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…

Spotlight on Science: Dr. Carmen Ulloa

A monthly look at the people behind plant science at the Missouri Botanical Garden Meet Dr. Carmen Ulloa Curator, Science & Conservation If Dr. Carmen Ulloa could share one message about the Missouri Botanical Garden, it would be this—St. Louisans should know, and be proud, of the Garden as a global institution. “It has a very high reputation among botanical institutions all over the world,”…

Cataloging Diversity Across The Americas

“Now we know what we can conserve.” -Dr. Carmen Ulloa “What trees! … all utterly new to us; Bonpland keeps telling me he’ll go out of his mind if the wonders don’t cease soon.” Alexander von Humboldt words of excitement when first landing in present day Venezuela in 1799 demonstrate the exuberance of plant diversity…

Hurricane Relief for Horticulturists

When the catastrophic hurricanes Harvey and Irma ravaged the southeastern United States this September, they spared little that lay in their paths. From Texas to Florida, homes and businesses alike suffered widespread damage from the hurricanes’ wrath—including some botanical gardens. “Collections are different at every garden, and each garden requires a unique approach to disaster…

World-Traveling Butterflies

Where do the tropical butterflies that fill the Butterfly House Conservatory come from and how do they make it all the way to Missouri? To answer that question, we must first travel to Costa Rica. El Bosque Nuevo Beginning in 1995 in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, El Bosque Nuevo aimed to help preserve the rainforest and…

Mosses: Undiscovered Diversity

Bryophytes make up one of the two major groups of land plants. They are small, non-vascular plants that are divided into mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. They are the second largest group of plants in terms of diversity. In fact, according to Curator Dr. John Brinda, if you catalog the plants in any landscape, chances are…