Plant Profile: Holly

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

Spotlight on Science: Dr. Aaron Floden

Dr. Aaron Floden Assistant Scientist, Flora of Missouri When Aaron Floden first started collecting plants, he purposefully chose a geographic area with low collection numbers. In fact, the 498 square mile area only had about 300 documented species. By the time Floden finished, that number surpassed 1,500 species, including seven species not previously known to…

Back from the Brink: Saving a Species on the Edge of Extinction

On a bench in the Missouri Botanical Garden greenhouse, there sits a handful of seemingly unassuming seedlings. They are only a few inches tall and just beginning to show their true leaves. Their small stature belies the enormity of the efforts to save this plant from extinction. Karomia gigas is, after all, one of the…

Plant Profile: Corpse Flower

Perhaps one of the most sensational plants at any botanic garden, the corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) always draws a crowd. This impressive species is known for its size, smell, and the relative rarity of its bloom. What is it? The corpse flower is a member of the Araceae family, also referred to as the aroid…

Spotlight on Science: Dr. Pete Lowry

Dr. Pete Lowry Senior Curator and Director of the Africa & Madagascar Program   When Pete Lowry thinks about the beginnings of the Missouri Botanical Garden’s work in Madagascar, he is still taken aback by what the program has become. Lowry was among the first Garden scientists who traveled to Madagascar decades ago to collect plants…

Building Tomorrow’s Botanists Today

When Monica Carlsen met fourteen-year-old Gabrielle McAuley at the Missouri Botanical Garden’s science open house in the spring, she assumed the teen’s father had talked her into going to the event. As it turns out, it was the other way around. “I made my dad come down here to look at volunteer opportunities,” McAuley said on…

Learning by Doing | Research Experiences for Undergraduates

When Kelli Schowalter first visited the Missouri Botanical Garden after moving to St. Louis from Virginia for college, she was not aware of the institution’s vast science and research work.  “It’s fascinating,” Schowalter says of the Garden’s internationally renowned research program. A Washington University senior, Schowalter first learned about the science side of the Garden…

Spotlight on Science: Dr. Jan Salick

A monthly look at the people behind plant science at the Missouri Botanical Garden Dr. Jan Salick Senior Curator of Ethnobotany, William L. Brown Center As an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Jan Salick couldn’t decide on a major, so she took a temporary leave to figure it out while traveling the world. …

Learning from Dad

Many professionals credit their parents for the inspiration to pursue a particular career. Some may admire their parents’ ability to channel their passions into a profession and seek to follow a similar path. Others may cite the parental encouragement they received to follow their own unique interests. Whatever the circumstances, parental support can be a…

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…

Spotlight on Science: Tom Croat

A monthly look at the people behind plant science at the Missouri Botanical Garden Dr. Tom Croat P.A. Schulze Curator of Botany Tom Croat has been called the Indiana Jones of botany, and when you hear him describe his collecting journeys to the Tropics, it fits. Croat, 80, has spent about a third of his…