Remote Research: Herbarium at Home

Throughout the world, closures and lockdowns aimed to stop the spread of COVID-19 have disrupted many people’s lives and work. As a global institution, the Missouri Botanical Garden does research around the world, making travel restrictions a major hindrance. The “stay at home” order means staff has lost access to the Garden’s herbarium and labs,…

Remote Research: Down for the Count

Throughout the world, closures and lockdowns aimed to stop the spread of COVID-19 have disrupted many people’s lives and work. As a global institution, the Missouri Botanical Garden does research around the world, making travel restrictions a major hindrance. The “stay at home” order means staff has lost access to the Garden’s herbarium and labs,…

Exploring Alaska on the Harriman Expedition

Imagine gathering America’s most intelligent and well-known scientists in topics like biology and botany, with support from gifted artists, photographers and technicians to do research in one geographic area. Good idea, right? Even today, that would be a challenging task. The Harriman Expedition to Alaska, led by wealthy railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman in 1899,…

White Redbud Has History at the Garden

Missouri’s native trees put on quite a show in spring, led by the fuchsia flush of the Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis). This understory tree can be found in parks, home landscapes, and along roadsides throughout the state. The dense clusters of tiny pink blooms are a reminder that warmer weather and longer days have finally…

Plant Profile: Coffee

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks on the planet, trailing only water and tea in global daily consumption. Although it’s a drink many people rely on for a morning pick-me-up, it can be easy to overlook the plant that produces this culturally and economically important caffeinated beverage. What is Coffee? Coffea is a…

The Botany of Beer

It’s no secret that St. Louis is one of the best places to be if you find yourself with a hankering for beer. Starting this July at Garden Party Lights, the Garden joins in the fun with a biergarten that’s open through the rosy glow of summer evenings. But even in the midst of a…

The Grasses of George Washington Carver

Carver’s contributions to botanical science, agriculture, and education extend far beyond the popularity of peanuts. The Garden’s Herbarium gives us a glimpse of his botanical training before that breakthrough.

Plant Profile: Holly

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

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…

Collection Connection: Whiskey and Research

“There’s a deeper story to almost all of these,” says Ralph Haynes as he peers into a box of dried corn cobs. The co-founder of Pinckney Bend Distillery is meeting with Garden research staff, exploring the herbarium, and flipping through the pages of rare botanical books—taking a deeper look at the intersection of his passion…