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.

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…

Trees for Lemurs and Lemurs for Trees

The Missouri Botanical Garden: the clue is in the name, really! We love plants – everything about them: we love unpacking their evolutionary relationships, we love to investigate how they mold themselves to their environments, we love discovering how best to propagate and grow them. But, most of all, we love simply reveling in their life-enhancing…

Rare Tree Reveals First Flower

One of the world’s rarest trees, Karomia gigas, is flowering in the greenhouses of the Missouri Botanical Garden for the first time.

The Plight of the Monarch and What You Can Do to Help

A welcome visitor to gardens, and sure sign summer is coming to an end when seen in large groups, monarch butterflies are a staple of St. Louis scenery and landscapes across the country. But their numbers are dwindling, scientists say. Shrinking Numbers and the Endangered Species Act Recently, the monarch butterfly has been in the…

Spotlight on Science: Tariq Stevart

Tariq StevartAssociate Scientist, Africa and Madagascar Program When Tariq Stevart was around 10 years old, his grandfather took him on a trip to Switzerland, where they climbed mountains and discovered alpine flora, in particular orchids. It sparked a lifelong interest for Stevart, who grew up in Belgium and always admired the beautiful orchids of Europe….

National Geographic Honors Garden Researcher for Conservation Work in Madagascar

Jeannie Raharimampionona has dedicated her life to conserving the flora of her native Madagascar. With more than half of plant species facing extinction in Madagascar, some may find the never-ending work to save them to be too daunting. But Raharimampionona can’t imagine doing anything else. “Sometimes I think of each plant species as a gorgeous,…

Garden Study on Biodiversity Helps Focus Conservation Efforts

Around the world, tropical forests are disappearing at alarming rates. As conservations race against time to protect these ecosystems, it’s crucial to know where it would be most fruitful to focus their efforts. Key to that is data. While it has long been understood that Latin America is richer in plant species than tropical Africa, scientists…

Fighting for the Future of Plants in Mauritius

Ten-thousand miles from home, soaked in the relentless downpour of the Mauritian rainy season, and splattered with the mud of mountain trails, Kayla Flamm, Jean Claude Sevathian, Becky Sucher, and Andrew Wyatt found themselves peering over the edge of a 500-foot waterfall in search of any hint of the delicate, pale blue flowers of the Nesocodon.