Visitors at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington got a rare treat recently when they learned about the surprise appearance of a rare bloom.
In the 20 years it's been on display, the Jade Vine, also known as Emerald Creeper, has only bloomed once before, says Devin Dotson, the Garden's public affairs and exhibit specialist.
Standing on a high walkway in the hot and humid "Jungle Room" of the Garden, Dotson pointed out that the flower starts "high up in the canopy and works its way down."
"Its blooms are going to just grow and grow and grow," he said. "The vines will go all the way down to the ground, so visitors even down below — in another few weeks — are going to be able to see this magnificent color."
The striking blue-green shade of the flower clusters "look almost fake," Dotson remarked, adding that it's totally natural. "We don't have to dye it, and we're really excited to share this with our visitors."
The flower, officially known as Strongylodon Macrobotrys, is closely related to legumes, such as kidney beans and runner beans. It's normally found in the tropical forests of the Philippines, and for a short time only, blooming in all its glory at the U.S. Botanic Garden.
WATCH: Get a close-up view of the rare bloom