Botanical Gardens By:Yin Fei

Brugmansia or Angel's Trumpet is a type of woody tree or shrub, that are commonly recognized for their large, fragrant, trumpet-shaped-flowers. Most Brugmansia are fragrant only in the evenings to attract pollinating moths. It's classification includes being an angiosperm, seeded, vascular, and a dicot. Angel's Trumpet are native to tropical regions of South America, along the Andes from Venezuela to northern Chile, and also in south-eastern Brazil. They have been traditionally used in many South American cultures, in medical preparations and as a drug to give a non ordinary state of consciousness in religious or spiritual ceremonies. This is mainly because all parts of this plant are potentially poisonous, with the seeds and leaves being especially dangerous. They can cause effects such as hallucinations, amnesia, poisoning, and even death. They can also use their toxicity as an advantage for protection against herbivores when being eaten. But, medicinally, they have mostly been used externally as part of a poultice, or ointment, where they treat various aches, pains, headaches, infections, swelling and even arthritis. On the other hand, they have also been used internally, although much more rarely, due to the inherent dangers of ingestion. This was to induce vomiting, to expel worms and parasites, and as a sedative.

Bixa Orellana, or better known as the Achiote Shrub/Small Tree, is a plant that originates from the tropical region of South America. It's classification includes, being an seeded, vascular, angiosperm, and a dicotyledon. Humans have many uses for this beautiful specimen, especially its seedpods, that are revealed when the fruit capsule ripens. They yield bright red dye that people can use for body paint, foods, and even lipstick. They were also very valuable towards the industry, before synthetic dyes were invented. The pigment they withhold, was extracted by solvent, or boiling the seeds in oil, which were then used to color cheese, chocolate, fabric, and paints. Ground Orellana seeds are often mixed with other seeds or spices to form a paste or powder for culinary uses in many different cultures. The seeds are heated in oil or lard to extract its dye and flavor for use in dishes and processed foods such as cheese, butter, soup, gravy, sauces, cured meats, and other items. The seeds have a subtle flavor and aroma and a yellow to reddish-orange color to food. They are also used to color and flavor rice instead of the much more expensive saffron. Finally, the tree also had a history of medical benefits, such as many of its parts being used for treatments of a wide variety, from simple fevers, to cancer.

Jade Vines (Strongylodon macrobotrys) are vascular, seeded, dicots that are in the angiosperms category. These mesmerizing plants, are a native to the tropical forests of the Philippines, as they grow near streams in damp forests or in ravines. They are more accustomed to hotter areas, because if placed in any temperature below 60 degrees, can cause serious damage to the roots. Positioned like small hooks or claws from the vines, this stance makes it easier to be pollinated by a certain species of bat, that hangs upside down on the inflorescence, to drink its nectar. They are attracted to the plant's unique color, that can change (depending on the amount of light), so as they land or fly onto certain spots, it causes the pollen to spread around it. Plus, they are also vines, which means that they can wrap around other trees in the forest, and absorb their nutrients, while also gaining height, in order to be closer to the sun. But, they are also very vulnerable, as a result of deforestation and with the decline of its natural pollinators. These plants are most commonly used as a ornament for the house, decoration (for hats or even leis in Hawaii), or a garden plant, since they can also be grown as a hedge. It also has a domestic popularity because of its low maintenance, and with the fact that the plant utilizes a special type of photosynthesis, that allows it to survive long droughts (meaning it doesn't have to be watered often.)

Jade Vine-

Angels Trumpet-

Achiote/ Annatto-

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