World Exploration: Preview

On Saturday I spent a few hours at one of the usually-closed buildings at the Missouri Botanical Garden, at an event they called World Exploration: Behind the Science with Garden Botanists. This post is just a preview of what I saw and learned, as I'll be going into more detail throughout the week.

I learned of the event a week or so ago through Twitter, and it promised I would be able to "learn more about the Garden's botanists and tour the Monsanto Research Center, including the library and herbarium." ("Monsanto" is a dirty word with many gardeners, but the huge amount of money that they've contributed to MBG over the years can't be disputed, and is A Good Thing.)


So what did I see on this Saturday afternoon self-guided tour?

Displays on various MGB research projects around the world:

The history of The Garden itself:

Lots of plant specimens from the herbarium...

...some exceptionally old:

A glimpse at the science behind species ID:

An explanation of how samples are prepared and mounted...

...then stored:

A look at the research library, including the very old books:

The book restoration department:

And the document scanning process:

(which doesn't really lend itself to interesting photos. You can see the results though at

Lots of really interesting stuff coming in this week's posts!


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Salty Pumpkin Studio  – (December 15, 2014 at 10:32 AM)  

Wow! What a dream job that must be working in the archives of a botanical garden. Its eerie to think of plants from 1832.
Thank you for posting the great photos

Alan  – (December 15, 2014 at 11:17 AM)  

Maywyn: much more to come! The weird thing is that a plant sample from the 1800's looks pretty much the same as a sample from 2 years ago. Once they're dried and brown, you can't really tell how old they are!

Mark and Gaz  – (December 15, 2014 at 3:49 PM)  

BG archives always looks so fascinating, with a lot of things looking so delicate that it seems they wouldn't last but they do!

danger garden  – (December 16, 2014 at 12:17 AM)  

Lucky you! Look forward to reading more.

outlawgardener  – (December 17, 2014 at 1:03 AM)  

What a great collection they have! Do they do this open house annually?

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