The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants, an educational institution, and a scientific research organization. Founded in 1891 & now a National Historic Landmark, it is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world. http://www.nybg.org/
Magnolia doltsopa in full bloom. The smell is amazing. An evergreen magnolia, formerly known as Michelia doltsopa, it was discovered near Kathmandu, Nepal around 1803. It is native to the Himalayas. Come see this and other #magnificentmagnolias before the season ends… (at San Francisco Botanical Garden)
We love the SFBG, and there isn’t a single hurdle to you loving them, too. If you’re ever wandering the left coast, you’d better make more than just a pit stop. —MN
Curious images of these strange green mounds have been making their way around the interwebs for months now. What kind of alien life form is this? Is it a moss? Is it a fungus? The answer may surprise you!
In reality, this large mound is comprised of a colony of plants in the carrot family! Known scientifically as Azorella compacta, this species hails from the Andes and only grows between 3,200 and 4,500 metres in elevation. Its tightly compacted growth-form is an adaptation to this lifestyle, serving to prevent heat loss in such a cold and windy environment. Every so often, these mats erupt with tiny flowers, which must be a sight to behold!
The colonies expand at the rate of roughly 1.5 cm each year. Large colonies are estimated at over 3000 years old, making them some of the oldest living organisms on the planet! Sadly, the dense growth of the plant makes it highly sought after as a fuel source. Locals harvest the plant with pick axes and burn the dense mats for heat, not unlike peat from bogs. Because of its slow growth rate, harvesting this species has caused a serious decline in numbers. Local governments have since enacted laws to protect this species and some recovery has been documented though, with such slow growth rates, only time will tell if protection is enough.
Mountain coral! Not really. And not actually a Seussian daydream, but another example of the miraculous flora that can be found at extreme elevations. Sadly, the inhospitable and seemingly inaccessible environment hasn’t protected these Azorella from the influence of industry.
For this year’s Orchid Show, John drew inspiration from the plants featured in our Key West Contemporary theme to create exclusive orchid watercolors, some of which will be made available for purchase as framed, limited edition prints. Again, the event runs from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, so don’t miss it! —MN
In the six or so centuries that it’s been floating around, bouncing from scholar to scholar and occasionally disappearing for decades at a time, the Voynich manuscript (as it’s come to be called) has yet to be translated. That might be due to the fact that it’s written in a language no one’s ever seen before or since.
But it does have some grounding in the reality that we know, namely via the dozens of familiar plant species sketched throughout the pages of this manuscript. And some researchers think these botanical illustrations are integral to cracking the code that, as one expert put it, has proven “academic suicide” for so many scholars throughout the ages. Click through for the full story! —MN
It’s Sunday. Maybe you’re making the Shangri-La of brunches happen at this very moment. Or maybe you’re contemplating the hybridization of a conifer and a living fossil fish. Either way, righteous effort. —MN
So, it turns out the polar vortex pretty much ceases to exist once you step into our Conservatory. That might be due to the fact that Key West is crashing there for a bit, though, and I don’t wanna brag, but, well, yes I do. With thousands of orchids splashing the place with tropical color, it’s like the southernmost point packed up its warmth, hoofed it north, and set up shop in NYC for a spell.
The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary opens Saturday, March 1, running straight on through April 21. If you’re in the New York metro area, why miss out on an escape from this downright sadistic winter? And if you snag tickets to one of our Orchid Evenings(first one’s March 8!), you get the benefit of strolling through a confetti of orchids and a complimentary drink under our twinkly glasshouse lights. Though I suppose it would also be a complementary drink, since we all know Thing + Cocktail = Better Thing. —MN
Haven’t had an official Quasi-Weekly Fungus Time in, like, months. I’m probably way off the mark on that estimation, but I’ve never heard the phrase “I’m sick and tired of all these cute mushrooms” uttered in earnest. —MN
Do you have vintage hardwood dresser abandoned in the garage? With some drilled a bunch of drainage holes in drawer, buy cactus, palm and succulents, you could do something cool with those. http://bit.ly/1fcMFsG
When they’re bursting out of the drawers, then I’ll know we have too many plants. ~LM