Botany by Drone Takes Off at Shaw Nature Reserve

Picture in your mind a researcher in the field conducting a tree survey. Likely you imaged a trained botanist deep in a forest or jungle, swatting away insects and wiping sweat out of their eyes while keying out an unknown specimen with a hand lens, clipboard, taxonomic field guide, and a rucksack of supplies at…

Garden with a Purpose

Celebrating the Legacy of Shaw Nature Reserve’s Whitmire Wildflower Garden Take a look at your home garden or the landscaping at your school, office, or place of worship. Chances are they feature some native plants. However, that was not always the case. Those gardens looked very different 25 years ago, when native plants—or wildflowers, as…

Discover + Share: The Best of 2017

This year marked the first year for Discover + Share, a new blog from the Missouri Botanical Garden. Our goal was to give visitors a glimpse of the Garden most don’t often get to see or experience–to share our stories and help you learn a little more about the many facets of the Garden’s mission….

Fall Foliage at Shaw Nature Reserve

Shaw Nature Reserve is one of the best places in the St. Louis region to experience fall, as seemingly endless acres of tree canopies change from deep greens to luscious red, orange, and yellow hues.   There are several ways to enjoy the splendor of the season at the Reserve. 14 miles of hiking trails…

The Prairie: The First Landscape of Fall

As September begins we notice the subtle changes from summer to fall. The days are slowly getting shorter, monarchs abound, migrating bird species can be spotted, and the prairies are in full bloom.   The prairie is an ecosystem dominated by grasses and wildflowers with few trees or shrubs. Prairie once covered the central 1/3…

Why Choose Native Plants When Gardening?

One hundred years ago, Wilhelm Miller, head of the University of Illinois extension program in 1912, and Ossian C. Simonds, a landscape architect in the Chicago region, both spoke of the value of gardening with native plants. “Nature teaches what to plant.  By going to the neighboring woods and seeing the trees and plants and…

Leading Shaw Nature Reserve into the Future

Dr. Quinn Long Appointed Director of Shaw Nature Reserve Following Retiring John Behrer  The Missouri Botanical Garden recently named Dr. Quinn Long director of Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, Mo. Long has worked for the Garden since 2011 and as a botanist and conservation biologist throughout Missouri and Kansas for 15 years. He begins…

Garden Campuses Offer Great Eclipse Views

A rare total solar eclipse will occur on August 21, 2017, bringing thousands of sky-watchers to the St. Louis region. The partial eclipse is set to begin just after 11:45 a.m. reaching totality around 1:15 pm. The length of totality depends on your location, lasting for just a few seconds or as long as 2…

The Wetlands: A Masterpiece of Flora and Fauna

Shaw Nature Reserve’s wetlands habitat stretches 32 acres and houses eight ponds. Of those ponds, two hold water all year, one retains a puddle amount at its deepest, and five remain shallower and run dry at various parts of the year. The wetlands are home to biological, birding and botanical highlights, which change approximately every…

Celebrate National Prairie Day

National Prairie Day was created by the Missouri Prairie Foundation in 2016 to help bring attention to our native grassland resources. The Missouri Botanical Garden is one of many organizations working to preserve and restore this unique ecosystem. What is a prairie? Prairie is an ecosystem dominated by grasses and wildflowers with few trees or…

Shaw Nature Reserve’s Dark Diversity

There are almost 3000 species of vascular plants in Missouri. Which ones should we conserve at Shaw Nature Reserve? One of the most challenging questions in restoration ecology is what species should live in a restored habitat? When we assist ecosystem recovery by removing invasive species or applying prescribed fire, for example, some plant species…