Miller Nature Preserve
Virtual Tour


Additional Info:

Plant Spotlights:

  • Banana Plant
  • Red Button Ginger
  • Crocodile Fern
  • Saguaro Cactus
  • Japanese Bird's Nest Fern
  • Sausage Tree
  • Lipstick Plant
  • Soli mutate
  • North American Carnivorous Plants


    This banana plant in the conservatory features many small bananas that will ripen and be edible. Each stalk of a banana plant only produces one stem of bananas so once the bananas become ripe enough and removed, the stalk will be removed. Bananas reproduce by sending up young plants called pups.

    Click the video to the right to get a closer look!



    It doesn’t take much imagination to see how this fern got its name. The leaves are patterned just like the skin of a crocodile. This fern is native to South Africa so prefers warm and humid climates.

    Click the video to the right to get a closer look!



    One of many different ferns located at Miller Nature Preserve, this fern resembles its namesake, a bird's nest, in the center of the plant. The unique shape of the curling fronds is called a fiddlehead. As is the case with all ferns, the Japanese Birds' Nest Fern reproduces not by seeds, but with the spores on the underside of the fronds. Every fern has a different pattern of spores and this particular fern has brown lines on the underside of the fronds.

    Click the video to the right to get a closer look!



    If the plant is not in bloom, it may be hard to tell how this plant got its name. A look at the flowers shows that they look just like a lipstick that has been turned all the way out of the case.






    We have a display of different North American Carnivorous Plants at Miller Nature Preserve for all to see. Carnivorous plants are plants that eat insects and live in a bog area, which has soil that lacks nitrogen, so the plants must consume other living things to acquire nitrogen. These plants do make their own food, but still need the nitrogen to be able to make their own food. This display features North American and Tropical Pitcher Plants, Sundew Plants and Venus Fly Traps. Watch the video to see a demonstration of a Venus Fly Trap consuming an insect.

    Click the video to the right to get a closer look!


    Red Button Ginger

    This is one of several kinds of ginger plants found in the conservatory. This is not the ginger that we use as a spice. Several things to notice about this plant are the leaves form in a spiral pattern around the stem. The flowers of the plant form from a flower spike at the ends of the stems that is formed by red overlapping waxy scales that make it look like a red pine cone. The actual flowers emerge from between the scales and last only a day.




    When we hear “saguaro cactus” thoughts are usually of Arizona and large cactus with “arms”. You will find two saguaro cactus plants as part of the desert area. The smaller one was started from seed 15-20 years ago. The larger one is a donated plant. Although we don’t know how old it is, we know it is less than 75 years old since it hasn’t started growing arms yet. The cactus lives to be about 150 years old and doesn’t grow the arms until 75 years.

    Click the video to the right to get a closer look!


    Red Button Ginger

    This tree is native to Africa and gets its name for the fruit that forms after the flowers. The fruits can grow to 2 ft. long and weigh 20 lbs. Although not edible for humans, elephants, hippos, and giraffes enjoy eating the fruit.





    This plant is in the begonia family. It is also called the sun tan begonia because the leaves that are exposed to the sun become a slightly different shade. Look at the leaves and see if you can find some that have been shaded from the sun.




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