Where the wild things are: inside Amazon’s incredible greenhouse
Thousands of species of plants grow at The Spheres, Amazon's giant indoor wonderland in Seattle. But where do those plants come from? Many start out in what's called a greenhouse, which is a special indoor growing space for plants.
In this virtual tour, join horticulturist Justin as he walks through Amazon's greenhouse, which contains about 3,500 species of plants. If you saw the movie Up, you might remember the Paradise Falls trip and the flat-topped mountains, which are called tepui. Believe it or not, there are plants from that very region inside this greenhouse.
There's also a surprise insect guest at the end of this video, and lots of new words to learn, so watch and listen carefully!
Words and plants to know
As you watch along, listen out for the following terms; they're referenced chronologically throughout the video.
Horticulturist: Horticulturists learn about plants and use that knowledge to grow plants healthy and strong.
Carnivorous: Carnivorous means meat-eating—the "meat" for carnivorous plants is bugs.
Butterwort: Butterworts are carnivorous plants that use sticky leaves to trap insects for food.
Staghorn Sundew: Native to parts of New Zealand and Australia, this plant catches bugs with a sticky liquid on its spiky leaves.
Pitcher plant: This plant has leaves shaped like long tubes. Insects attracted to nectar at the top of the tube fall inside.
Bromeliad: A bromeliad is a type of flowering plant. Pineapples, for example, are bromeliads.
Orchids: Orchids are a family of flowering plants. In this video, you saw a vanilla orchid, which is the source of flavoring for ice cream and other treats.
Pollinated: The vanilla orchid in this video needs to be pollinated, which means moving a powdery substance on the plant called pollen from one part of the flower to another. That helps the flower turn into a vanilla pod that can be used for flavoring.
Parasitic wasp: The parasitic wasp lays eggs in or on other insects. Parasitic means to use other living things as "hosts," or resources for food and growth.
Ovipositor: The ovipositor on the wasp you saw is a long body part that looks like a tail, but it’s actually a tube the wasp uses to lay its eggs.
Virtual Kids Week activities are intended for children with involvement from a parent or guardian.