While in the Garden Court of the United States Botanical Garden Conservatory, I was so entranced by the Orchid Symphony that I barely looked at the other plants in the room. As of yesterday, the 2014 Orchid Symphony only exists in photographs and videos.
The other plants in the Garden Court are ethno-botanical plants, plants used in products such as fibers, food, beverages, cosmetics, wood, spices and others. One example (with very limited use) is the yucca rostrata.
|Yucca rostrata (Beaked Yucca)|
Yucca rostrata is almost always grown as an ornamental plant. Yucca fruit can be cooked and eaten, but rarely is. The root of the yucca rostrata is inedible. Yucca is often confused with yuca, the root portion of the manihot esculenta (Cassava).
The only other ethno-botanical plant I took a picture of far is more useful. If you’ve been reading this since Washington DC, A to Z: Botanic Garden you will recognize this photo of theobroma cacao (cacao tree). The fruit, called a cacao pod, contains 20 to 60 seeds, usually called “beans”, embedded in a white pulp. These seeds are the main ingredient of chocolate.
|Theobroma cacao (Cacao Tree)|