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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (June 12, 1972)
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Botany greenhouse is exotic haven
Story and Photos
By Peter Anderson
NU School of Journalism
Perhaps one of the most interesting
but least visited buildings on the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus is
the botany laboratory greenhouse, neatly
nestled between Bessey, Oldfather and
Hundreds of people pass it daily, and
for the few who do stop, there's not a red
carpet or a wild crash of cymbals to
welcome them. But there is a sign just
inside the door simply stating "Visitors
The complex consists of three
greenhouses connected by a building
which contains a general purpose work
area, office space, storage and classroom
The greenhouse holds many faculty
and student research projects, but it also
is a living plant museum. Stocked with
plants from as many different classes and
orders as possible, the greenhouse is a
reference source for botany and biology
Glen Drohman, greenhouse manager,
said when students arc studying leaf
constructions, for example, they are able
7 XC A s
Native plant garden (right) takes form out of previously
unused section beside Oldfather Hall. Greenhouse manager
Glen Drohman (above) needs more than watering can to
water plant) in tropical room.
to compare living specimens in the
According to Drohman, the
greenhouse complex is divided into four
areas: two are for general botany class
use, a third is for research, the fourth is
set aside for tropical plants.
Among the many trays of flowers and
plants in one building, there is an area
specifically for a collection of cactus and
succulents. Both are fleshy plants, but
succulents do not have spines.
Passing through another door into the
tropical plant room is like suddenly
waking up in the middle of the Amazon
jungle. Expecting to hear the screech of a
howler monkey or see an exotic jungle
fowl, a visitor at first is uncomfortably
aware of the high temperature and
Orchids, ferns, bromelieads and tall
grasses are found in the shadows of a
mostera tree. The room even contains an
The tiny leaflets of the exotic
Sensitive plant in another section of the
greenhouse fold together and the leaf
stem itself droops whenever the plant is
touched or shaken. In the wild, this
activity is thought to protect the plant by
making it inconspicuous and thus less
I N ; ill
likely to be eaten.
Taking care of the greenhouse facilities
takes all of Drohman's time. It's not a
simple job, he says, to keep plants
growing and looking nice.
Drohman said that first there is the
daily ritual of watering, and in the
summer heat, many plants need to be
watered twice daily. His work also
includes changing the many light bulbs as
they burn out, repotting plants and
constantly pruning and cleaning the
plants of dead materials.
In the 16 years Drohman has been the
greenhouse manager, he tradionally has
planted and cared for the small flower
gardens north of the building.
On top of all this, Drohman recently
took on as a pet project the construction
of the Lloyd Weaver Native Plant Garden.
Weaver retired in December, 1971 as
associate dean of the College of Arts and
Sciences and professor of botany.
Initiated and designed by Drohman,
the garden will include many native
Nebraska plants. Already the garden has
willows, reeds, buffalo grass, wild plum
bushes, sumac and wild rose bushes.
"The thing I'm most pleased with,"
Drohman said, "is that it came out pretty
much the way I planned it."
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Greenhouse complex (left) -something for everyone.
Succulents (above) and cactus (below) take yean to
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MONDAY, JUNE 12,1972
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