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Plant Exploration in the Republic of Georgia

September 9, 2016
Plant exploration plays a vital role in Longwood’s efforts to bring new plants into the Gardens. We travel to targeted regions throughout the world to find new plant species, which we then bring home to grow and evaluate. I recently finished a collection trip to the floristically rich Republic of Georgia; the goal of the trip was to explore seldom-visited regions of the country to search for and collect new species of woody and herbaceous plants.

Plant Exploration in Japan

July 14, 2016
Plant hunting often conjures images of remote, steamy jungles rich in exotic species new to gardens and science. While scientists from Longwood Gardens often participate in such expeditions to discover plants for our displays, the truth is that plant hunting and exploration can take on myriad forms. One of the most efficient ways of obtaining new and useful plants is to visit nurseries across the globe. Since many countries have well-established nursery industries, this type of plant exploration can be particularly useful for investigating the latest plant introductions from around the world.

Introducing Canna ‘Longwood Simply Salmon’!

May 25, 2016
Our plant family is welcoming a new addition this summer: Canna ‘Longwood Simply Salmon’! This canna was bred here at Longwood and is being released commercially under the Longwood Gardens name. Canna is a genus of large tropical and sub-tropical rhizomatous perennial plants with showy flowers and foliage. Canna ‘Longwood Simply Salmon’ is a compact, virus-free cultivar with showy, salmon-colored flowers. Cannas have a strong presence at Longwood, as a favorite feature in our summer display. They also have a long history within our Research division.

Native Orchid Conservation at Longwood Gardens

May 10, 2016
When you think of endangered species and conservation programs, you may think of our nation's zoos and aquariums and their work with wildlife preservation. Native flora may not come immediately to mind, but in Pennsylvania alone, the US Department of Agriculture lists more than 600 plants as endangered or threatened. Pennsylvania is home to nearly 60 species of native orchids. Some are among the showiest and most charismatic members of our native flora, but most are rare and threatened in the wild. Climate change, invasive species, habitat loss, and a booming white-tailed deer population have decimated many orchid populations in Southeastern Pennsylvania and across the region. To combat these issues, and to provide critical information about the propagation and growth of native orchids in cultivation, our Research Team at Longwood Gardens is developing a conservation program.

Making Our Blooms Count

May 2, 2016
Phenology is the scientific study of nature’s seasonal events—when cherry trees bloom and when birds choose to nest, for example. Studying phenology is a great way of getting outside and observing nature. Longwood Gardens has been observing and collecting the phenological data of when plants boom in our Gardens for many years. The data collected helps predict when plants will bloom each year, when to collect pollen for breeding programs, when to photograph flowers, or to let guests know the best time to visit to see a specific bloom. We are lucky to have a team of 15 trained observers who are dedicated to this important task.

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