Mike Knell is completely enthralled by palms. What started with a small collection of plams growing in his office has morphed into a full blown obsession with everything Arecaceae. Mike really hasn't looked back since. He now lives in Hawai'i and is an apprentice at the world renowned Florabunda Palm Nursery working under the tutelage Jeff and Suchin Marcus. What follows is a wonderful discussion about botanical passion and intrigue.This episode was produced in part by Katy Pye, Brandon, Gwen, Carly, Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Daniel, Clifton, Stephanie, Rachelle, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Plant By Design, Philip, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Mountain Misery Farms, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.
Few may realize just how important plants were to the great Charles Darwin. Luckily, Dr. James Costa is bringing Darwin's botanical interests to the forefront with his latest book, "Darwin's Backyard: How Small Experiments Led to a Big Theory." As if this book wasn't exciting enough, each chapter concludes with DIY instructions on how you and your friends and family can replicate some of Darwin's experiments in your own backyard. This is one conversation you don't want to miss! This episode was produced in part by Allan, Clifton, Katherina, Shane, Amy, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Jennifer, Sarah, Christopher, Sienna & Garth, Troy, Margie, Laura, and Mark.
Sedges. This wonderfully diverse group of grass-like plants can be quite intimidating to those who are new to the world of plant identification. Sedges are to botanists as shore birds are to birders. Because of this, sedges are often glazed over as yet another gramminoid for amateurs and ecologists alike. This is not a good thing as sedges are incredibly important components of healthy ecosystems around the globe. In fact, many sedge species are the backbone of some very sensitive habitats. Join me for a discussion with botanist Paul Marcum who has a special affinity for this family of plants. Hopefully by the end of this conversation we will have inspired you to take a closer look at the sedges in your neighborhood. This episode was produced in part by Gregory, Mark, Allen, Bryan, Desiree, Troy, Margie, and Laura.
The Ozark Mountains have long been a mystery to me. This ancient mountain range is home to a bewildering diversity of plant life, some of which is found nowhere else in the world. From glades to woodlands and everything in between, the Ozarks have it all. Join me for a discussion with Justin Thomas, director of the Institute of Botanical Training. Justin and his wife have devoted their lives to studying and protecting the plants of this region. I learned a lot from talking with Justin and I know you will too.
Music by Moneycat
Who doesn't love cycads? I know I do and can you really blame me? The cycads are an incredible group of plants. They are also quite ancient. Arising long before flowering plants, this lineage has survived munching dinosaurs, continental drift, and mass extinctions and has undergone incredible adaptive radiations. Today cycads are in trouble. Habitat destruction and poaching now threaten many of the world's species. To get to know cycads a bit better I reached out to one of the world experts on this group of plants, Dr. Dennis Stevenson of the New York Botanical Garden. Dr. Stevenson has traveled the world to study and describe new species of cycad. He has been on every major continent and has encountered nearly every species in the wild. His work has helped us better understand the enigmatic and ancient group. Join us for a fascinating discussion about the cycads.
Music by Moneycat
With herbaria closing around the world, I wanted to sit down and talk with someone who truly understands what they stand for. This week I talk with Jamie Minnaert-Grote, the collections manager at the Illinois Natural History Survey Herbarium. Despite having worked in and around herbariums over the last few years, I really didn't grasp their full potential. This conversation was a real eye-opener!
Click here to learn more about the Illinois Natural History Survey Herbarium
An update from the road! I am on my way to North Carolina for a month of plant identification and data collection. I bring you up to speed on our trip to the Bruce Peninsula as well.