Heat-tolerant Plants

As St. Louis and much of the surrounding area experience another round of triple-digit temperatures, the plants around us are feeling it too. Hot, sunny weather will dry out soils quickly. With less water available for the roots to absorb, leaves and stems may start to wilt and flag. An occasional deep, slow watering should…

Plant Profile: St. John’s Wort

As interest grows in native plants, some gardeners may be wondering what kinds of options are available to add to their own backyards. From our experts at the William T. Kemper Home Gardening Center comes a suggestion for a native, flowering shrub with an eye-catching bark: Hypericum prolificum, or St. John’s wort. The unique, layered bark…

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.

2022 Plants of Merit

Every year since 1998, the Missouri Botanical Garden has partnered with other regional horticultural institutions to select Plants of Merit. Plants of Merit are chosen for outstanding quality and dependable performance in Missouri, southern and central Illinois, and the Kansas City metro area. To qualify as a Plant of Merit, the plants must be easy to…

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…

Three Black Scientists Overlooked by History

Who is Percy Julian? Percy Julian was a chemist who participated in the synthesis and large-scale production of steroids from plant compounds. The grandson of enslaved people, Julian studied chemistry and graduated as valedictorian of his class in 1920 from DePauw University. Among his many accomplishments, Julian collaborated with his colleague Josef Pikl on the…

Botanical Books to add to your Holiday Wish List

Whether you’re already a plant enthusiast, or you’re looking to explore a new hobby in the new year, the holidays are the perfect time to stock up on plant books. With such a broad category, you may be struggling to narrow down your options. Leave it to the experts! The Earth in Her Hands: 75…

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.

Remote Research: Out of the Woods

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: A Lonely Spring

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,…