Plant Profile: Holly

It’s a plant perhaps best known for decking the halls, but holly goes far beyond holiday decorations.

From the Library: Rebuilding the Bateman Book (Part 6)

Conservation work on the Peter H. Raven Library’s copy of The Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala is underwayhas! Follow along as we document this painstaking restoration of one of the largest and grandest volumes in the Garden’s rare book collection. Putting Bateman Back Together Now that the leaves of Bateman’s Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala have been…

Butterflies Need Trees Too

Autumn is the perfect time to celebrate Tree Week. We encourage you to not only take a stroll and enjoy the fall colors, but also take a moment to think about all the life these trees support. Among those branches are thousands of different invertebrates, including centipedes and beetles, cocoons and chrysalises. Some trees are…

From the Library: Rare Book Discovery

Death, be not proud . . . No man is an island . . . And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. Sound familiar? These phrases all come from the pen of John Donne (1572-1631), an influential English poet whom some of you may remember from your…

Our Magnificent Trees

Fall is the best time of year to view one of the Garden’s oldest, yet often overlooked collections. In a display that ranges from bright golden yellow to muted copper to deep scarlet, our trees and their fantastic fall foliage take center stage every October. In celebration of our colorful canopy, the Garden is kicking…

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…

Plant Profile: Corpse Flower

Perhaps one of the most sensational plants at any botanic garden, the corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) always draws a crowd. This impressive species is known for its size, smell, and the relative rarity of its bloom. What is it? The corpse flower is a member of the Araceae family, also referred to as the aroid…

Queen Butterflies Spotted in St. Louis

Late summer is the perfect time to view one of our area’s showiest pollinators, the monarch butterfly. But this year, it’s not the only royal visiting the St. Louis region. Tad Yankoski, Entomologist at the Butterfly House, says two queen butterflies (Danaus gilippus) have recently been spotted around town. The queen is a cousin of…

From the Library: Rebuilding the Bateman Book (Part 5)

Conservation work on the Peter H. Raven Library’s copy of The Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala has begun! Follow along as we document this painstaking restoration of one of the largest and grandest volumes in the Garden’s rare book collection. What Is Alum? Alum is an aluminum salt that has been used for hundreds of years to process…

From the Library: Context be Damned | Bacon’s New Atlantis

Francis Bacon is largely known for his Novum Organum Scientiarum (the philosophy that established the scientific method), Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human (proposing that higher education of everyone is beneficial to society as a whole), and New Atlantis. It is this last tract in Bacon’s oeuvre that is most misunderstood—and in…

Plant Profile: Avocado

What is an avocado? Persea americana is an evergreen tree, native to Mexico, Central America and South America. It belongs to Lauraceae, the plant family that also includes cinnamon trees. Avocado trees produce green-skinned, round or pear-shaped fruit containing a single large pit (seed). Botanically speaking, avocado is actually a berry. Its yellow flesh is…