Thursday, October 6, 2016

Germany trip 2016, part 5: tropical crop plants

Today we visited the Universität Kassel Gewächshaus für tropische Nutzpflanzen (greenhouse for tropical crop plants) in Witzenhausen.

It is really a large complex of several connected glasshouses, featuring anything from fruit trees to grains, from dye plants to medical herbs. It also has an outside garden, but we did not take the time to visit that part.

The cocoa plants (Theobroma cacao) were flowering profusely, but also had a few fruits in varying stages of maturity. As most readers who find this will likely know, the flowers are produced on the trunk of the trees.

Near the entrance of the complex is a huge gourd collection. At any rate, if you are botanically interested and find yourself in the vicinity of Witzenhausen, Germany, you may want to drop by. Opening times are rather restricted though.

The agricultural faculty building is largely a former monastery and accordingly old architecture. It has a distinctly ivy league atmosphere, although given the identity of plants covering the façade I should perhaps write Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus, Vitaceae) league.

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