Prague Botanical Garden has organised the event, ‘Džungle, která nespí’ (‘Jungle that Does not Sleep’), over the past number of years, and it takes place at the beginning of each year. It is no surprise that the event is very popular. After all, when the greenhouse wakes up at night, the lives of plants and animals are very different to those that we see during the day.
Loud, tiny frog
According to the exhibition curators, sight is not the only way to experience the jungle at night. For example, it is incredible to listen to tropical frogs croaking in the greenhouse. Their loud, alarming sounds cannot be heard in daytime.
"These are small inconspicuous frogs from Cuba, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands," Martin Dvořák, the curator of tropical plants, explains. Coquí frogs have spread from their place of origin to Florida along with exported plants, and then to other American states, where they now live in the wild.
Their eggs, which they lay in humid places, do not go through the stage of tadpoles like other frogs, but develop straight into tiny frogs the size of a lentil. Even as an adult, the greenhouse frog is very small. Some of them grow to no more than three centimetres in length. However, they jump very well and spend most of their lives in trees, like the European tree frog.
During the night, certain plant species also have a more intense scent in the Fata Morgana greenhouse, such as hymenocallis, a hygrophilous species from the marshes and rivers of Central and South America. They can be found near a tropical lake in the lowland rainforest enclosure in the greenhouse. Their flowers are a white colour that does not interest insects during the day. At night, however, they release a scent that is tempting for night butterflies. The pollen that gets caught on their bodies and wings from sucking nectar is then transferred from flower to flower.
Come and soak up the mysterious night jungle atmosphere!
Booking and other information can be found on the website: https://www.botanicka.cz/en.