January is the time of year to take an inexpensive trip to the tropics anytime at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center.
As you enter you will see many new palms in the ground and in containers. These are the Christmas Palms. Native to the Philippines, they are so named because it’s the time of year the fruit form and dangle like Christmas ornaments. The Poinsettias you see throughout the greenhouses were grown by URI Extension Master Gardener volunteers in the Kingston greenhouses and brought here just before Thanksgiving. Two types of Bird of Paradise plants are blooming to your right. On the left side of the greenhouse you will find the Red False Dracaena in the area where weddings frequently happen. Follow the path around the back of the Christmas tree and enjoy the lush and exotic Philodendron x ‘Xanadu’™.
As you move through the hallway into Greenhouse 2 you will see the Coconut Palm in a container. It is placed in the orchid exhibit because it is on loan from a RI Orchid Society member. Turn around and visit the fish pond to see the Maidenhair Ferns and Umbrella Grass lining the edge. The Japanese Camellias are opposite the bog garden. Blooms in red and white can be seen on a few plants. These are different from the hardier type growing outdoors in the lower entry garden. On the other side of the greenhouse toward the back you’ll find the big Calamondin Orange in full fruit. Don’t eat them. They are not sweet like a typical orange. Next go through the doors into the 3rd greenhouse to see the last couple of plants, Senna ‘Golden’ on the right side and the sprawling Lantana on both sides toward the rear.
Take your time and stroll through all four greenhouses to see over 200 species of plants from around the world!