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Plants: Gardens: Hidden Jungle

In the spring, the Safari Park's Hidden Jungle greenhouse exhibit is all a-flutter with homegrown and exotic butterflies, especially during our spring Butterflies & Orchids event.

So how do we satisfy all those proboscises? We use nectar-producing plants like pentas, lantana, and impatiens (supplemented here and there with dishes of ready-made nectar, just to be sure). These brightly colored flowers invite butterflies for a drink, and in return the butterflies help pollinate the plants. Look for the rounded flower clusters of Lantana camara, which start out white, yellow, or pink but change to deep orange or red as they mature.

The Park's Hidden Jungle greenhouse exhibit is a wonderful showcase for tropical bromeliads, which perch on the branches of trees and woody vines much as they would in the wild. Bromeliads gather water and other nutrients with the spiral pattern of their leaves, which direct them down the stalk to the roots.

Hidden Jungle also exhibits a rotating variety of stunning orchids, especially in the spring during the Butterflies & Orchids celebration. Look for dendrobiums, cymbidiums, epidendrums, cattleyas, and oncidiums, among others.