By: Tyler Gillette
On Miami University’s Western campus, you can escape the cold fall weather and enjoy the warmth of a greenhouse full of tropical flowers. The Belk Greenhouse is in Boyd Hall on Western campus and is open to the public.
The greenhouse is open year-round from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m on weekdays. This is because plants need to be watered every day.
John Keegan has been the greenhouse’s manager and a professor in the Botany department for around 40 years. He encourages people to come and check out the greenhouse.
John Keegan also teaches viticulture and enology, which is also referred to as the wine class. He has taught almost 5,000 students since he started teaching the course.
The greenhouse is also used for research in the Biology department. One of the experiments taking place in the greenhouse is being executed by Richard Moore, a professor who uses the greenhouse to house papayas to study sex chromosomes and evolution.
The greenhouse is home to many species of plants from all over the world. There is a corpse flower that is one of 200 that has bloomed in cultivation.
Local Oxford schools also come to the greenhouse to learn about botany.
All types of people and majors use the greenhouse as a getaway, especially during the cold months when the greenhouse is still warm and provides a tropical paradise in Oxford.
Students use the greenhouse and the plants for many of their classes when they need inspiration for art classes or need a study break. There even has been commercials and fashion shoots here.
There is also a room that only houses cacti and succulents.
If you want a tropical getaway between classes and you are near Western campus, you should make a trip to the Belk Greenhouse.
Pictures by Tyler Gillette.