Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) is renowned for its quality wild-collected population samples of palms and cycads from all over the world, but, surprisingly, the Florida native palms and one native cycad are markedly under-represented in MBC’s collections. In an attempt to rectify this situation, two expeditions set out from MBC to collect from Florida native palm and cycad populations (November 6th to November 17th for the former, and November 28th to December 10th for the latter). Each expedition was bent on bringing back research quality, wild-collected, population-based material from throughout Florida to be planted in the garden.
Dr. Larry Noblick, MBC palm biologist (above), and Harvey Bernstein (former MBC imaging specialist), collected palm material in the first phase. MBC staff focused on Zamia material for the second phase. Although the 2005 hurricane season greatly altered what was available advancing fruiting in some areas and pre-empting it in others— both expeditions were successful in bringing back seeds, plants, and herbarium specimens to start MBC’s Florida Conservation Collection.