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About Montgomery Botanical Center
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MBC: A Place of Dynamic Resources

To achieve its purpose, MBC’s skilled staff works together as a team in three closely inter-related departments: Collections Development, Horticulture & Facilitiesand Administration. Under their stewardship are thousands of palms and cycads representing hundreds of species, many of which are threatened or endangered in the wild. To protect and perpetuate the genetic diversity of its collections, MBC actively builds its populations of cycads and palms by mounting three to five government-sanctioned collecting expeditions each year.

Former executive director, Dr. Terrence Walters, completed a 6-week expedition in 1992 to obtain population seed samples for MBC from China's rare cycads.

Cycas rumphii with a male cone growing at MBC

As the plants mature, MBC promotes conservation by harvesting the often-rare seeds for distribution to research institutions, botanical gardens, conservatories, and community organizations worldwide through the MBC/FNGLA SeedBank Program, which is the largest of its kind in the U.S.

The varied resources found at MBC augment the scientific value of the palm and cycad collections. Primary is the MBC database system. Using BG-BASE, details on the life history of each accession are recorded regularly and stored digitally for easy retrieval. BG-Map tracks the position of each plant.

Researchers, botanical groups, historians, teachers, and students from around the globe come here to tap into MBC’s diverse resources. With a guesthouse on site, MBC is a 24-hour-a-day functioning laboratory and classroom.

Palms in the Coconut Grove Palmetum

Harvard University graduate student Alex Cobb initiated a research project at MBC in 1999 to examine the rate of sap movement through various stem tissues in Sabal palmetto palms.

Researchers visit our collections to strengthen their knowledge of palms and cycads, to begin long-term studies of specific species, to collect material to take back to their laboratories for research or use for teaching. On-site guesthouse accommodations facilitate the research process. If you are interested in undertaking a research project, contact us.

Enhancing the collections in the garden are fauna, flowering trees, distinctive geological features, as well as examples of landscape design excellence.

The Montgomery Archive documents the lives of Robert and Nell Montgomery in Florida, the architectural significance of the original structures on the property, and the history and activities of MBC.

Montgomery Botanical Center is open by appointment to scientists, educators, students, historians, botanical groups, and all others interested in scientific plant collections.


Lee Anderson, MBC's superintendent,
giving a tour to Coral Reef High School
students. MBC is providing training to
students in the Environmental Science
Curriculum at the high school.


 

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11901 Old Cutler Road Coral Gables, FL 33156
  (305) 667-3800  •  FAX (305) 667-5984