Now that it appears that Spring has arrived in the St. Louis region, the thoughts of many residents are turning to gardening. Efforts thus far have been frustrating for many because of the varying temperatures and large amount of rain. Many have delayed their Spring planting, and those who haven’t may find that the few warm days caused vegetables to flower prematurely and that the cold temperatures at night have harmed them.
Campaigns to protect our environment and improve sustainability efforts are numerous and ongoing in the St. Louis area. Host Don Marsh talks with environmental experts about what has been done, what is being done, and what still needs to be done to further protect our planet.
St. Louis Public Radio's Maria Altman gets some tips from her tree climbing guide, Jon Richard. He's the owner and founder of Vertical Voyages and will be taking as many as 12 people up at a time at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Credit (Julie Bierach/St. Louis Public Radio)
Altman went up in a Sawtooth Oak about 35 feet. The Missouri Botanical Garden's Tree Canopy Climb will allow participants to go as high as 50 feet.
A second Amorphophallus titanum has bloomed at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It’s known as the titan arum – the flower can reach over six feet tall – or the “corpse flower” for its strong smell of rotting meat. The odor attracts flies, which help pollinate the plant.
The corpse flower can go for years without blooming. When it does, the flower lasts just a few days. Fewer than 160 are known to have bloomed worldwide, in the almost 120 years since the plant was identified by scientists in Sumatra.
The Missouri Botanical Garden has announced plans to help build an online database of the world’s plants.
Working with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and the New York Botanical Garden, the Missouri Botanical Garden will compile information on as many as 400,000 land plant species, with the goal of having all the data available online by 2020.
Scientists at the Missouri Botanical Garden have confirmed the discovery of two tree species that were thought to be extinct.
Last year botanists from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania set out to look for the trees. They discovered small populations of both species in a remote forest in southeastern Tanzania, along Africa’s eastern coast.
Missouri Botanical Garden botanist Roy Gereau worked with British scientist Phil Clarke to confirm the identity of the trees.
Missouri Botanical Garden ethnobotanist Jan Salick crosses the highest pass (5,400 m) in the Himalayas. The pass lies to the north of the Annapurna Mountain range in western Nepal, where one of her climate change research sites is located.
Credit (Asha Paudel)
The red triangles on this map represent Salick’s climate change research plots, which are located along a 2,000 km transect across the Himalayas in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibetan China.
Credit (Burgund Bassuner)
Missouri Botanical Garden researcher Katie Konchar examines plants in a Himalayan research plot.
Credit (Ken Bauer)
Himalayan climate change research often requires days of hiking, as well as camping in remote research sites like this one near sacred Mount Jomolhari (7,320 m) in Bhutan.