Herbs A to Z

What is an herb? The world of herbs extends far beyond parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Herbs are some of the most versatile plants on the planet. Of course most of us know they can be used for seasoning food, but did you also know they are used in medicines, fragrances, dyes, and much more?…

From the Library: A Different Kind of Conservation

The Peter H Raven Library of the Missouri Botanical Garden contains many rare and unusual books, but they aren’t all in the Rare Book Room. Our General Collection also holds many rare, even unique items, such as this small volume (about 6.5” long) of pressed plants from the Holy Land.   This book, Flowers of…

From the Library: Analyzing a Mystery Book

The Missouri Botanical Garden’s Peter H. Raven Library has recently been upgrading many of its rare book cataloging records. One such record is for a book published in 1764 by noted botanist Carl Linnaeus (the namesake of the Garden’s Linnean House conservatory) called Genera Plantarum, printed in Stockholm by Lars Salvius. It was thought to…

18th Century Coloring Book Discovered at the Missouri Botanical Garden

A 256-year-old coloring book was discovered in the Peter H. Raven library in May by botanist Amy Pool. Robert Sayer’s The Florist was first published as a coloring book in 1760, with distinct instructions on how to color the pages. Pool first came across the title of the book while she was researching botanical illustrations…

From the Library: Another Kind of Conservation

When you think of “conservation” and the Missouri Botanical Garden, you probably picture a botanist in the field working with endangered plants or a horticulturist restoring a landscape by seeding native flowers. But the term conservation can also have a slightly different but equally important meaning within scientific and cultural institutions—the care and repair of…

From the Library: Book Binding Curiosities

The next time you open a book to read a text, spare a moment to look at the binding; it reveals a lot about the culture that produced the book in your hand. Here is an interesting case in point. The title of this book is Florilegium Novum. It’s content was created by the engraver…