Plant Talk

Inside The New York Botanical Garden

What’s Beautiful Now: Native Plant Garden

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on July 26 2019, by Matt Newman

In the Native Plant Garden, summer is the time to get out and explore the plants that call New York home, and you might be surprised at what you find. From lush, sun-dappled ferns under the trees, to carnivorous pitcher plants, to the swallowtail butterflies feeding on butterfly weed, it’s a must-see stop at the height of the seasonal greenery.

The Native Plant Garden

The Native Plant Garden
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Posted in Garden News on July 23 2019, by Plant Talk

Matthew C. Pace, Ph.D., is an Assistant Curator at The New York Botanical Garden.

In our Steere Herbarium, aAn NYBG employee digitizing specimens. combination of capturing ultra high-resolution images of specimens and entering detailed information about each specimen in a searchable database is making this scientific collection easily available to anyone with an internet connection. Among other benefits, this online resource will help researchers overcome the acute problem of access to specimens of threatened and endangered species. Deeper understanding of the various adaptations of the species and their evolution will make it possible to design better conservation and management strategies. The public’s interest in these charismatic and captivating plants also affords an opportunity to engage students and teachers in discussions about biodiversity and its preservation, plant adaptations, and mutually beneficial species relationships. Additionally, the availability of two million digitized records will enhance the education and enjoyment of citizen scientists, horticultural hobbyists, and other non-academic enthusiasts.

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What’s Beautiful Now: Rock Garden Resplendence

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on July 19 2019, by Matt Newman

Look for treasures along the paths of the Rock Garden, which invites you to explore its quiet and secluded displays, where small and vibrant alpine plants flourish. Flowers and wildlife alike call this peaceful collection home, so keep an eye out for chipmunks, dragonflies, and more.

The Rock Garden

The Rock Garden
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Endless Forms

Posted in Garden News on July 19 2019, by Plant Talk

Matthew C. Pace, Ph.D., is an Assistant Curator at The New York Botanical Garden.

Photo of flowersFocusing on some of Earth’s most interesting and endangered plant species, NYBG is leading a network of 17 collaborating U.S. research institutions that will digitize more than two million preserved plant specimens over the next three years to make this invaluable scientific resource easily available online to plant and conservation researchers, students, and the general public.

The project, “Digitizing ‘endless forms’: Facilitating Research on Imperiled Plants with Extreme Morphologies,” will concentrate on 15 plant families containing species that are carnivorous or succulent or that grow on other plants, known as epiphytes. Among the several hundred thousand species included in the project are such iconic and unusual plants as the Venus’s flytrap, the giant saguaro cactus, and the leafless ghost orchid of southern Florida. All of the species in the project display, in one way or another, remarkably varied types of adaptations that allow them to grow in extreme environments, including deserts, tropical rain forests, and nutrient-poor bogs. Many of these plants can be challenging to study in the wild and confront elevated conservation threats in the face of rapid environmental change.

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#plantlove: Livia Martinez, Undergraduate Science Intern in the NYBG Plant Research Laboratory

Posted in People on July 17 2019, by Matt Newman

As part of #plantlove at NYBG, we’re talking with people from all over the Garden about what inspires their passion for plants. Today, meet Livia Martinez, Undergraduate Science Intern in the NYBG Plant Research Laboratory.

Photo of Livia Martinez

Where did you grow up, and did that have an impact on your decision to devote your life to plants?

I grew up in South Florida, which I would say had a pretty big impact on my interest in plants. The flora of Florida and the Caribbean are truly unparalleled, and growing up around mangrove forests and cycads and palm trees created a subconscious love for plants that I did not grow to appreciate until I got to high school.

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Wildlife at the Garden: Red-tailed Hawk Nest 2019

Posted in Wildlife on July 17 2019, by Patricia Gonzalez

Patricia Gonzalez is an NYBG Visitor Services Attendant and avid wildlife photographer.

Photo of a Red-tailed HawkI am happy to report that for a third straight year, a pair of Red-tailed Hawks has chosen to nest at The New York Botanical Garden. A brood of three scrappy, inquisitive raptors was born in 2019, and each is now exploring the Garden.

For Garden staff, this was an opportunity to observe an exciting natural event.

Like many of my colleagues, I like to walk the grounds during my break. Quite a few of our employees venture out with binoculars, in hopes that they might spot a fluffy little head peering out into the world, or perhaps one of the adults feeding their young. This proved a challenge, as the parents reinforced their nest to the point where it now stands much taller and wider than it was when they first constructed it in 2017, making it difficult to see what was going on.

Photo of Red-tailed Hawk parent and offspringFor weeks, all many of us could spot was the backside of the parents as they leaned forward into the nest bowl.  Eventually, their three offspring made themselves known.

I encourage everyone to take the time to explore the 250 acres of The New York Botanical Garden. Hawks aren’t the only residents. This time of year, frogs, turtles, butterflies, and other birds call this place home.

Speaking of birds, if you prefer a group setting, join the Bird Walk that takes place every Saturday at 11 a.m. The group meets at the reflecting pool, and it is always a good time.

Elizabeth Bishop in Brazil

Posted in Adult Education on July 16 2019, by Plant Talk

Peter Szilagyi is a Junior Mellon Fellow at the Humanities Institute, NYBG, Summer 2019.

Photo of the Elizabeth Bishop lecture speakers
Speakers, guests, and program organizers stand in front of the fountain in the Tropical Garden of Brazilian Modern

On Friday, June 21, 2019, The New York Botanical Garden partnered with the Poetry Society of America to bring a daylong celebration of the life and work of Elizabeth Bishop to the Bronx. Many of Bishop’s original poems and translations of Brazilian poets can be read on billboards set up throughout the Garden right now as complements to the current exhibit, Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx. Bishop spent what she regarded as the happiest years of her life in Brazil, where she came to know Burle Marx through her partner Lota de Macedo Soares, who, like Burle Marx, was a prominent Brazilian architect and landscape architect in the second half of the 20th century.

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What’s Beautiful Now: A Wealth of Wildlife

Posted in What's Beautiful Now on July 12 2019, by Matt Newman

Plants and wildlife go hand in hand, and as the Garden grounds grow ever more green for the summer, birds, insects, and amphibians are out and about in abundance, including goldfinches, orchard spiders, dragonflies, green frogs, and more.


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Roberto Burle Marx—A Total Work of Art

Posted in Humanities Institute on July 11 2019, by Vanessa Sellers

Photo of the exhibition speakers
Speakers Raymond Jungles, Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, Edward Sullivan, and Isabela Ono gather outside Ross Hall shortly before the start of the symposium

On Friday, June 7, 2019, the symposium Roberto Burle Marx—A Total Work of Art opened the Garden-wide exhibit Brazilian Modern: The Living Art of Roberto Burle Marx. Marking the Seventh Annual Humanities Symposium, the event celebrated Burle Marx’s life and work as an innovative artist, landscape architect, and conservationist, all in one.

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