Rare Flower Blooms at US Botanic Garden

by Marsha James  2016-03-27 20:16:00

A rare plant at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C. is now in flower. The blue-green colored climbing plant is called the Jade vine.

In the 20 years that it has been on display, the Jade Vine, also known as the Emerald Creeper, has only bloomed once before.

Devin Dotson is the Garden's public affairs and exhibit specialist.

He says, "its blooms are going to just grow and grow and grow." "The vines will go all the way down to the ground, so visitors even down below — in another few weeks — are going to be able to see this magnificent color."

The rare bloom is housed in the hot and humid "Jungle Room" of the Botanic Garden. The flowers grow high up in the canopy near the top of the room and then bloom lower and lower on the plant.

This beautiful plant originally comes from the tropical forests of the Philippines. It is closely related to legumes, such as kidney beans and runner beans.

The blue-green shade of the flower cluster may look false, but it is very real. The flower is pollinated by bats and produces a sweet-tasting nectar.

The flower is officially known as Strongylodon Macrobotrys. It is only blooming for a short time at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

I'm Marsha James.

Julie Taboh reported on this story. Marsha James adapted this story for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.

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Words in This Story

rare – adj. not often done

display n. an event at which something is shown to impress or entertain people

bloom n. a flower; a time period a plant has many open flowers

canopy – n. something that hangs or spreads out over an area

vine – n. a plant that has very long stems and grows along the round or up and around something

magnificent adj. very beautiful or impressive

cluster n. a group of things that are close together

pollinate v. to give (a plant) pollen from another plant of the same kind so that seed will be produced

nectarn. a sweet liquid produced by plants

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