Plant Profiles

Map of the Garden

Use the Interactive Map to explore the Garden.

Learn more about plants that you can see at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Butterwort

Scientific Name: 
Pinguicula
Origin: 
Native to every continent except Australia
Family: 
Lentibulariaceae

Butterworts are also known as “pings.” In Latin, Pinguicula means “little greasy one” because the leaves look and feel greasy. The greasy substance is actually a sticky trap for small insects like fruit flies and gnats.  More Information

Chocolate

Scientific Name: 
Theobroma cacao
Origin: 
Amazon basin
Family: 
Sterculiaceae

Originating from the Amazon rainforests, where it grows as a medium sub-canopy tree, cocoa has been transported all over the tropical world. The best cocoa is produced from the brilliant red and yellow pods of the "Criollo" forms that arose from those grown in Central America by the Mayans and Aztecs. More Information

Cinnamon

Scientific Name: 
Cinnamomum zeylanicum (true cinnamon)
Origin: 
Sri Lanka, Southwest India
Family: 
Lauraceae

There is quite a bit of confusion about cinnamon. True cinnamon is harvested from Cinnamomum zeylanicum, a medium-sized tree, originating from the forests of Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon.  More Information

Jack in the Pulpit

Scientific Name: 
Arisaema triphyllum
Origin: 
Eastern North America
Family: 
Araceae

An herbaceous woodland perennial, Jack in the Pulpit is one of the most recognizable flowers in the forest. The leaves are trifoliate, with groups of three leaves growing together at the top of a long stem. More Information

Lotus

Scientific Name: 
Nelumbo lutea
Origin: 
United States
Family: 
Nelumbonaceae

Nelumbo lutea is native to the United States. Luminescent yellow flowers stand high above round blue-green leaves. Lotus leaves are circular with the leaf stalk in the middle, and no cut nor indentation like water lily leaves.  More Information

Nepenthes

Scientific Name: 
Nepenthes
Origin: 
Native primarily to the Malaysian region, India and Australia
Family: 
Nepenthaceae

This gigantic carnivore eats many insects and has even been known to eat small mammals like rats! Nepenthes are shaped like a large cup. People have been known to use the cups to carry water and even cook rice.  More Information

Sarracenia

Scientific Name: 
Sarracenia
Origin: 
Most species occur only in the southeastern United States
Family: 
Sarraceniaceae

Pitcher plants are aptly named because their leaves are shaped like tall, cone-shaped pitchers that hold fluid. Insects, like bees, butterflies and ants are attracted to the top of the trap because of its bright red color and sweet smell.  More Information

Sundew

Scientific Name: 
Drosera
Origin: 
Native to every continent except Antarctica
Family: 
Droseraceae

Sundews are sparkling beauties with a taste for insects. Their leaves are covered with long tentacles. On the end of each tentacle is a sticky ball of glue that looks like a sweet drop of nectar. More Information

Vanilla

Scientific Name: 
Vanilla planifolia
Origin: 
Southeast Mexico, Guatemala
Family: 
Orchidaceae

The most surprising thing about vanilla is that it is derived from the seed pods (beans) of an orchid, Vanilla planifolia. Native to the coastal rainforests of Southeast Mexico and Guatemala, it grows in the rainforest as a vine. It produces waxy white to green flowers. After pollination by humming birds, the 6-9-inch beans take nine months to develop. More Information

Venus Fly Trap

Scientific Name: 
Dionaea muscipula
Origin: 
North and South Carolina, USA
Family: 
Droseraceae

These tricky plants move to trap and digest their prey, which are usually small insects like beetles, ants and flies. The Venus fly trap lures insects into its trap with a bright red color and a sweet nectar substance. Insects cannot resist the possibility of a tempting treat so they quickly investigate a dangerous Venus fly trap leaf.  More Information

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