Botany by Drone Takes Off at Shaw Nature Reserve

Picture in your mind a researcher in the field conducting a tree survey. Likely you imaged a trained botanist deep in a forest or jungle, swatting away insects and wiping sweat out of their eyes while keying out an unknown specimen with a hand lens, clipboard, taxonomic field guide, and a rucksack of supplies at…

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…

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…

From the Library: Rebuilding the Bateman Book (Part 1)

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. James Bateman, a wealthy English orchid collector, was responsible for the creation of The Orchidaceae…

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…

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…

From the Library: Bookbinding Curiosities—Paste Papers

The practice of decorating paper with pleasing patterns and colors began in China, where paper was invented. By the 10th century, Chinese craftspeople were probably practicing a rudimentary kind of paper marbling, a complex process that results in sheets covered with sinuous, organic, often colorful designs. This art traveled west along with paper making technology,…

The Past, Present, and Future of Corn

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the Agenda for Sustainable Development to guide global efforts through 2030. A large part of the agenda focuses on investment in agriculture as a key tool to end poverty and hunger, which result in sustainable development and can help address climate change. As a world-renowned botanical institution, the Missouri…

Shorter Future for Big Bluestem

Scientists at the Missouri Botanical Garden, Kansas State University, and Southern Illinois University–Carbondale have completed an analysis of the effects of climate change on a dominant and economically important grassland plant. Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) is a common grass in natural and restored prairies that extend across the central Midwestern region (Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri,…