I came across this amazing flower – rose of Venezuela, or rose of the jungle – in Bogor Botanical Gardens, Java, Indonesia. It originates from South America, where for millions of years it existed as understorey plant of Amazonian rain forests (endemic to Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Venezuela and Colombia). Once discovered by Man, it has been spread all around the globe and is now widely grown in tropical gardens. In case you fancy one, it does not like temperatures below 55 °F (13 °C) – a bit like me! – but will thrive both in full sun and in partial shade (1). It seemed to be doing very well in these botanical gardens in west Java: Peta Kebun Raya Bogor.
I am a retired entomologist with a background in quarantine pests and invasive invertebrates. I studied zoology at Imperial College (University of London) and did a PhD on the population dynamics of a cereal aphid (Metopolophium dirhodum) in the UK. I spent 5 years with the British Antarctic Survey studing cold hardiness of Antarctic invertebates and 17 years with the Food and Environment Research Agency. My main interests now are natural history, photography, painting and bird watching.