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Bodhi

The Black Dog Canis lupus familiaris 'Bodhi'

This is the original black dog mascot for Black Dog LED.

Scientific classification:
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Genus: Canis
Species: lupus
Subspecies: familiaris
Cultivar: 'Bodhi'

Natural habitat and growing conditions:
Bodhi is frequently found supervising operations or sleeping on our feet under our desks, and greets all visitors to the Black Dog LED office. He has a weakness for jerky treats and is well-adapted to a temperate climate- he doesn't mind snow, but prefers not to be watered from overhead. While Bodhi doesn't perform photosynthesis, he does appreciate full sun for basking.

Notes of interest:

  • Bodhi loves to chase flies around the office, although he does not digest the insects he catches, unlike the carnivorous plants.



Huperzia squarrosa

Tassle Fern Huperzia squarrosa

Other common names for this plant include firmoss or fir clubmoss. Not a true fern or a moss, this plant represents an intermediate stage in evolution from mosses to ferns.

Scientific classification:
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Lycopodiophyta
Class: Lycopodiopsida
Order: Lycopodiales
Family: Huperziaceae
Genus: Huperzia
Species: squarrosa

Natural habitat and growing conditions:
This plant is an ultra-tropical epiphyte (living on tree branches, though not as a parasite) native to tropical rain forests in Southeast Asia. It requires constant warmth, high humidity, bright light and a well-drained moist substrate to perform well.

Notes of interest:

  • The spores were used as flash powder for theater effects and cameras in the 19th century, as they burn quickly and brightly but with little heat.
  • The plant is structurally similar to the earliest vascular land plants; indeed in the Carboniferous giant tree-like forms of Lycopodiophyta (the same division of plants as Huperzia, closely related) dominated the landscape; their remains form most of the coal we mine today.



Nepenthes hybrid

Tropical Pitcher Plant Nepenthes hybrid

Also known as monkey cups, these carnivorous plants attract, capture, kill and digest insects and small vertebrates for nutrients. The environments Nepenthes inhabit typically are incredibly nutrient-poor, and carnivory allows the plants to receive the nutrients they require to grow.

Scientific classification:
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Angiosperms
Class: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Nepenthaceae
Genus: Nepenthes

Natural habitat and growing conditions:
Nepenthes are widely distributed in the Old World tropics, ranging from ultra-tropical lowlands to tropical alpine conditions, depending on the species. Cultural conditions vary depending on the exact species, but they generally require a well-drained substrate, water low in disolved solids, and high humidity.

Notes of interest:

  • Nepenthes pitchers are modified leaves- what looks like normal leaves is actually the petiole.
  • There are over 100 species of Nepenthes, many limited to a single mountain.
  • Nepenthes are believed to have evolved more than 55 million years ago.



Myrmecodia solomonensis

Ant Plant Myrmecodia solomonensis

This plant lives in a symbiotic relationship with a colony of ants. Hollow tunnels form inside the caudex (the swollen base of the stem) with external entrance holes, and ants can use the plant as an above-ground nest. In exchange, the ants provide nutrients for the plant in the form of their droppings, and defend the plant from other insects.

Scientific classification:
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Angiosperms
Class: Eudicots
Order: Gentianales
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Myrmecodia
Species: solomonensis

Natural habitat and growing conditions:
Native to the Solomon islands, this plant is an ultra-tropical epiphyte (living on tree branches, though not as a parasite). It requires constant warmth, high humidity, and bright light to perform well. It can be grown mounted, or in a airy potting mix.

Notes of interest:

  • The symbiosis with ants allows the plant to grow in otherwise nutrient-poor locations on tree branches with little or no substrate; the ants effectively deliver nutrients back to the plant from a much larger area than the roots could ever get.
  • Many other plant species have developed symbiotic relationships with ants, using them for pollination, seed distribution, nutrient sources or defense. Some are even obligate mutualisms-- the ants and plant are interdependent and cannot survive on their own.



Hibiscus 'Erin Rachel'

Tropical Hibiscus Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Erin Rachel'

This beautiful flowering bush blooms almost continuously when in ideal conditions.

Scientific classification:
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Angiosperms
Class: Eudicots
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Species: rosa-sinensis
Cultivar: 'Erin Rachel'

Natural habitat and growing conditions:
Growing as a bush in tropical and subtropical regions, this species is native to East Asia. The plant prefers to be kept above 50 °F.

Notes of interest:

  • Many cultivars of this species are available with widely-ranging flower color and size. This cultivar's flowers aren't particularly large at about 5 inches, but they are strikingly colored and almost iridescent as the color shifts when viewed from different angles.



Plumeria 'Dwarf Singapore Pink'

Dwarf Evergreen Frangipani Plumeria obtusa 'Dwarf Singapore Pink'

The highly-fragrant flowers of this bush are often used to make leis.

Scientific classification:
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Angiosperms
Class: Eudicots
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Genus: Plumeria
Species: obtusa
Cultivar: 'Dwarf Singapore Pink'

Natural habitat and growing conditions:
Native to Central America, this evergreen species requires constant warmth and water, unlike the other species in Plumeria which go dormant during dry or cooler weather. A well-drained potting mix works best.

Notes of interest:

  • Individual inflorescences can produce dozens of flowers over many months.