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:
Sharing our sketches