Expanding Opportunities for Undergraduate Education

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications
May 8, 2019

Expanding Opportunities for Undergraduate Education

dig-deeper-undergrad-education

As a partner in the educational mission of Harvard University, the Arboretum leverages its resources to support undergraduate education. Arboretum-based faculty and researchers, state-of-the-art laboratories, and the living collections provide field experiences for diverse Harvard classes ranging from the biology of plants and urban ecology to landscape design. A summer short course connects students with […]

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Rhododendron? Hydrangea? America doesn’t know anymore

by Douglas Belkin for The Wall Street Journal
August 15, 2018

The lost art of looking at plants

by Heidi Ledford for Nature
January 29, 2018

The lost art of looking at plants

2017 Plant Anatomy Summer Course

Although the genomics era led many plant biologists away from physiology and morphology, the latest generation of technological advances is steering them back. Read about how imaging technology in particular is renewing the appetite to study plant diversity, fueled by initiatives such as the Arboretum’s summer short course in plant morphology. Read more in Nature.

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Tracing the Evolution of Form and Function

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications
August 11, 2017

Tracing the Evolution of Form and Function

Viewing wood anatomy

As a pioneering botanical institution with nearly 150 years of observed data on plants and their development, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University has long championed the study of the formal attributes that distinguish plant species from one another. With an advanced center for plant research now within sight of the collections at Weld Hill, […]

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Magnolia flowers fall apart beautifully

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
July 19, 2017

Magnolia flowers fall apart beautifully

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Things fall apart. That is the essence of a plant. I don’t mean the kind of falling apart of decay, but rather, the wonderful falling apart of the regular shedding of plant organs after they have served their given tasks. Bud scales after bud burst in the spring, petals after a flower is pollinated, leaves in […]

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Oyama magnolia in full bloom

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
June 12, 2016

Oyama magnolia in full bloom

Oyama magnolia_directorsBlog46_featuredIMG

The spectacle of spring flowering magnolias at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a show to see. However, summer flowering magnolias such as the Oyama magnolia (Magnolia sieboldii), the bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia macrophylla), and the sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana), while more subtle, are also worthy of a pilgrimage. Right now, one of the Arnold […]

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Mountain laurels fling pollen!

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
June 4, 2016

Mountain laurels fling pollen!

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This week has been close to perfect when it comes to rhododendrons and azaleas at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. Both belong to the Ericaceae, a family of plants that also includes blueberries, cranberries, and the mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia. The Arnold has two stunning groupings of mountain laurels, and they are just beginning […]

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Armed and dangerous plants in the Arnold Arboretum (part 3)

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
February 18, 2016

Armed and dangerous plants in the Arnold Arboretum (part 3)

Armed and Dangerous Plants3_DirectorsBlog33_featuredIMG

When sharp dangerous structures are found in pairs on plants, they are almost certainly “spines” (modifications of leaves or parts of leaves), as opposed to “thorns” (modified shoot systems, part 2) or “prickles” (outgrowths of the epidermis and underlying tissues, part 1). Pictured below, paired spines are found at the point of attachment of the […]

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Armed and dangerous plants in the Arnold Arboretum (part 2)

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
February 2, 2016

Armed and dangerous plants in the Arnold Arboretum (part 2)

Spines, prickles and thorns are common terms bandied about when referring to sharp objects protruding from plants. There is a distinction to be made between these three terms. Spines denote a structure that is evolutionarily derived from a leaf or part of a leaf (cactuses have spines). Thorns circumscribe modified shoot systems (honey locust trees […]

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Botany Blasts Encourage Observations of Changing Climate

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications
January 12, 2016

Botany Blasts Encourage Observations of Changing Climate

Botany Blast Series Tree Spotters

Recording details about when plants flower or leaf out (phenology) may not seem like a momentous undertaking at first glance, but when aggregated, this data can reveal much to scientists about how plants are faring in our changing climate. In order to better observe, appreciate, and understand trees and their life cycles, it helps to […]

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