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Thread: nepenthes at the National Botanic Garden

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    nepenthes at the National Botanic Garden

    ... there are none. Not really. Nepenthes have always been very pitifully represented at the DC conservatory. I went there a few years ago and they had maybe three different species, and they were all placed poorly (low light and low humidity). I went there again today hoping to be surprised by better representation, but it has gotten worse. They have a burkei and a few mirandas. One of the mirandas was actually spectacular, but it was smooshed up against a window in a spot that was easy to overlook. The burkei had zero pitchers that hadn't withered, probably due to its unfortunate placement. There are tons of spots where a nepenthes would explode with growth at that facility and that's never where nepenthes are placed.

    It's disappointing to know that I can't go to my nearest multi-million dollar conservatory and check out a few healthy nepenthes. It makes me wonder if there's something we can do about it. Can we put pressure on them to acquire more of them? Can we send them cuttings? Even if we did, they clearly don't know their requirements. Could we encourage them to do some more research? I'm tempted to tell them, "Here's a free plant. Let me hang it where I want to and you won't have to think about it again."

    People involved with conservatory-type institutions... what would you do?

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    I have met the head horticulturist from the Smithsonian's Mary Livingston Ripley Garden, her name is Janet Draper. She probably knows the people there and might be able to give us an in over at the conservatory. In my experience though, getting a conservatory to listen to an average person is rather difficult no matter how knowledgeable that person is. If you were to volunteer there they will definitely be a little more receptive to your suggestions.
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