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Department of Biology

Greenhouse Facility

Location:  Howell Science Building, S-111
Established: 1968

Julie Marik
Research Specialist II / Greenhouse Manager
Department of Biology
Howell Science Building, Room S-111
Greenville, North Carolina  27858
(252) 328.1832


lithops julii bloom 10_23_2008 c 
Dr. Baohong Zhang
Department of Biology
Howell Science Building, Room S112 Greenville, North Carolina  27858
(252) 328-2021
 stapelia bloom

Instrumentation and Capabilities:

The Greenhouse Facility is a ca. 1968 Lord and Burnham steel- and glass-constructed 2400 ft2 greenhouse of four climate controlled rooms upgraded and maintained by Facilities Services.  Services provided are threefold: Maintain growing space for faculty, graduate, and undergraduate research; Grow and maintain specimens and plant material for classroom instruction; Develop and maintain a diverse living collection for teaching purposes.

The greenhouse is staffed by one full-time greenhouse manager and several graduate and undergraduate student workers.  Students work in the facility and receive hands-on experience in the culture and maintenance of plants.  Research supported by the greenhouse includes gene regulation in crop plants (cotton, soy, tobacco), propagation of native species for studies of reproductive ecology and plant-insect interactions, improving drought tolerance of  Christmas tree stock, experiments on environmental factors controlling success of federally listed taxa ( Pitcher's thistle and seabeach amaranth).

The living collection consists of over 100 different plant species originating from a variety of habitats including temperate, aquatic, desert and tropical environments, including the familiar and foreign, benign and bizarre, such as the tiny yet highly invasive mosquito-fern Azolla caroliniana which partners with blue-green algae to harvest nitrogen from the air, several species of the cryptically patterned Living-stones (Lithops sp.),  the weird and wicked-spined Madagascar palm (Pachypodium lamerei), and the malodorous yet majestic carrion flower (Stapelia hirsuta).  Although these plants are used for both teaching and research purposes, the facility is also a favorite spot for visitors who are intrigued by the beauty and aesthetics that this immense variety of plants offers.