close up of mangos and other chilis.

Plants and People

Plants are essential to human existence, providing food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and the raw materials to meet many other needs. Research and conservation at the Botanical Garden includes a focus on useful plants, both those that are global resources with great economic impact as well as species used regionally by indigenous peoples and local communities. The diversity of useful plants on Earth is inherently linked to cultural diversity. Garden scientists study biodiversity-based traditional knowledge systems around the world and the often complex relationships that exist between plants, people, and culture. In the 21st century, this understanding of plants and people at local, regional, and global levels is critical to finding solutions for conserving and sustainably managing the plant resources on which the well-being of humankind depends.

NYBG’s Plants and People Projects:

Brassica: Domestication, Weeds, and Evolution
DNA Barcoding of Dietary Supplements
Pacific Northwest Cultural Landscapes
Plant Conservation and Forest Resource Management in Myanmar
Plant, Fungal and Linguistic Diversity of Tafea Province, Vanuatu
Plants and People of Micronesia
Plants and People of Vanuatu
Securing and Sharing Biocultural Diversity Collections at The New York Botanical Garden
The Language of Land and Life: Connecting Language and Ecology in Wixárika (hch)
The Traditional Grain Mixtures Project
Traditional Communities as Central Partners in the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Amazon Forests