Dr. Damon Little, a research associate of The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Program for Molecular Systematic Studies at The New York Botanical Garden, presented a public seminar at Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) on the Evolution and Circumspection of the True Cypresses.

Dr. Little spoke of the progress made in settling the confusion of the sometimes controversial classification of species in the genus Cupressus. In his study, all 28 living species were sampled.

Combined anatomical, morphological, and molecular data produced the most complete hypothesis of evolutionary relationships to date; generic boundaries were modified. Now, Cupressus only applies to Old World species. New World species, formerly classified as Cupressus, are now placed in Callitropsis resulting in 17 new combinations in Callitropsis.

Dr. Little is visiting Montgomery Botanical to study cycad systematics with Dr. Dennis Stevenson, also of The New York Botanical Garden. While here, they have also helped in identifying and classifying MBC’s cypress collections.

Montgomery Botanical Center educates the community through lectures, seminars, and workshops. MBC is open by appointment to students, educators, scientists, historians, botanical groups, and all others interested in scientific plant collections.