Go to Home Page


2010 MBC News Archive

Borassus aethiopum at Montgomery Botanical Center at sunset
Borassus aethiopum at sunset

December 29, 2010

 Angela Cano, botanical scholar from Geneva,
studies palm collections at Montgomery

Angela Cano collecting Trithrinax at MBCAngela Cano, a first year master’s student from The University of Geneva, working with the Conservatory and Botanical Garden of Geneva, is being hosted at Montgomery to collect DNA and voucher specimens for research on her thesis.  She is working on a monographic revision for Trithrinax and its place in the phylogeny of the palm tribe Cryosophileae.

Recent work here in Miami by FIU and FTBG illuminated the phylogeny of West Indian palms, which included many Cryosophileae. TrithrinaxPhylogeny and placement of Trithrinax is yet to be examined.  Ms. Cano’s research will use modern techniques to clarify relationships between species in Trithrinax, a genus that has been unstudied for 80 years.   

Trithrinax are well armored palms, with long sharp spines on their trunks and spiny leaf tips.  They are used to thatch roofs and have a showy white fleshy fruit that is beautiful, though not good for consumption.  It is a cold tolerant palm that is native to southern South America.  

“Fred Stauffer recommended that I come to Montgomery Botanical Center because of its large collection of palms.  The collection is great and the location is ideal, with only a short walk between Montgomery and Fairchild,” said Angela Cano.

November 2010

 Fall/Winter 2010 Montgomery Botanical News is Now Online!

Montgomery Botanical Center Fall 2010 NewletterThis new issue has articles organized around the theme of exceptional plants: new and interesting plants collected, plants no other garden grows, and newly designated Champion Trees.

Montgomery Botanical Center publishes two newsletters a year to keep our supporters and collaborators up to date and informed.  To read more about how Montgomery Botanical Center meets our mission of "Advancing Research, Conservation, and Education through Scientific Plant Collections" please see our newsletters online.  Make sure to take a look at the photo on the back from the Montgomery Archive with Colonel Montgomery and Nell admiring their Kigelia pinnata.

November 6, 2010

Chris Tyson Plant Conservation Building Dedicated

The Chris Tyson Plant Conservation Building was dedicated today at Montgomery. This is a very important advancement for MBC -- providing the greatly needed capacity to house our plant conservation and botanical research work.

Mrs. Tyson's generous gift enabled Montgomery to construct a new, larger facility for the seedbank program, and also provide much needed workspace for botanical research, for visiting colleagues and the MBC team.

Christiane Tyson, a longtime volunteer at MBC, and supporter of botany, horticulture, and gardens, saw the need for this facility at MBC. Christiane and Christopher Tyson worked closely with MBC, its architect, and landscape architect, to design a building that meets Montgomery's increasing work needs, and also integrates with the existing architecture and garden design.

Over 100 guests gathered for the dedication, and included many of the Tyson Family, who travelled great distances to attend.  MBC's friends, colleagues, supporters, board, and staff were represented, as well as many of Miami's botanical instutions: The Kampong, Pinecrest Gardens, The Gifford Arboretum, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and botanists from Florida International University, and the University of Miami.

A selection of speakers offered remarks on the occasion, highlighting how horticulture and botany will see greater success through Mrs. Tyson's generous gift. MBC President Charles P. Sacher highlighted all of MBC's ongoing work in botany that will be based in the new building. John DeMott shared the history -- and future growth -- of the seedbank program. Dr. Carol Horvitz spoke of how this moves collaboration among our botanical community forward for the sake of plant science.

Chris, a dedicated plant enthusiast, was presented with a seedling to commemorate the occasion. Dr. Patrick Griffith, MBC Executive Director stated:

"If you know Chris, you know that she loves to give and receive plants. This, of course, is what marks a true plant person – unfettered exchange of these living treasures. Chris and I have shared a number of interesting plants over the years.

Today, I would like to present Chris with a very special plant, one that exemplifies why her gift means so much. The plant here is Microcycas calocoma, a critically endangered cycad. Our seedbank program has helped this plant a great deal. This is a finicky, difficult to propagate plant, and a glacially slow growing one. There are less than 600 plants in the wild. Our work at MBC, through Judy Kay, our seedbank coordinator, has produced and distributed over 6,000 seeds!

That is over 10 times as many plants as in the wild. Making this rare, expensive, difficult and coveted plant widely available is our goal. This reduces poaching, and ensures the species will not go extinct. This is just one example of why we grow plants and the great work we can do through our seedbank.

Please accept this living treasure on behalf of the MBC team.
Chris, with your gift, we look forward to many more successes like this one. "

Christiane Tyson then related her perspective, and shared her vision for helping gardens and botanists. Chris highlighted her values, how she realized she could help move botany forward, and shared her desire to see good projects continue.

Please enjoy the Dedication Program, see a selection of photographs from the reception, and join MBC in thanking the Tysons for their deeply generous gift and for their dedication to gardens.

November 5, 2010

MBC, Belize Botanic Gardens, and Gemini Gardens study cycads in Belize

Belize is home to a rich cycad flora, with five native species in an area the size of New Hampshire.  Two of these species, Zamia decumbens and Zamia meermanii, both endemic to Belize, were described by MBC Cycad Biologist Michael Calonje based on extensive fieldwork in 2008 assisted by MBC Executive Director Dr. Patrick Griffith, and Jan Meerman.
Michael Calonje and Collections Manager Dr. Chad Husby returned to Belize from October 29- November 5 to continue studies on Z. decumbens and Z. meermanii.  Michael and Chad worked with colleagues from Belize Botanic Gardens:  Rudy Aguilar, Freddy Salvador and Sinead McCormick.  Paul Craft of Gemini Gardens also helped to organize portions of the trip.
In remote sinkholes in the Maya Mountains, two key populations of Z. decumbens  were sampled for assessment of their genetic diversity.  The plants were also measured and labeled for long-term population monitoring.  The team collected seeds of Z. decumbens and Z. meermanii for conservation horticulture at Belize Botanic Gardens and Montgomery.  In addition, seeds of several rainforest palms were collected, including Calyptrogyne ghiesbreghtiana, Reinhardtia gracilis, and Chamaedorea geonomiformis.
The team also continued collaboration on Zamia dispersal research with MBC colleague Jan Meerman
of Green Hills Botanical Collections, the Belizean ecologist for whom Zamia meermanii is named.
Chad states:  “The success of this fieldwork resulted from the effective collaboration of many colleagues.  Despite the short time-frame, all the goals of the trip and more were accomplished, resulting in gathering of key scientific data and very important conservation collections.”

October 30, 2010 

Boy Scouts restore Studio, build furniture, and mulch colonnade

A very large group of dedicated volunteers -- Boy Scouts, their families, and friends -- came together today at Montgomery for the Eagle Scout project of Emerson King, Boy Scouts of America Troop 457.

The group built and donated two picnic tables, three bookcases, and two benches, and worked quickly and fastidiously to mulch each palm and cycad from the main entrance to Nell's House, comprising Colonel Montgomery's Royal Palm Colonnade.

The centerpiece of the project was the restoration of the 1934 Studio, which has served as the MBC Seedbank for over a decade. Emerson, his father, and a select group of Scouts worked to restore the plaster walls, build and finish the trim on the interior of the doorway, and prepare and paint the entire workspace.

"During 13 years of service as the MBC Seedbank, this modest room handled a very large volume of horticulture work," states Patrick Griffith, MBC Executive Director. "Years of pollen, seeds, tools, soil, and all of the important work in here made this room ready for a restoration. This workspace has really been made new again!"

The MBC Seedbank propagates, collects, and distributes seed from MBC's living plant collection. This program works through an agreement with the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association.

Tracy Magellan, MBC Outreach Manager, states, "Everything Emerson planned turned out great. The Royal Palm Colonnade was well-manicured, and up to our high horticultural standard. The Studio transformation was amazing. Troop 457 has really helped us out this year, and we look forward to more Eagle Scout projects in the future."

October 22, 2010

Joint Fieldwork by Montgomery, Fairchild, and the National Herbarium of Trinidad and Tobago

Montgomery Botanical Center, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and the National Herbarium of Trinidad and Tobago participated in a joint fieldwork project during October 2010, in Trinidad. Melissa Abdo (project leader) and Juan Rivera of FTBG, and Yasmin Baksh-Comeau of the University of the West Indies worked with Dr. Larry Noblick, MBC Palm Biologist.

Larry reports that the trip resulted in a successful extension of fieldwork in 2007. Further information, specimens, and living collections of  palms were developed and shared.

Astrocaryum aculeatum, Attalea maripa, and Bactris campestris are three very interesting species collected. In the photo here, Larry stands on Morne Bleu with Prestoea pubigera, a species that occurs only in Trinidad and on the Paria Peninsula in Venezuela. Basic biogeographic work by herbaria, coupled with living garden collections, create a unique and important set of resources for research and conservation.

A series of articles by Melissa on the FTBG website (1, 2, 3) detail the fieldwork. In addition, the team worked on herbarium projects centered around the University of the West Indies in St. Augustine. Larry states, "Melissa and Juan are good people to collect with, they both have very pleasant personalities and are great in the field. And it was great to work with Yasmin and Winston Johnson, who are both true experts on the Trinidadian Flora."

October 17, 2010

Boy Scouts work hard for sustainability at Montgomery

A group of Boy Scouts, their families, and their friends -- 40 people in all -- put in an long day of hard work at MBC this Sunday. Jonathan Hirst of Boy Scout Troop 840, Pinecrest, Florida, organized the project as part of his Eagle Scout award.

The MBC Cycad Walk, implemented during the 1990s, used a variety of soils and top dressings, as raised beds organized by geography. This practice functions well for many cycads, but improved practice in recent years groups cycads by habitat type and uses native soils at grade. Mulch surfaces, whether raised or at grade, and whether rock, compost, or wood chips, always require more labor and treatments than natural turf.

Jonathan's project converted selected horticultural features at MBC into sustainable ecoturf surfaces, which improve plant health and reduce environmental impact, and are also more resource-efficient. Functionally, the project required removal of a tree, and lots and lots of heavy digging. Sand, heavy soil, clay, mulch, and granite gravel were dug out by hand and separated for recycling in the garden. A total of 50 cubic yards of material were excavated by the project. The areas were then raked flat and seeded. The resulting new line of the cycad walk follows design principles from MBC's landscape architect, and works to soften and improve sharp curves and steep slopes.

"Jonathan's project certainly followed excellent landscape design, and greatly improved things from a sustainability viewpoint," stated Patrick Griffith, MBC Executive Director, " but I was most impressed by all of the 'heavy lifting' that these Scouts put in. These are hard working young men, and thier efforts here will help MBC for years to come. This is true dedication to sustainability."

Tracy Magellan, MBC Outreach Manager, concurred, "its wonderful to see the way this group works together. I am certainly very grateful for Jonathan's hard work, and we all enjoyed Troop 840's great team spirit."

October 15, 2010 

MBC shares best practices with the public garden world

Montgomery Botanical Center’s achievements in ex situ conservation were featured at the “Collections Management Best Practices” symposium organized by the American Public Gardens Association.  The symposium took place at the Denver Botanic Gardens in Colorado from October 13-15 and offered many opportunities for more than 100 public garden curators to share expertise and different approaches to managing living collections.

MBC Collections Manager Dr. Chad Husby presented a talk entitled “Managing Living Plant Collections for Conservation” that emphasized MBC’s pursuit of fieldwork, research, horticulture, and mutually beneficial collaborations to achieve successful ex situ conservation outcomes.

Chad was asked to participate as an expert in managing living plants for conservation purposes. Chad states, "The symposium was very well organized by APGA and the Denver Botanic Gardens, offering a unique opportunity to share insights into the best ways to manage living collections"

The conference also featured a tour of the USDA’s National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation which gave the participants an opportunity to explore state of the art techniques for preserving seeds and other types of plant material.

September 25, 2010 

The South Florida Palm Society plants over 120 palms at MBC 

South Florida Palm Society (SFPS) at Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC)The South Florida Palm Society (SFPS) volunteered to assist Montgomery in planting over 120 palms.  The trees planted were primarily Sabal palmetto, Butia paraguayensis, and Butia yatay.

These palms, part of MBC’s living collection, came from fieldwork in the Bahamas, Paraguay and Argentina, part of MBC’s collections development work.  

Dr. Larry Noblick states, “I greatly appreciate the generosity and work ethic of the palm enthusiasts from the SFPS. They saved us a lot of time and helped us achieve our goal of getting all of our palms in the ground by the end of September.”

September 2, 2010

Dr. Fred Stauffer Offers Lecture, and Studies Palm Flowers at MBC

Dr. Fred Stauffer, of the Conservatoire et Jardin Botaniques de la Ville de Genève in Switzerland, studied the MBC palm collections this week. Fred is an expert in the anatomy and morphology of palm flowers, and Fred and his students have recently published new research on palm flowers that made use of MBC material.

While being hosted at Montgomery, Fred offered a lecture on the morphology and anatomy of palm flowers, placing this information in the context of recent evolutionary studies. During his lecture, Fred stressed two important points. Firstly, Dr. Stauffer emphasized the importance of mentoring the next generation of palm scientists - education is vital for botany. Fred also praised MBC and other gardens for working to keep plant collections for the research community.  "It is great to have so many palm species available for study here, flowering at the same time," stated Dr. Stauffer.

Due to the timing of his visit, Fred also had the distinction of being the first visiting researcher at Montgomery to work in the Chris Tyson Plant Conservation Building. This facility was recently completed, and will be dedicated in November. Fred was enthusiastic about the workspace, stating: "This building is a wonderful resource for a visting botanist."

The Geneva Conservatory and Botanic Garden houses two exceptional collections, each very important for botanists. First, the herbarium (CJB) houses 6 million plant specimens, and is particularly rich in type specimens. The library at Geneva is one of the premier botanical libraries in the world. The library and the herbarium are the legacy of De Candolle, the early Swiss botanist who was very influential in plant systematics and the study of evolution.

August 14, 2010

The University of Miami School of Law’s HOPE Students Help at MBC

University of Miami (UM) HOPE Group helps at Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC).Ten student volunteers from the University of Miami' s Helping Others Through Pro Bono Efforts (HOPE) came to Montgomery Botanical Center and helped with a large-scale mulch to ecoturf conversion. Their work helped MBC to achieve its mission of exemplifying excellent botanic garden design. Having ten extra hands to help with the project saved MBC days of work.  

Montgomery Botanical Center has a growing living collection with many extremely rare species. MBC is very thankful to all the students who helped out. The University of Miami School of Law’s HOPE Public Interest Resource Center sent hundreds of law students to approximately 25 sites across Miami-Dade County through the Annual Hope Day of Service. MBC is glad to have been one of the 25 participating institutions.  

Executive Director Patrick Griffith states, “These students gave a tremendous effort and really helped out with the garden. Only the most intrepid will volunteer outdoors in a Miami August weekend!”

August 6, 2010

Montgomery Botanical Graduate Fellowship at Florida International University

Dean Furton FIU and Dr. Patrick Griffith MBCMBC and FIU have just signed an agreement creating the Montgomery Botanical Graduate Fellowship at FIU.  

“The Board of Directors at MBC is very excited about this agreement. This marks a significant commitment to education and research in botany by both our garden and the University,” states Patrick Griffith, MBC Executive Director.  

The Montgomery Botanical Graduate Fellowship will fund a Research Assistant at FIU, who will perform guided research in palms, cycads, and botanic garden conservation. The first Montgomery Botanical Graduate Fellow is Michael Calonje, MBC Cycad Biologist, who will continue his research on Zamia at MBC and FIU, while working towards a Ph.D. in Biology. Michael states, “This opportunity will greatly enhance my research by providing training in new skills, allowing access to FIU’s robust infrastructure, and allowing me to interact with many of the great minds at FIU. It is a great privilege to be a recipient of this Fellowship and I am very grateful.”   MBC and FIU after signing agreement,

Patrick, along with Outreach Manager Tracy Magellan from MBC, designed this program with FIU Dean Ken Furton, FIU Senior Associate Dean of Sciences Suzanna Rose, and FIU Assistant Dean of Development Robert Callahan. The program is structured to collaboratively advance botany at both institutions, by pooling resources and taking advantage of complementary strengths.  

“This is a perfect arrangement – everyone contributes, and everyone benefits,” states Patrick. “Our unsurpassed living collections of palms and cycads, and our work in plant exploration, when coupled with the excellent education and research tradition at FIU, will create solid outcomes in botanical research for both.”  

Dean Furton concurs, stating “Formal and informal relationships between FIU and MBC can be traced back over twenty years, highlighting a record of collaboration amongst scientists. This new and energetic relationship with MBC capitalizes on FIU’s recognized strength in tropical botany and conservation biology.”

August 1, 2010

Martin-Rami Fund Sponsors Tree Planting at MBC  

Tessy tree planting at Montgomery Botanical CenterMontgomery Botanical Center is pleased to announce the initiation of the Martin-Rami Fund, which sponsors tree planting at MBC. The Martin-Rami Fund is the vision of Mrs. Beatriz Eugenia Cardona de Tessy - Genita, who shares the same commitment to living trees as the MBC team.   

Everyone agrees that one of the best things you can do is to establish a tree. Trees provide shade, clean the air, provide habitat for birds, and beautify the landscape. Planting a tree is the first step, but caring for that tree, nurturing and monitoring it as it develops, and ensuring its health are equally essential. Trees planted at MBC are carefully tended and thrive in the botanic garden setting.  Martin Joseph Tessy Tree LabelBeyond the important benefits that all trees provide, trees at MBC also function as important research and education resources. Many trees at MBC are the only representatives of their species in the United States. Caring for rare and imperiled tree species in the garden helps ensure that these living treasures do no go extinct.  

Thus, the Martin-Rami Fund, by sponsoring tree planting at MBC, enables four fundamental conservation functions; improving our environment; providing an educational resource for students; contributing to scientific research; and ensuring against extinction.  

Genita writes, “The Martin-Rami Fund sponsors living trees in honor of Martin Joseph Tessy Cardona, and his guardian angel Rami Chirara. Their loving awareness inspires this gift to the earth, as everyone, regardless of their situation, may contribute to the planting of a tree in a simple and sustainable way.”  

Tessy tree planting at Montgomery.“When I spoke with Genita and found out that she was interested in planting trees at MBC I was thrilled. Every year we have over 1,000 trees to plant and every bit of help is greatly appreciated,” stated Tracy Magellan, MBC Outreach Manager.  

Dr. Patrick Griffith, MBC Executive Director, states: “I’m inspired by the vision and colleagueship of Mrs. Cardona. After discussing her ideas with Tracy, Genita brought her family and friends to MBC to plant some important trees last June. Now, Genita has made a greater commitment, and is involving a wider group. Planting trees is at the heart of what we do at MBC. I’m truly grateful for Genita and the Martin-Rami Fund, which help enable that important work.”            

July 7, 2010

The Coral Gables Museum City Trekker Summer Camp
Learns about Gardens at Montgomery

Coral Gables Museum City Trekkers.  Kids Planting.Caroline Parker, Director of Programs for the Coral Gables Museum, brought 21 students to Montgomery Botanical Center to learn about botanic gardens through a palm planting workshop.  

The children enthusiastically enjoyed planting an important group of Sabal Palms in the Lowland Palmetum. Coral Gables Museum City Trekkers Visit Montgomery Botanical Center July 2010

Caroline’s idea to dedicate one week to learning the importance of botanic gardens demonstrates excellent planning in the CGM summer camp program. Landscape design, sustainability, horticulture, conservation, and botany are all important topics that are part of growing a plant collection.

"The children did an excellent job planting and helped us immensely," said Laurie Danielson. "They made a great contribution to our garden." 

June 24, 2010

Montgomery Botanical's Work Featured at National and International Meetings

A focus on living botanical collections remains at the heart of the botanical garden community. As evidence: Montgomery Botanical Center's work was selected for presentation at the two major garden conferences this summer. Dr. Chad Husby and Dr. Patrick Griffith presented a total of six presentations at these gatherings. 

The American Public Gardens Association conference was hosted by Atlanta Botanical Garden in early June. Chad presented his recent research on weed risk assessment for botanical garden collections, and Patrick contributed a talk on how MBC rethought its work in mapping living collections. Additionally, Patrick was asked to give a summary of how MBC developed hurricane response protocols for the plant collection. Along with Tracy Magellan, Chad and Patrick also participated in the NAPCC forum as part of the conference.  Longtime MBC colleague Ron Determann shared his extensive conifer and cycad collections with the MBC team.

A few days after the APGA conference, Botanic Gardens Conservation International convened the 4th Global Botanic Gardens Congress at the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland, in Glasnevin.

Chad was again encouraged to discuss the weed risk assessment work in a session on invasive plant issues and gardens, while Patrick presented MBC's work with bringing together conservation genetics and economics. Chad took advantage of the worldwide gathering to exchange Equisetum cuttings with other dedicated plantsmen from France, Scotland, and Finland.

At the request of the organizing committee, Dr. Andrew Vovides convened a special session dedicated to cycad collections, which brought together speakers from the Mexican National Cycad Collection, The New York Botanical Garden, Shenzhen Fairy Lake Botanical Garden, Lowveld National Botanical Garden, and MBC. Patrick contributed an overview of MBC cycad work, with recent examples in conservation and research.

The famous conservatories at Glasnevin are home to many important cycad collections, including the type collection of Ceratozamia fuscoviridis, which was studied by Dr. Stevenson, Dr. Vovides, and Dr. Osborne for a recent publication. This individual plant has been in cultivation at Glasnevin since the nineteenth century! Attendees of the cycad session were treated to a special viewing of this collection by Dr. Matthew Jebb.

"These gatherings are an excellent opportunity, both to share MBC's work, and to make and strengthen connections with our friends and colleagues around the world. The MBC team is very grateful for the gracious hospitality and hard work of the host gardens in Atlanta and Dublin, and the great organizations that make these events happen," stated Patrick.

June 21-27, 2010

National Pollinator Week at Montgomery

A great deal of specialized work goes into pollinating plants at MBC.  

Loss of natural habitat and unscrupulous poaching puts a big pressure on cycads. Cycad seeds produced at MBC are shared with other botanical gardens, educational institutions, and scientific researchers. Collectors have a chance to purchase the rare seeds legally, and as the supply expands poaching could lessen.  

So, for National Pollinator Week, MBC would like to highlight the work of Judy Kay, MBC Seedbank Coordinator. Here, Judy shares her field notes on managing the cycad collections for seed production, and some observations on palms and other collections:  

“For the last ten years, the cycads have been quite consistently cyclic. Encephalartos male cones shed pollen August–May.  The females are receptive August–December, and disperse seeds January–March.  

Cold temperatures only affect Encephalartos ferox females. They will close up immediately if receptive, and if already pollinated they may abort the seeds. I always leave an unpollinated control cone to see if any new pollinators have been introduced. None have appeared so far.  

Cycas has had many open pollinated seeds from 2000–2010. The male cones shed pollen April–June. The females are receptive April–June and the seeds are harvested August–November.  This year the long cold spell had a very dramatic effect on the female Cycas panzhihuaensis. This rare Cycas is a cold hardy cycad, which grows in high altitudes in China.  Since 2002, we have had many male cones but only two females. Now we have over 13 female cones, including one plant exhibiting five female cones.  

Dioon spinulosum and D. mejiae had a few open pollinated viable seeds each year from 2000-2010. They produce pollen, receptive cones and seeds at various times during the year. Since it takes two-three years for the seeds to mature, plants will often have several hand pollinated cones from different years. The seeds are usually already sprouted when the cone begins to disarticulate.  

Microcycas calocoma has the most efficient schedule.  Pollen and receptive cones both exist August–September.  Seeds are harvested the following June–July. No open pollinations recorded.  

Ceratozamia have pollen February–May and receptive cones May–July. Seeds are harvested the next January–May with no open pollinations.  

Zamia, except for the Zamia inermis, are usually pollinated by a local pollinator. (See MBC Newsletter Spring 2007 for pollinator exclusion experiments).   Successful palm pollinations include Nypa fruiticans, Bismarckia nobilis, Pseudophoenix vinifera, and Allagoptera arenaria.  Fruit and flowering trees pollinated include Brownea capitella and Butea monosperma. MBC collaborated with Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden and The Kampong to cross pollinate Couroupita guianensis, sharing fruits and seeds.”  

During Judy’s time at MBC, she has generously shared information, records, pollen, and demonstrated her methods to visiting experts from many botanic gardens. Judy states, “I’m always happy to answer any questions or give demonstrations of pollination techniques–The more rare seeds we can produce, the less rare they will be!”

June 18, 2010

Montgomery Botanical Research Fellow Dr. John Dowe

Dr. John Leslie Dowe is a Research Botanist based at James Cook University, Townsville, Australia and a Research Fellow with Montgomery Botanical Center. Dr. Dowe has worked on the systematics, ecology and taxonomy of Australia palms for the last 20 years.  

John has provided revisions of the Australian palm genera of Archontophoenix (1994), Caryota (1994), Linospadix (1997), Licuala (2005), and Livistona (2009). His work in the south-west Pacific and New Guinea has included a taxonomic account of the palms of Vanuatu (1996), a revision of Calyptrocalyx (2001) and research into the rare and threatened species Carpoxylon macrospermum (1989, 1997). In February of 2010 Dr. Dowe published the definitive reference work on Australian palms: ‘Australian Palms: Biogeography, Ecology and Systematics’, published by CSIRO Publishing, Australia.  

Dr. Dowe presented two talks on Livistona, one at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden for the South Florida Palm Society and one in Orlando for the Central Florida Palm and Cycad Society.  Dr. Dowe also presented two lectures on the public palm collections of North Queensland, Australia, one in Largo, FL and one here at Montgomery Botanical Center. The talk presented at MBC titled, “A Palm Road-Trip: Visiting the Public Palm Collections of North Queensland, Australia” focused on the many interesting palms found at each of six public gardens.   

While in Miami, Dr. John Dowe and Dr. Larry Noblick used the scanning electron microscope at the University of Miami to look at the surface textures of different Australian palm pollen grains that were collected in Australia and in the United States at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and Montgomery Botanical Center.  Dr. Dowe has been using Montgomery Botanical Center’s living collection since 1996.  Actively supporting research is an integral component of the mission here at MBC.  

The Montgomery Botanical Research Fellows Program is generously supported by the Kelly Foundation, in order to advance research on the MBC living collection and share this research with the botanical community.

June 8, 2010

AmeriCorps helps MBC

City Year, a branch of AmeriCorp, visted MBC to help us with a large-scale weeding project.  The event was organized as part of City Year Miami’s 96 Hours of Power, a program designed to have members volunteer around the clock for a 4 day period.   

City Year members serve as full-time tutors, mentors and role models in high-poverty schools. There are 1,550 members serving nationally who volunteer 2.5 million hours annually.  

MBC was very happy to work with City Year.  It is great to see youth embrace volunteering.  Hand weeding is a safe and effective way to remove large weeds that have established themselves in the collection.  Weeds compete with our collection for water and nutrients.  Removing weeds can cut down fertilizer and water usage and beautify the collection. 

Thank you City Year for helping MBC meet our mission of exemplifying excellent botanical garden design and helping us maintain the beauty of our extraordinary collections.

June 7, 2010

Proper Palm Planting Techniques Taught at MBC

Miami Dade College’s Palm Diversity & Maintenance class visited MBC to assist with the summer planting. The course teaches identification and good maintenance practices for the major species of palms commonly found in South Florida.  

MBC has a history of using good maintenance practices and valuing exemplary botanic design.  During the 2010 summer planting season, a total of 1,150 plants will go in the ground,  600 of which will be palms.  

MBC’s wild-collected, population-based, tropical plant collections are extraordinary in their scientific, conservation, and educational value.  “Montgomery Botanical Center takes great pride in educating students on proper palm planting techniques.  As an adjunct professor at Miami Dade College, I know that hands on activities solidify ideas and techniques discussed in class.  Exposing students to the application of methods taught in class allows them to better absorb the information,” said Tracy Magellan.

May 12, 2010

Pollination Biologist Dr. Irene Terry Studies MBC Cycad Collections

Dr. Irene Terry, from the University of Utah, is an expert on the pollination biology of cycads. Her recent work looks closely at the mutual relationship between cycads and their pollinators. 

Through innovative methods, Dr. Terry has advanced our understanding of how cycads attract pollinators, and has brought to light aspects of cycads cone biology. Cones of the genus Cycas produce abundant volatile compounds, which give them sometimes very distinctive fragrances. Some can be described as suggesting licorice or pineapple odors. Additionally, the cones heat up significantly during the reproductive phase, which facilitates attracting the pollinators.  

Quoting from Dr. Terry’s recent research: “the reproductive organs of some plants self-heat, release scent, and attract pollinators. The relations among these processes are not well understood, especially in the more ancient, nonflowering gymnosperm lineages.”  

Over the last week, Dr. Terry has been gathering data on temperature and chemistry of Cycas collections here at MBC, as part of her work with Dr. Tom Marler at the University of Guam. Working with Claudia Calonje, MBC Collections Specialist, Dr. Terry reviewed the phenology data to time her research visit to coincide with pollen shedding of many Cycas cones.  

This use of MBC living collections for pollination biology continues an important field of study here. For many years, cycads were assumed to be wind pollinated. In recent decades, the pollination of cycads by weevils and beetles was thoroughly documented on plants growing on the MBC grounds.  

Dr. Terry states, “it is a great advantage to have a living collection of so many cycad species at one location to compare cone traits that are key to their reproductive biology.”

May 6, 2010

Current Cycad Conservation and Research in Mexico:
Dr. Andrew Vovides and Dr. Miguel Angel Perez-Farrera

Two cycad experts from Mexico were recently hosted by Montgomery Botanical Center. Dr. Andrew Vovides, Montgomery Botanical Research Fellow (1989) from Instituto de Ecología, A.C., Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, and Dr. Miguel Angel Perez-Farrera from the Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas, Mexico reviewed the cycad collections, planned collaborative research, and presented their current work.

Dr. Vovides presented a lecture titled, "New Cycad Research in Mexico:Advances in Taxonomy, Biogeography, and Molecular Barcoding."  Dr. Perez-Farrera presented a lecture on the Ceratozamia robusta complex: taxonomy and systematics. The lectures were heard by visitors from many research institutions. Biologists from Florida International University, the Florida Division of Plant Industry, Gemini Gardens, the USDA, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and The University of Utah attended the reception and lecture.

A leading cycad researcher in Mexico, Dr. Andrew Vovides established the Jardin Botanico Francisco Javier Clavijero and the Mexican National Cycad Collection, one of the world's most important cycad conservation collections. Dr. Vovides and Dr. Perez-Farrera are longtime collaborators with MBC, going back over 20 years. Most recently, Dr. Perez-Farrera worked with MBC's Michael Calonje on 2008 fieldwork in Belize

The important work by Dr. Vovides and Dr. Perez-Farrera is an excellent example of the merging of research, conservation, and education, and mirrors our mission here at MBC. MBC thanks the Kelly Foundation for supporting the Montgomery Botanical Research Fellows Program, which brings cycad and palm experts to MBC to advance joint research.

April 29, 2010

Montgomery Botanical hosts a Green Discussion:
Mayor Slesnick and Environmental Law Students

Patricia Siemen, Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence at St. Thomas University, visited MBC with six law students. Their visit coincided with the last meeting for a course on Earth Jurisprudence. The students remarked that seeing the work of MBC firsthand "brought the lessons from the seminar home," by exemplifying conservation practice.

Coral Gables Mayor Don Slesnick came to MBC to discuss how the City of Coral Gables has greened their community. Mayor Slesnick cited MBC as a leading example of a green organization in Coral Gables, noting that "the greenest thing you can do is plant a tree." The Mayor's conversation with the students also highlighted the value of historical preservation; "One way we can decrease our carbon footprint is by restoring old buildings with new green technologies. Tearing down an old building to build a new one uses far more resources than restoring the old building."

The Mayor's visit to MBC comes on the one year anniversary of "Montgomery Botanical Center Day in Coral Gables" established by proclamation as April 29, 2009, and also on the 85th birthday of the City.

April 26, 2010

Montgomery Palm Biologist, Larry Noblick, Co-Authors New Book on Brazilian Palms

A new book on Brazilian Palms has been published. Brazilian Flora Lorenzi: Arecaceae (Palms) details 300 species, varieties, and natural hybrids of palms native to Brazil. The work, authored by Harri Lorenzi, Larry Noblick, Frances Kahn, and Evandro Ferreira, contains extensive diagnostic keys, and presents each palm with detailed photographs, descriptions, and distribution maps.  The work also contains detailed summary descriptions of each genus.

Published by Instituto Plantarum de Estudos da Flora, the work is available in both Portuguese and English. The book is organized to be of great use for a diversity of readers.  Quoting the book, "it is intended fundamentally for individuals interested in the art of gardening and landscaping, either as an amateur or professional, to nurserymen who provide seedlings of ornamental plants, to researchers of this group of plants, to professors and students of biological sciences in general, as well as palm fanciers, collectors, and those who love nature and enjoy viewing plants in their natural habitat."

This recent volume is the result of over 15 years of study of the Brazilian palm flora, investigating palms in the field and in the living collections at the Instituto Plantarum, Montgomery Botanical Center, and other gardens. Dr. Larry Noblick, MBC Palm Biologist, led the work on Butia, Lytocaryum, and Syagrus, continuing his work on these palm groups related to the coconut palm. Of note is the great diversity of Syagrus found in Brazil, especially the diminutive savanna and grassland species. Dr. Noblick’s work with these plant groups has brought more of these interesting diminutive palms to light in recent months.

April 21, 2010

New Research on Cycad Conservation Horticulture at MBC

Montgomery Botanical Center is dedicated to conserving living collections of cycads. With new living material coming through the nursery, the MBC team is often challenged to cultivate plants poorly known to horticulture. 

A new paper in the journal HortScience explores the optimum growing medium for new Zamia collections. This study examined the health of seedlings of Z. cunaria, Z. fairchildiana, and Z. aff. portoricensis which were brought to MBC by fieldwork in Panama and Jamaica in 2008. These plants grow in a variety of habitats, and in this study, the plants were grown in a variety of media, including crushed clay, silica sand, and a more traditional mix of organic and inorganic components. The plants varied in caudex diameter and leaf number relative to the media, in accordance with their provenance.

The study was designed by Dr. Chad Husby, working with Claudia Calonje and Michael Calonje. Chad states: "Determining the proper growing conditions for rare plants requires flexibility and a willingness to experiment.  Since fostering good root growth is essential to plant health, finding the best substrates for our collections is crucial to advancing our conservation mission."

Quoting the paper, "Optimizing substrates for cycad propagation is a critical step in ex situ conservation efforts. Predictability of optimal substrate and watering regime relative to native habitat can help increase efficient use of limited resources for these horticulturally unique living fossils." The MBC team is currently utilizing the findings to advance the cycad program, and further studies are underway.

April 8, 2010

Gifford Arboretum Lecture co-sponsored by MBC

Montgomery Botanical Center was honored to co-sponsor the 22nd Gifford Arboretum Lecture  at the University of Miami. Dr. John Kress of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution gave a lecture titled, DNA Barcoding in Plants: The Future of Identification, Discovery, and Conservation of Tropical Biodiversity.” Dr. John Kress’s work investigates tropical biology, ethnobotany, evolution, and plant systematics. “DNA barcoding, when developed, will make importing and exporting plants from country to country easier.  There will be less confusion about what should or should not be transported.  I look forward to seeing this come into fruition in my lifetime,” states Tracy Magellan.

After the lecture, John Kress signed his latest book, The Weeping Goldsmith.  The book chronicles his experiences exploring for plants in the isolated country of Myanmar.

The Gifford Arboretum always brings such wonderful speakers to our community; it was very inspiring to hear Dr. Kress speak about the great barcoding work. This novel way to study and conserve plant diversity will provide all kinds of great insights into plant biology. The Gifford Arboretum is a great organization and a unique resource, and MBC is always happy to co-sponsor The Gifford Lecture,” said Executive Director Dr. Patrick Griffith.

April 2010

Spring/Summer 2010 Montgomery Botanical News is Now Online!

This new issue has articles on fieldwork in St. Lucia, Martinique, the Bahamas, Tonga, and the Fiji Islands.  There are also articles on the 50th Anniversary, best management practices, and cold damage at MBC.

Montgomery Botanical Center publishes two newsletters a year to keep our supporters and collaborators up to date and informed.  To read more about how Montgomery Botanical Center meets our mission of "Advancing Research, Conservation, and Education through Scientific Plant Collections" please see our newsletters online.

March 27, 2010

Loyd Kelly, MBC Director Emeritus, Honored at Members Meeting

Members MeetingMontgomery Botanical Center's 51st Members Meeting was held on March 27. The MBC leadership offered updates on the previous year's work, and plans for the coming year.

The Members Lecture was given by Dr. Alan Meerow of Chapman Field, who presented an engaging lecture titled: Princes, Kings, and Queens: Palm and Cycad research at USDA and MBC. Alan spoke about the history of Chapman Field, and the ongoing collaborative work being performed in connection with MBC staff.

Dr. David Lee of Florida International University offered positive remarks on the quality of recent work at MBC, especially regarding cooperative efforts. David stated his view that "good will does not come out in the statistics, but is very important, and MBC is creating much good will in Miami's botanical community"

A highlight of the Members Meeting was the honoring of Loyd Kelly for his dedicated service.  The MBC Board of Directors unanimously elected to give Loyd the title of Director Emeritus, to honor his leadership and service on the Board, especially as President during the important formative years following Nell's death in 1990.

Dr. Patrick Griffith thanked Loyd for his guidance, leadership, and steadfast support of Montgomery, especially in the core mission areas of research and education. Patrick then presented Loyd with three framed drawings on behalf of the MBC team. These drawings are the original botanical illustrations of Syagrus kellyana, the KKelly Palmelly Palm.

Dr. Larry Noblick recently named this palm species after Loyd Kelly. Quoting from the formal description, the new species "honors Loyd Kelly and his family who have so generously supported the Montgomery Botanical Center and my research over the years." Larry spoke of his discovery of the Kelly Palm, and his recollections of being hired by Loyd as MBC's first palm biologist.

Charles P. Sacher, MBC President, then offered gratitude on behalf of the Board for Loyd's dedicated leadership and service, noting that Loyd's organizational efforts laid the framework for Montgomery's current successes.

Loyd then shared his thoughts on MBC and his vision for leadership, stating, "In leading this organization, I always believed in a good, rigorous selection process for the people that we bring in. I believe that we should bring in good people, set parameters on what we want to see, and then stand back and let the people do good work. Our successes here come from that philosophy, and I am glad to see all the good work being continued by our group here at Montgomery."

March 2010

Dr. Larry Noblick Describes 15 Interesting New Palm Species

Small SyagrusDr. Larry Noblick, MBC Palm Biologist, is working on an extensive review of Syagrus and closely related palms. Over the course of extensive fieldwork, herbarium study, and study of living collections at MBC and elsewhere, in collaboration with Harri Lorenzi of the Instituto Plantarum (Brazil), Dr. Noblick determined that reassessment of the diversity in these palms was needed.

The current issue of the journal Palms (Volume 54) features two papers by Noblick and Lorenzi, covering the genera Syagrus and Lytocaryum. Fourteen new Syagrus species are described, as well a single new species of Lytocaryum.

The new Syagrus discoveries include some palms with conspicuous trunks, as well as a large number of stemless palms native to the Lytocaryumcerrado and savanna habitats of South America. The authors write: "Several of the species described below could be used in landscaping and the smaller ones would be particularly valuable in the landscaping of small rock gardens. Many of the higher altitude species are probably frost resistant."

These stemless savannah palms are an area of expertise for Dr. Noblick, who previously described Butia exospadix and Butia marmorii, two palms that mimic grasses in habit. Syagrus minor, one of the new species in the recent work, is likely the most diminutive Syagrus known.

The other new discovery, Lytocaryum itapebiensis, is a stemless palm of the rainforest understory. Noblick and Lorenzi have recommended that this palm be classified as Critically Endangered, as "the only known population is extremely threatened with only about 20-25 plants left in the wild." The authors see great potential for ex situ conservation of this attractive palm.   

Palms, the quarterly journal of the International Palm Society, features a selection of original papers in the diversity, uses, and ecology of the palm family, as well as a regular section devoted to the horticulture of palms. 

March 24, 2010

Montgomery Botanical Center Hosts Students for Environmental Immersion Day

Ten students from Mr. Phillip Pearcy’s Environmental Science class at G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School visited Montgomery Botanical Center this week as part of the Fairchild Challenge Environmental Immersion Day.

Rotations led by Michael Calonje, Ericka Witcher, Judy Kay, Tracy Magellan, and Vickie Murphy taught students about the different technical aspects of working at a botanic garden.

“Being able to see so many enthusiastic students from my alma mater brought me great joy.  I hope a few students catch the botany bug,” stated Tracy Magellan. 

March 18, 2010

Michael Calonje and Colleagues
Describe a New Cycad Species from Colombia

Zamia pyrophyllaZamia pyrophylla, a new cycad species from the lowland tropics of Colombia, was recently described in the journal Brittonia. The new cycad is visually striking -- the research team writes: "The specific epithet refers to the glowing orange and red emergent leaves, which progressively turn green from the apex to the base, giving them a fiery appearance."

This new description resulted from extensive fieldwork led by the Universidad Tecnológica del Chocó (UTCH) in collaboration with MBC. Yan Arley Ramos, Director of the CHOCO Herbarium, coordinated the fieldwork in which several students and alumni of UTCH also participated.

Intensive study by the team of five populations of this Zamia confirmed that this species which was previously considered a synonym of Zamia amazonum, was indeed a distinct, undescribed species.

This plant occurs within a narrow geographical range in the department of Chocó, where it is currently threatened by habitat destruction. Based on census of the plants and field observations, the project team has recommended that Zamia pyrophylla be listed as Critically Endangered, following the internationally-recognized criteria of the IUCN.

Michael and colleaguesThe new species description is the result of a broad multi-institutional collaboration, led by Michael Calonje of MBC, and including Claudia Calonje (MBC), Yan Arley Ramos (CHOCO), and Dennis Stevenson (The New York Botanical Garden). Anders Lindstrom also contributed to the effort. Financial and logistical support from Francois and Angela Dolmetsch and the Zane B. Carothers Memorial Fund enabled the fieldwork.

Michael states, “perhaps the most rewarding aspect of this collaborative research trip for me was the interest awakened among UTCH students in conducting further research with this species as well as other cycads native to Chocó. We look forward to future collaborative work between MBC, UTCH, and the CHOCO herbarium."

March 2010

South Florida Palm Society Show and Sale 2010 March 20-21st Saturday and Sunday 9:30-4:30

February 26, 2010

How Effective is Botanic Garden Conservation?
A New Scientific Study of Montgomery's Conservation Method

Botanic Gardens increasingly work to ensure the conservation of endangered plants. Montgomery Botanical Center is no exception, and MBC plant collections have been structured to maximize conservation value. But how effective is this work -- are plants being conserved?

A recent paper in the journal Biological Conservation evaluates the success of the methods used by MBC to conserve genetic diversity through living plant collections. This study used an extensive living collection of a palm species, Leucothrinax morrisii, as a model system to evaluate botanic garden conservation. The living collection was the result of a single collecting event from a single population on Big Pine Key in 1998. Thus, this group of palms provided sufficient depth to evaluate optimium collection size for a single population.

The project team revisited the original population, and compared the genetic diversity of the collection and the population. The resulting data was used to model the most effective sample size to conserve genetic diversity.

The results of the work demonstrate that in this case, maintaining a collection of at least 15 plants succeeds in conserving at least 80% of the diversity in the wild population. Increasing the number of plants in the collection further will increase the conservation value of the collection, but diminishing returns are seen at higher collection sizes. The effect of collecting from separate mother plants was also positive, but was less significant than simply increasing the number of plants. This information can be of help for planning conservation work for palms and other plant groups.

Funding for this study was awarded by the International Palm Society. The study, led by Patrick Griffith of MBC, was performed in collaboration with researchers at Florida International University and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden -- Sandra Namoff, Javier Francisco-Ortega, and Carl Lewis -- in addition to MBC's Larry Noblick and Chad Husby.

February 12, 2010

Montgomery Botanical Hosts Kampong Physicians' Course

As part of its work in botanical education, The Kampong recently gave a course for physicians. Montgomery Botanical Center hosted the physicians and instructors for an afternoon of seminars, review of the living plant collections, and a brief introduction to the history and work of MBC.

The Kampong Physicians' Course aims to connect traditional medicine and ethnobotany. This year's course featured speakers from the south Florida area and also western Canada.  Physicians and medical students in the course gain insights from botany that can complement their medical practice. Outreach Manager Tracy Magellan states, "traditional medicine began with botany, and this course helps to keep that important connection. Plants still have many more potential benefits for medicine"

Montgomery Botanical Center and The Kampong frequently work together to advance botanical education and horticultural conservation. This cooperative spirit continues the friendship of Col. Montgomery and Dr. Fairchild into the modern era through MBC and the National Tropical Botanical Garden.

February 2, 2010

Coral Gables Garden Club at Montgomery

Twenty-eight members of the Coral Gables Garden Club visited Montgomery Botanical Center for a lecture on MBC’s collections and history given by Dr. Patrick Griffith followed by a tour of the property.

The Coral Gables Garden Club was established in 1925, and has a deep history of working to promote gardening and to beautify the Coral Gables community.

Nell Montgomery was an early Member and Director of the Coral Gables Garden Club. Nell hosted a similar lecture and tour here in early 1936, which featured a lecture by Col. Robert Montgomery and tour of "the largest collection of tropical palms in the country."

MBC thanks the Coral Gables Garden Club for their support of research, conservation, and education at Montgomery Botanical Center."I always enjoy seeing the Coral Gables Garden Club here at MBC. Having such a steadfast group of supporters in our city helps keep our great botanical traditions thriving," said Griffith.

January 12, 2010

Montgomery Fellow, Dr. John Dowe, Publishes Authoritative Book on Palms of Australia

Dr. John Dowe has completed an important work, Australian Palms: Biogeography, Ecology and Systematics. The book features a detailed treatment of each palm species in Australia, Lord Howe Island, Norfolk island, and Christmas Island. In all, 60 species are covered, in 21 genera. The book is available through CSIRO Publishing (Australia). Montgomery is hosting the supplemental data for this work on the MBC website.

The new book represents the results of an extended period of detailed study of palms. Quoting the preface: “The author has studied and collected all mainland palm species in their natural habitats, and has studied those from off-shore territories as cultivated specimens in Australian botanic gardens such as The Palmetum in Townsville, Flecker Botanic Gardens in Cairns and Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens in Brisbane, and in Florida at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens and the Montgomery Botanical Center. This work is the culmination of over 20 years of research into Australian palms.”

John’s work has added many new discoveries to the palm family. Nineteen new species were described by John during the course of this work. In addition, John recently authored a definitive treatment of the genus Livistona.

Dr. Dowe has been involved in the work of Montgomery Botanical Center for almost two decades. Beginning with MBC’s collections recovery work after Hurricane Andrew, John contributed to many of MBC’s living palm collections. In 2004, the MBC Board of Directors appointed Dr. Dowe as a Montgomery Botanical Research Fellow. With the generous support of the Kelly Foundation, John has travelled to MBC every year since, and contributed a great deal to Montgomery's research, offered lectures on his work, and has also co-authored studies with the MBC team.

January 11, 2010

Cold Temperatures at MBC

Ice found on soil bins at Montgomery Botanical Center.The coldest weather in nine years is being observed at Montgomery Botanical Center. Over the last week, temperatures have gone below 45 degrees four times, and the coldest on-site thermometer reading (36 degrees) was this morning around 5 am. This morning, ice formed on the lids of the soil bins.
Hemithrinax at Montgomery Botanical Center
As with all weather situations, there is some amount of preparation that can be done. Sensitive palms, like the Hemithrinax in this photo, are wrapped in burlap when temperatures dip below 50 degrees. In the nursery, the greenhouse is kept sealed and heated, and the most sensitive collections are brought in. Before our coldest hour, right before dawn, the shadehouse irrigation is run.

The weather recovery process is carefully planned. Treatment of the nursery collection is currently underway. Recording and tracking the cold damage is crucial. Thus far, some damage to a few Aiphanes and Zamia is observed, but more damage may become apparent. The entire nursery collection will be treated with fungicide as temperatures return to normal. 

Over the years, bouts of cold damage have occurred at The Coconut Grove Palmetum, The Montgomery Foundation, and MBC. Some plants are lost, and much hard work must be done, but active development of the living plant collection continues. The MBC team remains dedicated to these living treasures, despite cold, heat, rain, or wind.

January 9, 2010

Boy Scouts Help Restore 1932 Montgomery Greenhouse

BSA Troop 457 at Montgomery Botanical Center Chris Lancaster's Eagle Scout Project

Chris Lancaster from the Boy Scouts of America Troop 457, Pinecrest, Florida brought a dedicated, hard working Troop to Montgomery Botanical Center to complete his Eagle Scout Project.
Chris organized a group of over 75 volunteers to repair shutters and screens in the greenhouse, and paint the nursery potting area. In addition, other Scouts removed invasive plants and helped spread mulch for the plant collections.

The volunteers came out on Saturday in rainy 45°F weather and did a spectacular job completing the project despite the adverse conditions. MBC is very thankful to Chris for organizing the project, and to all the hardworking Scouts and their families for braving the rain and cold. 

Dr. Patrick Griffith states, “These dedicated Scouts represented their Troop and the BSA very well. The thoughtful, organized project moved us very far ahead on our work; and it was fun to see everyone having a great time in the cold, damp conditions. I hope to see many more Eagle Scout Projects here at Montgomery.”

MBC News Archive

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016


Click here to go to Previous page.

Click here to go to Top of Current Page.

Click here to go to Next Page.