Tropical paradise in the Midwest


April 5th, 2011

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Angel Trumpets stand in front of a 4,000 ton waterfall at the Lauritzen Gardens' botanical center. (Photo credit Anthony Davis)

Omaha, NE – Lauritzen Gardens is letting visitors take a trip to a tropical paradise, right here in the Midwest.

At the Lauritzen Gardens’ botanical center in Omaha in their tropical-themed indoor garden is a waterfall. The sun’s light passes through the glass ceiling, creating reflections of little bouncing circles. Below lies pools of water with schools of large and tiny fish, some colored in unique patterns of orange, white and black, swimming lazily in the sunshine. Shades of green, white, pink, yellow and orange can be spotted throughout the space, and a tropical aroma fills the air.

Matt Heebner is the Director of Horticulture at the garden. Heebner said some of the tropical plants, like the pineapple, banana, bromeliads, and epiphytes are typically found in South America and Central America.

Fish swim in the Koi Pond at Lauritzen Gardens (Photo credit Anthony Davis)

“This show in particular allows us to bring a lot of the large tropical plants that we usually house in the greenhouse out onto display,” Heebner said. “We’re also able to focus a lot on the blooming, colorful foliage plants that some people usually might see indoors in their homes. We get to show them on grand scale here in the display hall.”

Heebner said upkeep of the plants includes making sure they have the right amount of water and light to grow. Heebner also offered some advice for people with a green thumb: he said it’s important to remember that frost can occur in Omaha as late as mid-May.

Pineapple plants found in the tropical garden at Lauritzen Garden (Photo credit Anthony Davis)

“So, if you have an area in your house [where] you might be able to start seeds indoors, go ahead and do that. But make sure you don’t get to happy or too anxious and send stuff out and lose it in a late frost.”

The Spring Garden show is open now until May 8th at Lauritzen Gardens located in south Omaha.

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