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…

Spotlight on Science: Training the Next Generation

As the Principal Investigator of the Garden’s Conservation Genetics Lab, Christy Edwards already has plenty on her plate. But equally important to Edwards is her work with graduate students. To her, it’s essential because despite the efforts of plant scientists, we still know relatively little about many plant species, and many are still undiscovered. At…

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.

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…