UW Greenhouse

Seattle Urban Sketchers had our monthly sketch outing at the University of Washington (“UW”) Greenhouse.  Doug Ewing, the manager of the greenhouse, was a wonderful host.  He happily gave lots of information on any plant about which we asked.  The details below are based on his “lectures”.

I wanted to include some of the greenhouse infrastructure.  Here is a jar of female seeds for the huge Welwitschia mirabilis.  Doug said water got in the jar and its drying out on the duct.

Here is one of the sketchers drawing the huge mirabilis:

Then I sketched some carnivorous plants.  The “Shrew Loo” has a story.  It has evolved a symbiotic relationship with a shrew.  See this article and it’s accompanying photo   which describes how the shrew eliminates into the large opening of the plant.  According to Doug, the plant doesn’t catch bugs like other carnivore plants, it converts the “poo” into nitrogen.  It also produces a sap which the shrew finds very tasty.  So it attracts and feeds it’s own source of food.  The sap contains a fast acting laxative!  So the plant is assured of nutrition while it feeds the shrew.

Given there are no shrews in the greenhouse, my obvious next question was, what does he feed this one?  He has a friend with Llamas and he feeds the plant some Llama poo. 

The group was huge: somewhere between 35-40 artists were there. I don’t think everyone is in the photo:

Our host, Doug, is kneeling in front on the left.

Sharing our sketches

All the photos are here.


About redharparts

Born in Michigan. Attended undergrad and graduate universities there. I've lived in England, Germany, Southern California and now Washington (state). I'm a retired Medical Social Worker with a past specialty in Oncology. I've enjoyed exploring historical re-creation through the SCA. I costume in several fandoms. Lately I've returned to Art and have taken up Urban Sketching, a version of en plein air painting.
This entry was posted in NaNoDrawMo, Sketch Crawl, Sketches, Urban Sketchers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to UW Greenhouse

  1. Tiantian says:

    Thank you for the photos. I’m the one who is drawing the huge mirabilis. This is a photo I will show to my friends and my families after I go back China. I googled mirabilis yesterday and found that’s really a unusual plant. No matter you were interested in it. 🙂 You did very beautiful watercolors!I like them!

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