Montgomery palm Montgomery Botanical Center Nell's HouseMontgomery Botanical Center is dedicated to living plant collections, grown to advance botanical research, conservation, and education. 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of MBC.

Looking back, it is easily apparent that the living plant collections at MBC have contributed to many studies since 1959. Even before the founding of MBC, Colonel Montgomery’s plant collections contributed to the work of botanists from very early on.

As part of this year’s recognition of MBC history, the team compiled a bibliography of works that utilized the living collections, going back to The Colonel’s era — over 200 published works in botany have been helped by the living plant collections here. Well over half of these works are from the last ten years, evidence of the increased importance of living plant collections.

One early example is the description of Veitchia montgomeryana by H. E. Moore, from living material grown by Colonel Montgomery.  This scientific paper from 1957 honored Colonel Robert H. Montgomery “whose name so richly deserves to be associated with a member of the [Palm] family.”

In recent years, MBC has seen increasing volume of works in diverse fields, including biodiversity, physiology, taxonomy, developmental biology, and also significant use of the collections for popular and educational materials.