As I moved out of the Spiny Desert room, I entered into a humid, cloud rain forest. The birds were chirping, the butterflies fluttering, and the waterfall splashing. It was magical!
I love the added movement of the butterflies in a conservatory. They flutter by as if they haven’t a care in the world. It is hard to get them to sit still for a picture…
The orchids were beautiful!
|Tillandsia usneoides or Spanish moss|
The bromeliads and other epiphytes were literally dripping off the trees.
|Tillandsia usneoides up close|
|Small bromeliads attached to hanging vines|
|A Tillandsia clump growing on a tree branch|
|Colorful bromeliads attached to a tree branch in the canopy|
|My favorite Bromeliad attached to a tree trunk – love the color!|
|Looking up at the tree the catwalk surrounded|
So what is a cloud forest exactly? I’ve discovered that it is cool in the highlands of Costa Rica. (This room really wasn’t sweltering hot.) Clouds from the Caribbean sweep up over the mountains and cover them in mist and rain. Many times while I was in this forest, mist (which were actually pretty big drops) would come out of the ceiling and rain down on all the plants and me. At least they use purified water. Thus, by the time I left I had fuzzy, frizzy hair. Who really cares, anyway, when surrounded by such amazing beauty?
The best part of this room is being able to climb up (there were stairs-I did not climb this tree) into the canopy 25 feet above on a catwalk. Looking down on top of the plants is such a different view of the forest.
Looking down on the bromeliad covered tree branch. The picture below is looking up at the same branch from the floor.
|Bromeliad tree from below|
|Looking down on the waterfall below|
The were beautiful vines blooming, but you wouldn’t know it unless you climbed up to the canopy catwalk. They were growing up the poles of the catwalk and then along the railings.Almost everything in the rainforest that was flowering was there for the butterflies and birds.
| Blooming vine|
|Loved this curly tendril on one of the vines|
|Petrea volubilis – Queen’s Wreath or Bluebird Vine|
|Enormouse Papaya tree|
|Jatropha integerrima or spicy jatropha|
|Rondeletia leucophylla or Panama Rose|
The Panama rose on the right, is sweetly fragrant and the butterflies love it!
|Asplenium nidus or bird’s nest fern |
I’ll leave you with my favorite picture. This spore covered bird’s nest fern with the sun shining through it is so gorgeous. It is growing in a bed of footed ferns. I have posted more pictures of the Cleveland Botanical Garden on my Pinterest board here.
Remember, visit your local conservatory often. You never know what new things will be blooming and changing.