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House 5- Bonsai and Ivy

Ivy, Carnivorous Plants & Medicinal Garden House 5
The largest public ivy collection in the world is featured here. Highlights also include herbs, bonsai, carnivorous plants, flowering tropical plants and the Medicinal Garden. Made possible by D’Youville College School of Pharmacy and Mercy Hospital, part of Catholic Health, the Medicinal Garden is a place to learn how plants relate to our everyday lives.

What can you find in this greenhouse?

Medicinal Garden Collection 
Our Medicinal Garden Collection, developed in collaboration with D’Youville School of Pharmacy and Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, provides visitors with a better understanding of the importance of medicinal plants and how they are used in traditional, herbal and modern medicines. In this collection, you'll find plants from all over the world. A lot of these plants are also edible! Some of these plants are herbs, spices, vegetables, and fruits that you could find in your kitchen.  

Carnivorous Collection  
This collection highlights plants that eat meat! Carnivorous plants are extremely rare in the world. While it has been estimated that there are as many as 400,000 known species of flowering plants, less than 200 have been found to be carnivorous. Carnivorous plants attract, capture, kill and digest their prey using digestive enzymes. Most carnivorous plants grow naturally in bogs where the soil is lacking nutrients. As a result, carnivorous plants developed special adaptations that allowed them to get the nutrients they need by trapping and digesting their prey. Our carnivorous collection features Venus flytraps, butterworts, sundews and pitcher plants.  

Ivy Collection  
We are proud to have the largest public ivy collection in the world housing over 400 varieties.  Ivies, like a number of other plants, have a juvenile stage (or form) in which the overall appearance differs markedly from the adult or flowering phase.  But don’t worry - we don’t have poison ivy – which isn’t really ivy, at all!  

Bonsai Collection
The term bonsai (bone-sigh) does not actually refer to a specific type of tree or plant. Bonsai is an art form, originally from Japan and China, that involves growing trees in pots or trays. To make a bonsai, a young tree is carefully planted in a shallow pot. The shallow pots keep the roots of the tree short, stunting its growth. In order to keep the branches small and control its shape, bonsai trees are regularly trimmed. There are many different styles and shapes of bonsai. People often use wire to shape the trunk and branches of the tree to create different styles.  

Moss is frequently used as a groundcover for bonsai since it retains water and holds the soil in the container. Being a tiny plant, moss maintains the miniature image of bonsai. Many bonsai are also paired with an accent plant. Little hostas and some varieties of cacti or succulents are commonly used as accents in their own tiny tray!
The collection is cared for by the Bonsai Study Group and the Buffalo Bonsai Society. 
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