ASHEBORO, N.C. - During the entire month of July, the North Carolina Zoo will host a display of flowering backyard flowers and houseplants of African origin at the park's Africa Pavilion-the second of three tropical plant exhibits held there throughout 2009.

The month-long display, "Exotic Roots of Backyard Flowers," will feature more than 800 flowering plants--such as impatiens, rosy periwinkle, Egyptian star flower, polka-dot plant and the more exotic calla lily and bird-of -paradise.

Visitors can learn fun facts such as how impatiens, once only available to the wealthy, are now one of the most popular annual bedding plants in America and how calla lilies, once known as funeral flowers, are now popular for bridal bouquets-and much more.

An upcoming October show will feature African violets. Both the July and October shows are part of the Tropical Plant Walk in the Pavilion. Information on these shows is available online at . Visitors are encouraged to download the guide there when planning an N.C. Zoo visit.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources, Dee Freeman, Secretary; Beverly Eaves Perdue, Governor.