Giant water lilies in the tropical greenhouse at Ventnor Botanic Gardens, Isle of Wight
Contributor:Philip Chapman / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:62.7 MB (6.1 MB Compressed download)
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Dimensions:5640 x 3886 px | 47.8 x 32.9 cm | 18.8 x 13 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:26 August 2015
Location:Ventnor Botanical Gardens, Isle of Wight, England, UK
Flowers of the Giant Waterlily have opened at Ventnor Botanic Gardens, Isle of Wight. After midnight the lily opens its flower, initially white and female, to attract the scarab beetles needed to pollinate it. In the following daylight the flower closes, trapping the beetle, only to open again on the second night having changed colour to red and changed sex to male. Ventnor Botanic Garden basks in the microclimate of The Undercliff, on the Isle of Wight is one of the great gardens of Britain. It lies lies protected from the cold northerly winds by chalk downs. There is a subtropical and exotic plant collection, plants that should be found in protected glasshouses thrive and naturalise out of doors. The garden is an immersive landscape, transporting the visitor to experience Mediterranean regions from around the world. Plants grow in association with each other as in the wild. The Gardens hold the warmth from its southerly aspect so well that, combined with the moderating influence of the sea, frost is rarely known. When frost does occur it is usually of short duration and not great severity. With an average rainfall of 28 inches its climate is more akin to the Mediterranean. This enables a wide variety of plants considered too tender for much of mainland Britain to be grown. The Garden is unrivalled for its collections of subtropical plants grown unprotected out of doors. Many plants are shown in representations of geographical regions, growing in association with each other as in the wild.