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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
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From Plant Press, Vol. 24, No. 1, January 2021. Adapted from an article written by Leonie Bolleurs, University of the Free State, South Africa. Festuca drakensbergensis in an Afrolpine grassland field at Tiffindell, Drakensberg Mountains. (photo by Rob Soreng) In their search to learn more about the impact of humans... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 24, No. 1, January 2021. As 2020 came to a close, the Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) marked three decades as a global research network with a landmark new paper published in Biological Conservation (253: 108907; 2021), “ForestGEO: Understanding forest diversity and dynamics through a global... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at The Plant Press
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By Lotte Govaerts We’ve been a bit absent from the blog this past year, but we do have some new content lined up for you. First up, a return to our series on the historic archaeology of the Missouri Basin Project, with an installment on the archaeology of the Garrison... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Rogers Archaeology Lab
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From Plant Press, Vol. 24, No. 1, January 2021. Wild cranberries have a sanctuary in West Virginia and wild peppers have a protected area on Arizona’s border with Mexico. But many hundreds of other crop wild relatives native to the United States – including those related to apples, hops, grapes,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2021 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 24, No. 1, January 2021. A massive community science project using interval photography to capture rare and unknown pollinator relationships across North America has been launched by scientists at Texas A&U University, with guidance from the North American Orchid Conservation Center (NAOCC), Smithsonian’s National Museum of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2021 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 24, No. 1, January 2021. Fungi exploit their environment and interact with plants in a myriad of complex and sometimes devastating ways – from symbiotic associations in lichens, endophytes, and mycorrhizae, to wood decayers and parasites causing crop diseases. One of their most remarkable and rare... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2021 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 24, No. 1, January 2021. By Robin Everly, Jennifer Doubt, and Linda Ley Robert “Bob” Root Ireland (1932–2020) was a longtime Research Associate at the U.S. National Herbarium (US), Department of Botany, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C. He died on December 8, 2020, in Ottawa, Ontario,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2021 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 24, No. 1, January 2021. Harold Robinson left quite an impression on all of those who met him. The Department of Botany received many messages expressing sympathy and condolences upon his passing. Here are a just a few reflections of our colleague and friend. Left: Harold... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2021 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 24, No. 1, January 2021. Harold E. Robinson, Smithsonian Curator Emeritus, passed away at the age of 88 on December 17, 2020, after suffering a major stroke earlier in the week. Left: Harold Robinson in 1965. (photo by Smithsonian Institution) Right: Harold Robinson and Vicki Funk... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2021 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 4, October 2020. Lebronnecia kokioides, a genus and species endemic to the Marquesas Islands, was described in 1966 by Ray Fosberg. When planning a Hawaiian vacation to Kaua`i and O`ahu in 1978, Marie-Hélène Sachet mentioned to Alice Tangerini that she should visit the Pacific... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2020 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 4, October 2020. By Julia Beros After receiving an unusual gift on her front porch, a Botany contractor goes on a journey through the Smithsonian collections to see if she can uncover the intentions of a mysterious neighbor. The blue buds of Hydrangea macrophylla... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2020 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 4, October 2020. ForestGEO is pleased to introduce its newest research site, the Ordway Swisher Forest Dynamics Plot, a 23.04-ha upland sandhill forest near Melrose, Florida, USA, that undergoes a regimen of prescribed burning every three to four years (including during the establishment of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2020 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 4, October 2020. By Julia Campbell-Such The National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian holds many beautiful works of art made from wood, but only rarely do our records indicate what species of wood the artist used. This is not unusual for a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2020 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 4, October 2020. The Dyer Arts Center, part of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, has put together an online exhibition focusing on deaf artists and plants. The exhibition, “Palettes of Nature,” went live on... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2020 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 4, October 2020. The Botany 2020 meeting was held virtually on July 27-31 this year, as an alternative to the on-site meeting originally planned to be held in Anchorage, Alaska. The virtual meeting was a great success considering the circumstances of the pandemic. The... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2020 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 4, October 2020. -Adapted from the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity The Plant Conservation Report highlights the initiatives, actions and innovations carried out over the last 10 years to ensure the conservation of plants through the implementation of the Global Strategy for... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2020 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 4, October 2020. Marcos Caraballo Ortiz teaches students how to draw different types of leaves during the five-day Spanish-language virtual program, ¡Descubre la historia natural! In early August, scientists from the Departments of Botany, Vertebrate Zoology, and Mineral Sciences joined staff from across the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2020 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 4, October 2020. By Morgan R. Gostel1, Jean Linsky1, Abby Meyer2 Together with support from the United States Botanic Garden and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, the Global Genome Initiative for Gardens (GGI-Gardens) has announced a new funding opportunity for botanic gardens that supports collection... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2020 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 4, October 2020. By Warren Wagner and David Lorence Among the most isolated archipelagos in the Pacific, the Marquesas Islands, consisting of 12 main islands, are situated in the Polynesian-Micronesian biodiversity hotspot. Some 2,400 miles southeast of the larger Hawaiian Islands (6,423 sq. mi.),... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2020 at The Plant Press
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The beauty of coral reefs captivates both tourists and scientists across the globe, including myself! However, I for one have only seen live corals in the fish tanks in my dentist's office. The corals that you or I would expect to see off the coast of Australia are shallow-water corals... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2020 at No Bones
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 3, July 2020. Weinmannia sp. (illustration by Alice Tangerini) A new species of Weinmannia (Cunoniaceae) from Guaramacal was recognized recently by Santos Miguel Niño (PORT) and Laurence Dorr, who continue to work on the flora of this national park in Venezuela. They intend to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2020 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 3, July 2020. By Erika Gardner Jerome McDonald volunteering in the Fossil Lab – always with a smile. (photo by Abby Telfer) On May 7, 2020, the Department of Botany lost a dedicated and amazing plant mounting volunteer, Jerome McDonald. He started volunteering at... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2020 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 3, July 2020. Smithsonian botanical illustrator Alice Tangerini is the proud recipient of the Linnean Society’s 2020 Jill Smythies Award. The award is given to a botanical artist for outstanding, diagnostically relevant published illustrations. The award is given to an artist “in recognition of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2020 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 3, July 2020. A new paper in Biogeosciences (17: 3017-3044; 2020) is the first to describe FATES (Functionally Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator), a new Vegetation Demographic Model that, when operated within Earth System Models, will improve predictions of the future structure and function of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2020 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 23, No. 3, July 2020. -Adapted from Pensoft The birdcatcher trees – genus Pisonia – are infamous for trapping birds with their super-sticky seed pods that would frequently entangle the body of the ‘victim’. Left flightless, the poor feathered creatures eventually die either from starvation or... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2020 at The Plant Press