Seattle Pacific’s greenhouse is located on the top floor of Eaton Hall, SPU’s main science building. Built in 2003, the site is used as both a research laboratory and a teaching space by at least five biology courses, including “Biodiversity: Plant Taxonomy and Identification” and “Chemical Ecology.” Visitors enjoy the beauty and serene atmosphere of the facility and are welcome during visiting hours.

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.

Biology | Why I Teach

Why I Teach at SPU

Derek Wood, Interim Co-Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, STEM and Social Sciences Division; Professor of Biology

"Teaching is a core part of my Christian focus on service, and I am blessed to work with our students at SPU who share a deep desire to help those in need. It is my hope to best prepare them for the challenges they will face in their lives and careers by teaching them to effectively, thoughtfully, and gracefully apply their knowledge to best serve the many needs of our world."