypaper that binds unsuspecting insects if they make the mistake of landing. This mucilage is also a digestive enzyme. When an inattentive insect lands, the leaf will slowly curl around the bug and digest it for dinner!
There are also different types of unusual Pitcher Plants. These pitfall traps lure insects with the sweet smell of nectar. Little do the bugs know, there are folded leaves deep inside the pitcher, which is filled with a pool of digestive enzymes. The top of the trap has a “lid”. This remains closed while the pitcher is maturing. As soon as the lid opens, the trap is ready! The smooth lip around the opening and the interior of the cup is waxy, so when an insect falls in, the wax flakes off and it can’t get back out!
While you’re on the bridge, be sure to gaze into the koi pond and find the new butterfly, kinginrin and ogon koi. “Angel”, the all white butterfly koi has long flowing fins and tail while the kinginrin is pearly lemon gold. The new ogon variety is fairly easy to spot with it’s silver metallic scales.
If you still haven’t seen the rare and beautiful orchids, fear not! There’s still time! The Vancouver Orchid Society Show is on through Mother’s Day, May 8. What a perfect place for the family to take Mom! Plus, the Conservatory is now open Summer Hours to give everyone more time to enjoy the show.
And before you go, take some time at the small bird feeding station. You might be lucky and spot the 2 new Cordon Bleu finches. These little fellows, native to Africa, are the newest addition to the Conservatory. Their sky blue colouring and red beaks give them unique look and their songs are sure to make Mom’s day!