MEET FERNS WORTH, OUR TOPIARY DINOSAUR!

Not all dinosaurs at the new Fort Worth Museum of Science and History are of the articulated kind! At the north end of the Museum lives a rather large, green dinosaur. A 62-foot, two-ton steel topiary dinosaur to be exact, a replica of the Paluxysaurus jonesi, the State Dinosaur of Texas.

According to the topiary’s creator and builder, Joe Kyte -- also known as “Topiary Joe”– the dinosaur is believed to be the longest topiary in the world. The tallest topiary is in Manipur, India and measures 61-feet high, according to the “Guinness Book of World Records.”

The hand-made topiary took three weeks for Kyte and his team from Tellico Plains, Tenn., to build. Kyte said this topiary is one of his sustainable green projects. “It’s a structure that lives,” Kyte said. “Everything is organic except the plastic and metal.” The topiary is modeled after the Texas State Dinosaur, the Paluxysaurus jonesi. The hydroponics topiary is meant to grow without the use of soil and will last 20-30 years, according to Kyte. The green matting, made of coconut hair and attached to the frame, consists of several different types of sedum. “It’s a sustainable, low-maintenance and forgiving plant,” Kyte said. “It should do very well in the Museum Courtyard.”

The topiary will require minimum water after the roots have attached to the capillary matting beneath the frame. The capillary matting is a felt-type material and helps plants grow because of its  ability to spread and retain water. Kyte said it will require a “haircut” once or twice a year. The topiary will weigh close to six tons once it is planted, according to Kyte.

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Fun Fact
The Museum's Noble Planetarium was the first planetarium to be named after a female astronomer, Charlie Mary Noble, a Fort Worth educator of math and astronomy.

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