The Plant Hunters

Garden Gems from Faraway Places Do you have hostas, daylilies, a Japanese maple, or a star magnolia in your garden?  How about marigolds, coleus, a gingko, or a panicle hydrangea? If so, this is a testimony to the many plant explorers who, in the past four centuries, traveled far and wide, for years at a time, in search of new plants.

Corpse Flowers Go on an Excellent Adventure

This is the story of a road trip I took with some corpse flowers, the rock stars of the plant world. One of the hallmarks of the Chicago Botanic Garden’s plant collection is the more than 70 species of Amorphophallus. In particular, Amorphophallus titanum, also called the titan arum or corpse flower, has gained attention because of its very large flower and pungent fragrance at bloom time—a hybrid of week-old gym socks and a rotting mouse that you just can’t seem to find in your kitchen.