The Palm House

 

 

In this jungle environment we grow essentials such as cocoa, coffee and rubber. Avocado, cinnamon, sugarcane and pineapple. Papaya. Ginger. Cardamom. Plantain and vanilla.  It reads like a shopping list. Welcome to the rainforest supermarket! How many everyday foods and ingredients come from the rainforest? Visit the Palm House and discover where the contents of your kitchen cupboards come from.

 Saccharum officinarum - sugarcane     Flowers on a coffee tree

Theobroma cacao (cocoa) pods ripening     Carica papaya

There is even a pharmacy in this rainforest. We grow important medicinal plants such as the leukemia busting rosy periwinkle, Catharanthus roseus. A chemical from the tree Castanospermum australe is in clinical trials for HIV and hepatitis C.

Catharanthus roseus

Did you know pineapples really don’t grow on trees? Or that peanuts grow underground? Once the flower is pollinated above ground, the developing peanut buries into the soil….

Pineapples growing

Competition is fierce in the rainforest as plants jostle for light and space. With no autumn or winter to halt growth and a plentiful supply of water, some plants grow at a phenomenal rate. Others have enormous leaves making the most of available light as it filters down from the canopy. Climbers scramble through other plants in their search for light, while epiphytes hitch a ride and take advantage of other plants’ height.

The Palm House