Texas is home to more than 400 species of plants at risk of extinction, including 163 considered “critically imperiled” within the state, according to data from Texas Parks & Wildlife. The Garden is committed to protecting the rare plants of Texas. This sort of work requires the cooperation of scientists, state and federal agencies, land owners and members of the public. To coordinate their efforts and exchange information on research progress and best practices, the Garden is hosting the 2023 Texas Plant Conservation Conference Aug. 14 and 15.
Forbes magazine recently featured the work of FWBG | BRIT Research Botanist Alejandra Vasco documenting the fern species of her native Colombia, highlighting the work of our scientists to understand and conserve threatened plants.
It’s one thing to identify a flower when it’s in bloom. Petals, stamens and other features provide all sorts of information to botanists to narrow down the plant’s name and history. Starting with a seed pod is a different matter – especially when the pod is hard, dried, and an indistinct brown. When friends Carol and Cynthia both found particularly tough, dried pods that superficially resemble pine cones, they were baffled. But it takes more than a dried-up pod to baffle the botanists at the BRIT Herbarium. They were able to let Cynthia and Carol know that they had found the dried fruits of Oenothera triloba, or stemless evening primrose.
April is National Native Plant month and a great opportunity to talk about the importance of native plants to the health of our planet. Native plants help preserve local wildlife, reduce water use and protect and restore soil, but these plants are threatened by invasive species, habitat loss and water quality issues. What is FWBG | BRIT doing to protect these plants? And how can you help?