Spotlight on Science: Dr. Aaron Floden

Dr. Aaron Floden Assistant Scientist, Flora of Missouri When Aaron Floden first started collecting plants, he purposefully chose a geographic area with low collection numbers. In fact, the 498 square mile area only had about 300 documented species. By the time Floden finished, that number surpassed 1,500 species, including seven species not previously known to…

Back from the Brink: Saving a Species on the Edge of Extinction

On a bench in the Missouri Botanical Garden greenhouse, there sits a handful of seemingly unassuming seedlings. They are only a few inches tall and just beginning to show their true leaves. Their small stature belies the enormity of the efforts to save this plant from extinction. Karomia gigas is, after all, one of the…

Spotlight on Science: Dr. Robbie Hart

Dr. Robbie Hart Assistant Curator, High Elevation Ethnobotany and GLORIA Robbie Hart has always been a mountain man. No, he doesn’t sport a long beard and flannel apparel, but since Hart was a kid, he’s loved spending his days immersed in the unique ecosystems of the mountains. He grew up above Port Angeles, Washington, in…

Spotlight on Science: Dr. Pete Lowry

Dr. Pete Lowry Senior Curator and Director of the Africa & Madagascar Program   When Pete Lowry thinks about the beginnings of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s work in Madagascar, he is still taken aback by what the program has become. Lowry was among the first Garden scientists who traveled to Madagascar decades ago to collect plants…

Spotlight on Science: Dr. Jan Salick

A monthly look at the people behind plant science at the Missouri Botanical Garden Dr. Jan Salick Senior Curator of Ethnobotany, William L. Brown Center As an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Jan Salick couldn’t decide on a major, so she took a temporary leave to figure it out while traveling the world. …

Rare Flower Comes to the Climatron

Keep your eyes peeled on your next trip through the Climatron, and you may spot the beautiful flower of Nesocodon mauritianus. It’s the first time the Garden has been able to put this rare plant on display—and the latest development in our efforts to save this showy species. What is it? Nesocodon mauritianus is a…

Spotlight on Science: Dr. Christine Edwards

A monthly look at the people behind plant science at the Missouri Botanical Garden Dr. Christine Edwards Stephen and Camilla Brauer Conservation Geneticist Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development When Christy Edwards was about 8 years old, she would often accompany her mom, who was pursuing a master’s degree in landscape architecture, on field trips…

Spotlight on Science: Tom Croat

A monthly look at the people behind plant science at the Missouri Botanical Garden Dr. Tom Croat P.A. Schulze Curator of Botany Tom Croat has been called the Indiana Jones of botany, and when you hear him describe his collecting journeys to the Tropics, it fits. Croat, 80, has spent about a third of his…

Plant Profile: Cacao

There are few plants whose scientific name translates as “food of the gods,” but the Greek name for cacao—Theobroma cacao —does. It makes sense that this plant, famous for being the key ingredient in modern day chocolate, has become important for many cultures around the world. Ethnobotany: The study of the relationships between people and…

Plant Science Superstars

Some of America’s all-star athletes have spent the past couple of weeks at the Winter Olympics bringing home the gold (and silver and bronze), but did you know there are some all-stars closer to home, too? While they may not be champions of ice dancing or curling, the Missouri Botanical Garden is home to some…

Get Swept up in Orchid Mania

What is orchid mania? These days, you can buy an orchid just about anywhere — grocery stores, gardening centers, and (shameless plug) the gift shop of your favorite botanical garden. In the 19th century however, these beautiful flowers were incredibly rare in cultivation. New species were highly sought after by collectors and the elite as…