Ep. 228 - Plant Conservation in Action

No one has a monopoly on conservation. If we want to protect wild spaces and the species they support, we need multifaceted, collaborative approaches. Joining us to talk about plant conservation efforts in the southeast is Dr. Emily Coffey, the Vice President of Conservation & Research at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Together with a team of scientists, horticulturists, and volunteers, Dr. Coffey and her colleagues are innovating new ways to both protect and restore biodiversity in one of the most biodiverse regions in North America. Most importantly, Dr. Coffey wants you to know that we have what it takes to save the worlds plant species. All we need is the will to do it. Join us for an in depth look at what state of the art conservation looks like. This episode was produced in part by Matthew, Clark, Bobby, Kate, Steven, Brittney, McMansion Hell, Joey, Catherine, Brandon, Hall, Vegreville Creek and Wetlands Fund, Kevin, Oliver, John, Johansson, Christina, Jared, Hannah, Katy Pye, Brandon, Gwen, Carly, Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Clifton, Stephanie, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Plant By Design, Philip, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

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Ep. 227 - A Quest to Find the "Stinking Cedar"

Today we go in search of the so-called stinking cedar or torreya pine (Torreya taxifolia) at wonderful site owned and operated by The Nature Conservancy called Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravine Preserve. Of course, this tree is neither a cedar nor a pine. It is a member of the family Cephalotaxaceae and it is in trouble. Habitat destruction and a terrible fungal blight have nearly wiped this species off the face of the earth. Join as as we go in search of this rare tree and meet a lot of interesting plants along the way. This episode was produced in part by Clark, Bobby, Kate, Steven, Brittney, McMansion Hell, Joey, Catherine, Brandon, Hall, Vegreville Creek and Wetlands Fund, Kevin, Oliver, John, Johansson, Christina, Jared, Hannah, Katy Pye, Brandon, Gwen, Carly, Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Clifton, Stephanie, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Plant By Design, Philip, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

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Some of the plants we met in this episode

Sand squares (Paronychia rugelii)

Silkgrass (Pityopsis graminifolia)

Gopher apple (Licania michauxii)

Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)

American holly (Ilex opaca)

Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

Fireweed (Erechtites hieraciifolius)

Netted chain fern (Woodwardia areolata)

Pennywort (Hydroctyle sp.)

Royal fern (Osmunda regalis)

Doghobble bush (Leucothoe sp.)

Lizard’s tail (Saururus cernuus)

Virginia snakeroot (Aristolochia serpentaria)

Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum)

False rosemary (Conradina sp.)

American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

Runner oak (Quercus pumila)

Resurrection fern (Pleopeltis polypodioides)

Yucca (Yucca filamentosa)

Matalea (Matelea decipiens)

Yellow passionflower (Passiflora lutea)

Rhododendron (Rhododendron austrinum)

Ratany (Krameria sp.)

Buckwheat (Eriogonum tomentosum)

Michaux’s croton (Croton michauxii)

Stinging “nettle” (Cnidoscolus stimulosus)

Devil’s grandmother (Elephantopus tomentosus)

Swamp chestnut oak (Quercus michauxii)

Stinking cedar (Torreya taxifolia)

Ep. 225 - Resurrecting a Ghost: The Mission to Save the Ozark Chinquapin Pt. 2

In this episode, we dive deeper into what is being done to bring the Ozark Chinquapin back from the brink of extinction. The Ozark Chinquapin (Castanea ozarkensis) is a tree on the brink of extinction. Like its more popular cousin, the American chestnut, the Ozark Chinquapin is a victim of an introduce blight brought to this continent over a century ago. The loss of this tree was so severe that it has largely been forgotten. The Ozark Chinkquapin Foundation is trying to change that. There is hope for this species and it lies in scattered individuals that are proving to be surprisingly resistant to the deadly fungal infection. Joining us to talk about the mission to save the Ozark Chinquapin is the founding president of the Ozark Chinquapin Foundation, Steve Bost. Steve's passion for this tree is truly an inspiration and thanks to a dedicated group of individuals, this tree has a fighting chance at regaining at least some of its former glory. Join us for part 2 of an in depth look at what is being done to save the Ozark Chinquapin. This episode was produced in part by Bobby, Kate, Steven, Brittney, McMansion Hell, Joey, Catherine, Brandon, Hall, Vegreville Creek and Wetlands Fund, Kevin, Oliver, John, Johansson, Christina, Jared, Hannah, Katy Pye, Brandon, Gwen, Carly, Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Clifton, Stephanie, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Plant By Design, Philip, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

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Ep. 214 - Unraveling the Mysteries of Baja's Botanical Bounty: A Conservation Story

The Baja Peninsula is home to a bewildering diversity of plant species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. Despite all of its botanical treasures, we are only just beginning to understand the biogeographical nuances of this small spit of land. That is where people like Dr. Sula Vanderplank come in. A freelance botanist by trade, Dr. Vanderplank has recently been lending her talents to finding, describing, and conserving the plants that call Baja home. Of course, such efforts are made possible only by strong cross-border collaborations focused on protecting these amazing plants. This episode was produced in part by Joey, Catherine, Brandon, Hall, Vegreville Creek and Wetlands Fund, Kevin, Oliver, John, Johansson, Christina, Jared, Hannah, Katy Pye, Brandon, Gwen, Carly, Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Lisa, Liba, Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, 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, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

Learn more about Dr. Vanderplank’s work

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Ep. 193 - Begonias!

What most of the world knows about the genus Begonia is only the tip of this botanical iceberg. The genus Begonia is currently the fastest growing genus of plants in the world and with new discoveries pouring in year after year, it doesn't show any signs of slowing up. MY guest today is Dr. Peter Moonlight from The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. His work on this amazing family of plants has greatly increased our understanding of not only the mechanisms driving their diversity but also their biogeographic history. You will also learn that Begonias have a lot to teach us about both herbarium collections as well as ex situ propagation. This is one episode you don't want to miss! This episode was produced in part by Jared, Hannah, 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.

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Ep. 185 - The Importance of Conservation Horticulture

Imagine you are at work and someone comes into your office and throws down a handful of plant cuttings on your desk. They look at you with hopeful concern in their eyes and say "these are cuttings from an endangered plant. There are only 3 left in the wild and this one fell off of a cliff." This is all in a days work for my guest today. Joining us is Ashly Trask, conservation horticulturist and nursery manager for the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Kauai, Hawai'i. For Ashly, what started as a hobby has evolved into a career dedicated to propagating and cultivating rare and endangered plants. Join us for a fascinating and passionate discussion about growing plants for conservation. This episode was produced in part by 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.

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Ep. 181 - Protecting Alpine Plants in the Adirondacks

The Adirondack Mountains are home to a remarkable diversity of plant species. Situated in northern New York, these mountains are harsh enough that they foster a thriving alpine community. Despite their ability to handle some of the worst weather conditions, alpine plants can be quite sensitive to human traffic. With more and more people flocking to these mountains every year, concern was growing that the alpine ecosystem was going to be trampled right off the mountain tops. Luckily the the Summit Steward Program was put into place to protect and hopefully restore some of what has been lost. My guest today is Kayla White, who is currently heading up this program.Join us for an uplifting discussion about protecting the alpine flora of the ADKs. This episode was produced in part by 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.

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Ep. 178 - Forest Conservation in Laos

Forest conservation has never been more important, especially in Southeast Asia. Rates of forest loss in this region are unprecedented. Much still remains in places like Laos but without proper regulation, more stands to be lost. Luckily places like the Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden are working hard to ensure that the forests of Laos do not meet the same fate as those in places like Indonesia, Combodia, and Vietnam. Joining us to talk about what Pha Tad Ke is doing to empower the people of Laos is botanist Bryony Smart. Join us for an enlightening discussion about what it is going to take in order to ensure Laos has a prosperous and verdant future. This episode was produced in part by 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.

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Ep. 172 - Pinosaur Conservation: An Introduction to the Wollemi Pine

The Wollemi pine is one of the world's rarest trees. These mysterious gymnosperms was unknown to science until 1994. Their discovery made headlines around the globe. My guest today, Dr. Heidi Zimmer, has the distinct honor of working with this wonderful species. Join us for a conversation all about Wollemia nobilis. This episode was produced in part by: Lucas, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Daniel, Clifton, Stephanie, Rachelle, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Plant By Design, Philip, Lisa, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Mountain Misery Farms, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

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Ep. 171 - Restoring Plants & Saving a Salamander

Habitat destruction is the leading cause of extinction on this planet. Plants = Habitat. There is no way around it. My guest today is Pierson Hill, a biologist at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in Florida. Pierson and his colleagues are working hard at bringing the endangered flatwoods salamander back from the brink of extinction. To do so, they must first restore the longleaf pine habitats it relies on. Such work has turned this amphibian and reptile lover into a plant lover as well. Join Pierson and me for a discussion about fire, plant restoration, and the salamander they are so desperately trying to save. This episode was produced in part by: Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Daniel, Clifton, Stephanie, Rachelle, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Plant By Design, Philip, Lisa, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Mountain Misery Farms, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

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Ep. 169 - Herbaria Are Data Gold Mines

Phenology, population size, distribution, genetic diversity - these are just some of the data locked up in herbaria around the globe. My guest today is Katelin Pearson and she has been working hard on making sure herbarium data are as available as they can be to everyone from scientists to artists, and even the general public. As you will hear, we herbaria succeed, so do the plants they help understand. This episode was produced in part by: Mohsin, doeg, Clifton, Stephanie, Rachelle, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Anthony, Tim, Philip, Lisa, Brent, Leticia, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Brian, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Mountain Misery Farms, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.

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Ep. 125 - A Conversation With The Plant Messiah

Carlos Magdalena has been called "The Plant Messiah" for good reason. His propagation work at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew has seen species like Nymphaea thermarum (the world's smallest water lily) and the Café Marron (Ramosmania rodriguesii) back from the brink of extinction. Join me for a discussion with this plant whisperer. This episode was produced in part by Allan, Clifton, Holly, Katherina, Shane, Amy, Caitlin, Rosanna, Mary Jane, Jennifer, Sarah, Christopher, Sienna & Garth, Troy, Margie, Laura, and Mark. 

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Ep. 108 - Being a Botanist in Laos

Our guest today is Bryony Smart who is a botanist at the Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden in Laos. This is the first botanical garden in the country and because of that, Bryony and her colleagues are working diligently on categorizing and preserving the flora of this amazing country. Their work extends far beyond botany as well. Pha Tad Key Botanical Garden exists as a conduit between the local communities and the myriad plant species they rely on for survival. Join us for a fascinating discussion of what it's like to be a botanist in this position. This episode was produced in part by Mark, Allen, Desiree, Sienna & Garth, Laura, Margie, Troy, Sara, Jennifer, Christopher, Manuel, Daniel, John, Rosanna, and Mary Jane.  

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Ep. 85 - Plant Conservation in the Modern Era

When it comes to conservation, plants have largely been overlooked. We tend to spend a lot more time with "charismatic" species of animals. For instance, 100% of the world's known threatened and endangered animals have been assessed by the IUCN whereas we have only assessed about 5% of plants. This is quite scary considering that so-called biodiversity hot spots are defined by their vascular flora. This is why the New York Botanical Garden is working to improve our literacy of the botanical world. My guest today is Dr. Brian Boom who, among other titles, is the VP for Conservation Strategy for the New York Botanical Garden. Join us for an inspiring conversation about plant conservation in the modern world. This episode was produced in part by  Gregory, Mark, Allen, Desiree, Sienna, Laura, Margie, Troy, and Bryan.

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