The greenhouse is fully automated, with computer-controlled shades, vents, and watering systems that maintain consistent temperature, humidity, light, and soil moisture levels. With its koi pond, palm trees, and balmy year-round temperatures, the greenhouse is an oasis no matter the season.
The light-filled space is home to about 200 varieties of plants, from cacti and palms to bromeliads and water lilies. Tomatoes, bananas, pineapples, and peppers are harvested each year. The sources of your morning java and chocolate habit — Coffea Arabica and Theobroma cacao plants — thrive here. Carnivorous plants such as flytraps, pitcher plants, and honeydews sit in a dark corner, awaiting their insect prey. Two towering plants — a travelers palm and a Norfolk Island pine — nearly reach the apex of the roof.
The greenhouse also hosts some rare species, including a “corpse flower,” Amorphophallus titanum. A celebrity of the plant world, the corpse flower has a towering blossom that can reach 12 feet high and attracts insects to spread its pollen by looking and smelling like rotting flesh. The leaf structure can grow to 20 feet high and 16 feet across. The plants rarely flower, but SPU’s corpse flower bloomed spectacularly in 2012.
Learn more about the SPU greenhouse on its Facebook page.