Making the Mark

Earlier this year, Missouri Botanical Garden Botanist Patrice Antilahimena embarked on a field trip to a protected area managed by the Garden in southern Madagascar. The dry forest, thick with spiny plants was unlike anywhere he had collected before. But the trip was exciting for another reason: Patrice knew it was likely he would make…

Honeysuckles Explained

Most gardeners cringe at the word “honeysuckle” these days. But not all species of honeysuckle are bad. Here, the William T. Kemper Home Gardening Center explains which native species you should plant in your garden to attract pollinators and which invasive species you should eradicate wherever possible.

Rare Beauty: New Meriania Species to be Classified as Critically Endangered

With vivid pink, purple, and magenta blooms, new species of Meriania discovered by Missouri Botanical Garden scientists and collaborators in Peru are certainly eye-catching. But since many of them are critically endangered, they’re unlikely to catch many eyes in the wild. In fact, four of them are known from just a single population. Describing these…

Critically Endangered Agave pelona Blooms in Garden Greenhouses

It was late January when Jared Chauncey, Senior Horticulturist and arid plant expert at the Missouri Botanical Garden, noticed that something extraordinary was about to happen: an Agave pelona was sending up a flowering stalk. It was about to bloom. These plants live for decades before sending up the only bloom of their lifetime—they are…

New Orchid Species Discovered by the Missouri Botanical Garden

In the Missouri Botanical Garden’s more than 160-year history, Garden scientists have discovered and named hundreds of new species of orchids. Most recently, the Garden’s orchid team in Africa and Madagascar, led by Garden Scientist Tariq Stevart, has taken the lead in orchid discovery. In the past, the Garden’s efforts focused on New World tropical…

Protecting Precious Woods in Madagascar

At the ports of Madagascar, enormous piles of logs cut from rosewoods and ebonies sit waiting. They can’t be exported because these threatened precious woods were harvested illegally and their sale on the international market is forbidden. Of course, those who don’t play by the rules still manage to export them illegally and make a…

Madidi | 20 Years of Discovery

Encompassing more than 7,000 square miles, Madidi National Park in northeast Bolivia is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. The park and its surrounding regions encompass the Andes’ snow-covered peaks, hazy cloud forests, and a portion of the tropical Amazon Rainforest. Yet until recently, relatively little was known about the plants and…

New Plant Species Discovered by the Garden in 2021

Each year, the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Science and Conservation staff discover and name about 200 plant species new to science. That’s roughly 10 percent of all plant species discovered by scientists worldwide annually. Discovery is the first crucial step in plant conservation. Until a species is described, we cannot think about conservation status or ensure…

Saving the Seeds of an Endangered Christmas Tree

Two years after wild-collected Christmas tree seeds made their way from the Appalachian Mountains to St. Louis, our researchers are learning more about the challenges ahead when it comes to conserving the Fraser fir.

A New Model for Targeting Climate-Appropriate Species for Ex Situ Conservation

A recent collaboration between the Garden’s Horticulture division and the Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development will help botanical gardens around the world determine where to source plants for ex situ conservation in their collections. Botanic gardens play a central role in ex situ conservation and are well positioned to host increasing numbers of species of…

Lemurs of Madagascar

Lemurs are amazing animals—a diverse group of primates found only on the island of Madagascar. There are about 100 living species of lemur ranging in size from the tiny mouse lemur to the large and vocal indri. Nearly all of those species are threatened with extinction, mainly due to habitat loss and hunting, according to…

Record-Setting Monstera Among Newly Described Species

Monstera are well-known to many houseplant parents. The glossy evergreen leaves give off tropical vibes year-round, and the perforated leaves add an extra layer of interest. Species like Monstera deliciosa and M. adansonii are in-demand houseplants, along with cultivated varieties like the white-speckled ‘Thai Constellation.’ While appreciation is growing for these cultivated houseplants, so too…