Darwin Day in the Minot State University Greenhouse

Published: Feb. 12, 2019 at 5:01 PM CST
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Tuesday, we celebrate what would be the 210th birthday of Charles Darwin.

Darwin was an early scientist best known for his research on the theory of evolution.

To celebrate, Minot State University opened their greenhouse to the public to show off some of the plants Darwin studied years ago.

"Biology without Darwin is like Biology without living things,” said Alexey Shipunov, Biology Department associate professor.

Minot State's greenhouse allows you to learn while being transported to a tropical jungle.

"I like greenery and I like the flowers. There are many different colors in here,” said Stacey Richter, a greenhouse viewer.

Some of those flowers are orchids, which happened to be one of the key plants Darwin studied years ago.

"He studied carnivorous pants. He made one of the first experiments, he tried to feed carnivorous plants with some prey like food. And slow he studied movements in plants and we have sensitive plants. And he studied pollination in orchids. So we have three kinds of plants which Darwin worked with,” said Shipunov.

Darwin focused his research on the behavior of plants, which allows today's teachers to educate young people.

"With his pioneering work I can know tell about multiple different plant phenomenon and mention his name and what he did,” said Shipunov.

With more than 400 species of plants, this greenhouse provides a basis for learning that's hard to find.

"So it looks like it is a bit over stuffed but it is not. It is exactly like a typical tropical forest. In North Dakota this is the second most populated greenhouse after the peace garden,” said Shipunov.

Even with the all the diversity, everyone seems to have a favorite plant.

"The pitcher plant is really fascinating,” said Stacey Richter.

"The Coffee and Chocolate forest because there is a coffee tree in one corner and a chocolate tree in the other,” said Shipunov.

A unique place to show how research more than 200 years old is still impacting the science world today.

The greenhouse is open to the public until 9 p.m. Tuesday.

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