Jordyn: I was lucky enough to catch the special on WQED the other night about India in Pittsburgh. If you haven’t seen it, segments can be watched online at:
http://www.wqed.org/tv/onq/specials/india.php. I highly recommend watching this special; it gave me great perspective on the significant extent of the Indian community here in Pittsburgh. Did you know that Pittsburgh is home to some of the oldest and well known Hindu temples in North America?
Phipps staff has been very busy programming for our exhibit opening next year. Installation of Tropical Forest India will begin in January, to be completed in early February.
Ben: I have been busy ordering new plants for the exhibit. Here are some of the highlights that will be sure to inspire our visitors. Beautiful flowering trees like Butea monosperma commonly called “Flame of the forest” because of its vibrant red flowers. Also Delonix elata or as known in the Gujarati language “Sandesra” will make a lovely addition to the room with large white flowers that are fragrant. Other fragrant plants will also be included like Jasmine and a Champaca magnolia. Also economically significant crops like cinnamon, pepper, and tea are all being gathered up for an interactive experience in the coming exhibit. A few other plants we will be trying out are the Himalayan Blue poppy (Meconopsis betionicifolia) and a medicinal herb known as Ashwagandha used in Ayurvedic medicine. This is just a small selection of the plants that will be on display so make sure to come and see us when we open in February 2012.