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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Washington DC
We inspire curiosity, discovery, and learning about nature and culture through outstanding research, collections, exhibitions, and education. Comment policy: http://www.si.edu/Termsofuse
Recent Activity
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Today our 3D team drove to the Smithsonian’s Museum Support Center (MSC) with a car full of 3D scanning equipment. MSC is a collection storage facility that houses objects not on display at the Smithsonian museums. The 3D team’s mission is to scan a group of ancient turtle skeletons and... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at No Bones
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. Reported from southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico, Hymenoxys ambigens is comprised of three local varieties. Variety neomexicana is known from the rocky slopes of the Animas and Peloncillo Mountains of New Mexico, and is ranked as imperiled (T2, NatureServe status).... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. Adapted from Pensoft Publishers The grass genus Diplachne only includes two species, but it does not fall short when it comes to remarkable features. It was precisely this affinity to the unusual displayed by the nearly worldwide genus that inspired Neil... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. By Kayleigh Walters Springtime brings Easter and the joy of dyed eggs. Even though Easter was on April 1 this year, our interest in the botanical history of egg dyeing is still piqued. In an age before packets of color tablets... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. Kaieteur Falls, Guyana. (photo by Carol L. Kelloff) The Biological Diversity of the Guiana Shield Program (BDG) recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. This dynamic program seeks to document, study, and preserve the biological diversity of the Guiana Shield. The Shield is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. By Kayleigh Walters When Marcelo Pace and Stan Yankowski gave a tour of the National Museum of Natural History's wood collection to Andrew Rozefelds, no one anticipated that it would lead to the publication of two new papers (including a recent... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. By Carlos Garcia-Robledo In a recent paper in BioScience (http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biy019), botanists W. John Kress and Ida Lopez (Smithsonian Institution), Carlos Garcia-Robledo (University of Connecticut), Katharine Wilson (Smith College), computer scientists David Jacobs (University of Maryland), João Soares, and Peter Belhumeur (Columbia... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. Each Thursday evening between 25 January through 22 February, Gabriel Johnson, Elizabeth Zimmer, Melinda Peters, Erika Gardner, Shruti Dube, Peter Schafran, Steven Canty (Smithsonian Center for Marine Conservation), Colleen Popson, Benjamin Taylor, Juan Pablo Hurtado Padilla, Nichole Webster (NMNH Department of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. Botanical illustrations by Alice Tangerini are currently on view in three different exhibitions. Tangerini shows her mixed media (graphite and watercolor on drafting film) of Camellia sasanqua in an exhibition of botanical and landscape art, “The Spirit in Bloom 2018,” at... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2018 at The Plant Press
From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. The Department of Botany recently awarded five recipients with 2018 travel awards. Three awards were funded through the Jose Cuatrecasas Fund, one from the Harold Robinson Fund, and one from the Ruth & Lyman Smith Fund. The dates of their visits... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. In 2015, Emeritus Research Botanist Dieter Wasshausen honored Linda Hollenberg by naming a new plant species Mendoncia hollenbergiae Wassh. This species in the Acanthaceae was first collected from the lowland riverside vegetation of the Yasuni National Park, Ecuador. As this issue... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. Spermacoce latifolia. A. Plants growing in Jumping Gully Conservation Area, Pasco County, Florida. B. Detail of distal nodes with flower in anthesis. (photos by Alan Franck; image from Castanea) Research Associates Joseph H. Kirkbride, Jr. and John Wiersema and co-authors Piero... Continue reading
Posted May 24, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. Marcos A. Caraballo-Ortiz joined the Smithsonian Botany Department in January as a Peter Buck Postdoctoral Fellow under the supervision of Jun Wen and Pedro Acevedo. His research is focused on exploring the phylogenetic relationships and organelle structure of loranthaceous mistletoes in... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. Melinda Peters, a staff member of the Core Collections Management team, will be leaving the National Museum of Natural History to take a position at the U.S. National Arboretum as the volunteer manager for the Friends of the National Arboretum. Peters... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. By Laurence J. Dorr As much as I enjoy writing, I know I would never make it as a newspaper columnist. I have trouble meeting deadlines. I wait for inspiration or for a clever hook. Then the words flow relatively easily... Continue reading
Posted May 17, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 2018. By Robert Edwards For those who have had Saturday afternoons in the field happily keying out wildflowers rudely stymied by yet another Damn Yellow Comp, the question “why are there so many daisies?!” may have sprung to mind (possibly not quite... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2018 at The Plant Press
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The Paleontological Society of Washington 7:00 pm, Wednesday, May 16 National Museum of Natural History, Constitution Ave. entrance Molecular Paleontology: New Technology to Look at Old Things Timothy Cleland Museum Conservation Institute, Smithsonian Institution. Molecules preserved in fossils can provide evolutionary and physiological information that morphology alone cannot provide. Advances... Continue reading
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 1, January 2018. Fern diversity is high on the Marquesas Islands in the southern Pacific. On a recent trip to two islands, Ua Pou and Hiva Oa, researchers from the Smithsonian Institution, National Tropical Botanical Garden, and French Polynesia encountered 82 of the 99... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 1, January 2018. By Kayleigh Walters Triphora amazonica (photo by Roger L. Hammer, copyright © 2018) A team of botanists has discovered that Triphora, a genus of orchid made up of 19 species, has a larger range than previously known. Specifically, T. amazonica, a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 1, January 2018. -Adapted from Wake Forest News Hidden in plain sight – that’s how researchers describe their discovery of a new genus of large forest tree commonly found, yet previously scientifically unknown, in the tropical Andes. Botanist Kenneth Wurdack from the Smithsonian’s National... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 1, January 2018. By Kayleigh Walters A team of scientists have recently completed a six-year study on the economic and cultural importance of fireweed (Gerbera delavayi, Asteraceae) to the people of eight ethnic minority tribes in Southwest China. Fireweed is a plant species mainly... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 1, January 2018. -Adapted from the Missouri Botanical Garden and the University of Michigan An international research team has assembled the first complete list of all known vascular plant species in the Americas. The searchable database contains nearly 125,000 species representing one-third of all... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 1, January 2018. By Erika M. Gardner In November 2017, Erika Gardner traveled to Washington University to pack and ship 225 slide boxes of Walter Lewis’ systematic pollen slide collection, recently donated by Lewis and his wife, Memory Elvin-Lewis, to the Smithsonian’s Department of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2018 at The Plant Press