Plant Science & Conservation

Following a tantalizing trail of wildflowers

Why did five midwestern horticulturists hike through the oak-hickory forests of the Missouri Ozarks? And why did we need a desiderata? The first question is easy—we were on the trail of specific wildflowers and woody plants to preserve and add to our collections. Collections trip horticulturists Michael Jesiolowski, Tom Weaver, Josh Schultes, Kelly Norris, and Steve McNamara (left to right)

Powering Up the Prairie

Home gardeners can sympathize: not every seed that is planted grows. This truth extends to restored prairies that are grown from seed mixes, according to Rebecca Barak, Ph.D., who completed research examining the success of individual species within seed mixes, and their combined potential to power up to the diversity level found in remnant prairies.  A healthy, diverse prairie

Corpse Flower Science: Will one Titan Twin bloom longer?

Well, here we are with another titan arum in bloom at the Chicago Botanic Garden. (Java, the taller of our Titan Twins, began blooming at 8:28 p.m. on May 30.) We never really considered the possibility that we might have two plants developing inflorescences at the same time. But it did not take too long to brainstorm some ideas on what we hope to learn from this rare possibility.

Help track blooms now for Budburst

In the Chicago area, record-breaking weather was recorded in 2016 and 2017: For the first time in 146 years, the National Weather Service documented no measurable snowfall in either January or February. Chicago’s record year was mirrored globally. Scientists from both NASA and NOAA released reports showing that 2016 was the hottest year since global temperature tracking began in 1880. If that sounds familiar, it is: It was the third record-breaking warm year in a row. And the warmth continued into 2017. “Is it hot outside?”