Spotlight on Science: Scott Woodbury

Scott Woodbury spent more than 30 years at Shaw Nature Reserve caring for the Whitmire Wildflower Garden and sharing his wealth of native gardening knowledge in the St. Louis area and beyond. As he prepared to step away from his role at the Nature Reserve, Scott took the time to share his gardening tips, career advice for aspiring horticulturists, and stories from his own life.

When did your favorite Thanksgiving plant food get to America? 

The first Thanksgiving, in American lore, is usually identified as a harvest feast that took place in the fall of 1621 in Massachusetts. But it wasn’t until two centuries later, when President Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November to be Thanksgiving that it started to become the holiday we know today. Congress officially made…

The Plants of Día de los Muertos 

Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos, is a holiday celebrated from October 31—November 2 each year. A blend of precolonial rituals, Latin American traditions, European religion and Spanish culture, family and friends remember deceased loved ones with a joyous celebration that includes food, drink, and flowers. While frequently associated with Mexico, Día…

Plant Profile: Persimmon

The American persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) is a Missouri-native tree known for its edible fruit and cultural connections.

Garden Scientists Describe Rare New Species of Leafless Orchid

With such a strong contrast from a typical orchid, the other-worldly translucent pink stem and petals of this leafless species are certainly striking. In fact, João Farminhão was so struck by the beauty of the plant when he saw a photo of it, he went down a research rabbit hole learning all he could about…

Botanical Resonance: Plants and Sounds in the Garden

Botanical Resonance: Plants and Sounds in the Garden is currently installed in the Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum, which is open for visitors Tuesday–Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30pm. The exhibition content is available online through the Museum’s Twitter and Instagram pages. Please check the Museum website for updates and future online events. All about the…

Saving Potted Mums

Mums are a staple in fall gardens. With a little extra care, they can bloom again year after year and save you from making an annual purchase.

Native Plants Monarchs Love

In July 2022, the International Union for Conservation of Nature officially designated the monarch butterfly as an endangered species. The IUCN Red List, of which the Garden is a contributing partner, is considered the world’s leading authority on conservation status of species. The designation is a big step for monarch conservation, but also left many…

Plant Profile: Surprise Lilies

Every spring, Lycoris plants produce green leaves before going dormant. Months later, as if by magic, colorful blooms suddenly appear, long after the leaves are gone. This peculiar flowering habit has earned Lycoris several nicknames—magic lilies, surprise lilies, resurrection lilies, or disappearing lilies—and make them a popular plant for home gardens. Where it comes from…