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Introduction: Concept of the aquatic plant house

Most tropical aquatic plants don’t spend all their time underwater, but have adapted to changing water levels. During the rainy season, they’re entirely covered by water. As it gets drier, water levels fall and they appear above the surface. Most aquatic plants blossom during this phase: only a handful of plants bloom underwater. This is because water isn´t an effective transporter of pollen. Plants that bloom above water are usually pollinated by insects that carry the pollen from flower to flower. If a plant were to release pollen directly into the water, it’s much less likely that it would reach its target.

The Aquatic Plant House is arranged in that way that you can see submerged plants in the aquariums, while they are presented in their surface form in the basins on the opposite side. Notice that the underwater leaves often are finely slitted to reduce their resistance to water currents. The leaves that appear above water mostly have entire margins, or are at least less divided.

You’ll find few flowers in the aquariums, but once you see the same species in the swamp basins, you’ll realize that our aquatic plants are definitely belonging systematically to the flowering plants.

Audio file download
Introduction: Concept of the aquatic plant house (MP3, 612 KB)

Audio production and copyright: Soundgarden Audioguidance GmbH
Text: Günter Gerlach, Botanischer Garten München-Nymphenburg

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