The Tropical zone in Cannington's glass houses

As the warmer weather appears to have deserted us again I've taken measures into my own hands and today I'm sharing pictures from our visit to the Tropical zone in Cannington's glass house.  It was grey and misty in London for most of today and while the warmer temperatures are forecast, I'd appreciate if they were here now.  I'm sure you would too!

The glass house was hot and humid, replicating the wet tropics of Indonesia and the Amazon Rainforest, I'm taking this post as a kind of acclimatising type of post in readiness and anticipation of less grey, less misty and more Spring-like weather.  

Even just writing this post I can feel the warmth as we stepped into this area, the temperatures aim to be between 26 and 28 degrees, tough hey?

Lush leaves in the tropical zone at Cannington

Warm, but lush. 

Just look at all the greens, and the odd burst of colour too.

Pops of colour in the jungle
speckled leaves enjoying the heat as much as me

As we walked around the small but densely planted space, something unusual caught my eye above me.  It was green, but not the usual green of plants. Taking a closer look, I was right, but no less curious. 

up above there was something strange and green

I don't think I've ever seen anything like it, and had no idea what it was. We thought it might be pepper, but we'd seen that at RHS Wisley and it wasn't this colour. 

Isn't the colour vibrant? And isn't it fascinating?

On closer inspection it was jade vine and as vibrant as it looks here

Thankfully there was a sign telling us it was a "Strongylodon macrobotrys" or more helpfully a Jade Vine.  I can see how it gets its name!

It's also commonly known as an Emerald Vine or Turquoise Jade Vine and is a native of the tropical forests of the Philippines.  Stems can be up to 18 metres in length and it's a member of the pea and bean family.  Can you imagine if I grew one of these on the allotment...

No me neither, especially in this weather.

colourful leaves in the jungle at cannington

But there was more colour for us to see before we headed back to the more temperate areas.  The pink, red and green leaves above, which I'm sure I've photographed before, most likely at Wisley and a much welcomed hibiscus. 

The prettiest hibiscus at Cannington in Somerset

Doesn't it look fresh and full of warmth.  So who knew that you could find such tropical-ness in a small part of Somerset which is well worth a visit if you're close by.  I'm sure you won't be disappointed, and the added bonus is that if it's a chilly day, like us, you can spend time discovering the peculiar, but wonderful Jade Vine.