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Plunging through the humid swamps and dense woodlands of Florida’s Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park to document remnant cigar orchids is just all part of the job.

the curious quest for

elusive

orchids

By EMILY COFFEY and MATT RICHARDS Since 2007, Garden conservationists have worked to rescue, propagate and reintroduce these beautiful, showy orchids into their native habitat, trying to save the plants from extinction in the wild.

International partnerships yield success toward restoring plant species

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Cigar orchids (Cyrtopodium punctatum), once abundant throughout the swamp, are considered one of five “lost” orchid species native to the park and region. When the staff started working with this species only a few cigar orchids were still present in the wild, which allowed Garden experts to rescue, propagate and reintroduce additional plants back into the swamp, creating a thriving new population in the south Florida park.

ON THE COVER AND LEFT: Garden staff and partners perform field work in Cuba. RIGHT: A Cigar Orchid.

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Unfortunately, because of decades of overharvesting, habitat destruction and illegal poaching, the other four orchid species have disappeared from the strand entirely. Garden botanists and their partners did eventually find the nearest populations — some 250 miles away, across the Straits of Florida in Cuba. Working with partners there and in Florida, the staff located wild populations of all five orchid species in Cuba. These ongoing partnerships have helped to secure research and collaboration visas to access the Ciénaga de Zapata Parque Nacional (a UNESCO World Heritage tentative listing), allowing the Garden to be one of the first U.S. institutions granted access to this large and diverse biosphere reserve. Hiking for hours through deep mud and lushly forested ravines, and wading across flooded rivers to reach the remote locations, staff and colleagues were able to explore, locate and carefully collect seed from three of the four remaining sought-after orchids. That seed is now sown in the Garden’s micropropagation lab in Atlanta.

WHY IT MATTERS

Collaboration through international partnerships can yield success in restoring lost plant species. 4 PlantIntel

CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT: Conservationist Houston Sneed measures the diameter of a tree; the colorful vine Stigmaphyllon sagraeanum blossoms in the shadows of Cuba’s palm trees; orchid seed collected during field research.

The Garden’s work in Cuba would not be possible without the multilateral scientific and administrative support and facilitation of its Cuba partners, and these relationships continue, expanding collaboration among institutions. Conservation training workshops, seed sharing, reciprocal field work in the United States and Cuba all enhance the value of this work. Meanwhile, the fourth orchid, Acunae’s star orchid (Epidendrum acunae), remains elusive. While plants have been identified in the wild in Cuba, no fruit or seed have been found, so the staff has been unable to propagate plants at the Garden. The partners, however, remain committed to working to conserve and restore these stunning “lost orchids” found in Cuba to their natural habitat in Florida, and the collaboration continues.

EMILY COFFEY, PhD, is the Garden’s Vice President of Conservation and Research. MATT RICHARDS is the former Conservation Horticulture Manager.

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to their natural condition. Using GPS data and aerial photography dating as far back as 1941, Garden conservation staff have identified the areas of highest priority for focusing their efforts. Crews cut, chip and remove the overgrown titi. Fire is then carefully reintroduced to maintain the re-sprouting titi in its historic shrub form and, over repeated burns, slowly reduce the thick layer of organic material that has built up within the wetlands. This process will help restore the nutrient-poor sandy soil needed for these wetland plant communities to thrive. Removal of the thick titi overstory and the introduction of fire produces quick results where remnant populations of wetland plants remain. Strikingly, in a single season pitcher plants begin to send up pitchers and flowers, grasses begin to reappear, and orchids return in increasing numbers. Seeds collected from within the park and grown at the Garden will be reintroduced where local populations have vanished. In an age of unpredictable funding, the nearly decade-long support of the Gulf Environmental

WHY IT MATTERS

The Florida Panhandle is home to a globally rare phenomenon – coastal dune lakes that are an important habitat for a host of native plants and animals. These natural communities form some of the most species-rich and diverse wetland ecosystems found anywhere in the world. Pitcher plants, sundews and butterworts are among the many different carnivorous plants that can be found in these areas. Orchids abound as well; the White Fringed Orchid, Grass Pinks, Rose Pogonia, Rosebud Orchid and Ladies Tresses are some of the more prominent plants painting the area’s coastal parks in a brush of color. Yet, these ecologically valuable wetlands and bogs are vanishing. Decades of fire suppression – more than 80 years in some cases – have degraded these important habitats. Naturally occurring fires once kept shrubs like black titi (Cliftonia monophylla) in check and confined to areas where fire rarely reached, such as cypress domes and the edges of streams. In the absence of fire, shrubs have grown to the size of small trees, invading and shading out the open prairies and bogs, changing the balance of the ecosystems and degrading the quality of the water entering the coastal dune lakes, located near tourist-popular highway 30A. This shift in balance results in both reduced water quality and quantity entering the streams that feed the lakes and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico. Data is being gathered to track the impact the project is having on the water system. 6 PlantIntel

A prairie at Deer Lake State Park undergoes prescribed burning.

Restoring wetlands to their natural condition helps create healthy ecosystems in which plants and animals can flourish. Benefit Fund is uniquely valuable. Taking an ecosystem back 80 years to restore its natural conditions is no small task. Doing so provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to track the resulting changes, lay down baseline research plots and begin to monitor the recovery of these natural communities. TOP: Coastal dune lakes present a unique ecosystem with their proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. ABOVE: In the absence of fire, shrubs like titi have grown to the size of small trees, invading bogs and affecting the ecosystem.

Fortunately, the Garden’s Conservation and Research team is leveraging its expertise in native species and habitats to restore these diminishing wetlands and pitcher plant bogs. In partnership with Florida State Parks through the Restoration of Florida’s Coastal Dune Lakes project, the Garden has secured funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund to reclaim and stabilize watersheds of the coastal dune lakes, such as those at Deer Lake State Park near Santa Rosa Beach. The project – the fund’s largest-scale restoration without use of herbicides or pesticides – focuses on restoring these degraded areas

Participating in the ongoing transformation of tangled thickets of overgrown vegetation into a healthy coastal ecosystem pulsing with native plants and animals is a remarkable and rewarding experience. JEFF TALBERT is the Garden’s Project Coordinator for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Coastal Dune Lake Restoration Project. CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: A green lynx spider rests on Barbara’s buttons in a park restoration area; Talbert examines a white fringed orchid; pine lily is a native of Florida; spoonleaf sundews display brilliant color.

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SARRACENIA

COLLECTIVE

EFFORT

Get to know the Garden’s diverse, nationally accredited plant collections

Gongora gratulabunda

Plant collections are the foundation of the mission of the Garden. In fact, the Garden is home to five noteworthy groups accredited by the American Public Gardens Association: Magnolia, Acer, Sarracenia, Stanhopea and Gongora. Accreditation is conferred upon collections that attain a demonstrated high level of taxonomic diversity, and curatorial and institutional commitment. “Accreditation has become the recognized standard of excellence in plant collections management and demonstrates a garden’s enduring commitment to global efforts to save plants,” Pam Allenstein, manager of the American Public Gardens Association’s Plant Collections Network, said in Public Garden magazine. As holders of Nationally Accredited Plant Collections, the Garden becomes a participating member of the Plant Collections Network. The network coordinates a continent-wide approach to plant germplasm preservation among public gardens and promotes high standards of plant collections management. It consists of 75 member institutions and 85 accredited collections.

WHY IT MATTERS Nationally recognized plant collections demonstrate a public garden’s commitment to global efforts for saving plants.

“The Garden has historically been both a conservationand collections-based institution,” said Mary Pat Matheson, Garden President & CEO. “Over the last 30 years, we have developed significant collections of orchids, carnivorous plants, magnolias, maples and conifers.” Species orchids, in particular, are one of the Garden’s flagship collections – the largest of its kind under glass in the United States.

NORTH AMERICAN PITCHER PLANTS North American pitcher plants are a group of eight to 11 species unique in their carnivorous lifestyle; these plants attract, capture and digest insect prey to obtain nutrients vital for their survival. Predominately found across the southeastern Coastal Plain, only 3 percent of their historic habitat remains resulting in three species listed as endangered. The Garden plays a significant role in the conservation of this plant group by housing an extensive collection of indexed species and has developed protocols for germination, seed storage and micropropagation. Additionally, the Garden collaborates with government agencies, conservation organizations and private landowners throughout the Southeast to restore and conserve their habitat. Native pitcher plants are showcased in the Conservation Garden.

STANHOPEA AND GONGORA

Stanhopea and Gongora are two genera of neotropical orchids pollinated by fragrance-collecting Euglossine bees. Their powerful, complex fragrances and remarkable pollination biology make them an extraordinarily fascinating group of orchids. Each species produces an intense floral fragrance attractive to just one or two species of bees that collect the fragrance volatiles by scratching the flower’s surface. Stanhopea and Gongora both have “fallthrough” flowers with an arching column that guides the bee toward the pollinarium. Euglossine bee-pollinated orchids are a particular focus of the Garden’s extensive collection of orchid species, with Stanhopea (72 taxa, or plant groups, comprising 372 plants) and Gongora (48 taxa comprising 210 plants), both permanently displayed in the Fuqua Orchid Center. – Becky Brinkman

MAGNOLIA

Magnolia is large genus of shrubs and small trees, with more than 300 species. They are found around the world, with diversity centers in eastern North America, southeastern Asia, South America and Central America. Because this is such a large and diverse group of plants, it would be impossible for one garden to house an all-encompassing collection. For that reason, the Garden is part of a multi-institutional collection to help represent the magnolias of the world that grow well here in the Southeast. There are more than 150 different taxa (plant groups) in the collection, including both deciduous and evergreen plants. Magnolias, which are easy to grow, include small-leaf forms as well as extremely large-leaf species. They bloom in an array of colors ranging from white, pink, purple, yellow to a combination of them all. Magnolias also vary in size, from some topping out at 8 to 10 feet to others towering up to 100 feet.

– Jessica Stephens

Sarracenia leucophylla hybrid

M. ‘Melissa Parris’

– Ethan Guthrie

ACER

MAPLE Acer is a genus of more than 120 species of shrubs and trees. The majority of maples are native to Asia and known for their winged fruits and beautiful fall color. The Garden is part of a multi-institutional collection to help represent all of the many diverse maples around the world. The collection is comprised of about 80 to 100 different taxa (plant groups). Though maples are best known for fall color ranging from reds to yellows to oranges, there also are many other attributes that make this genus a plant for all seasons. In spring maples explode with an array of new foliage colors before turning their summer hues. In mid-summer the seeds on many maples turn very bright colors as well. Many maples also have interesting bark patterns for winter interest; some have very mottled or peeling bark as well as a more ridged and furrowed look. – Ethan Guthrie

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Stanhopea nicaraguensis

Acer wilsonii

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DARING

discoveries Resident plant explorer shares the thrill – and chill – of the hunt

For centuries, similar climate conditions shared by the southeastern United States and Southeast Asia have presented a gold mine for plant collecting. That in turn has made plants from Southeast Asia a staple of Southern gardens. Three years ago, the Garden established its International Plant Exploration Program for strengthening collaborations with Southeast Asia as well as for conducting seed collecting trips and developing a plant evaluation nursery and visiting scholar program at the Garden. International Plant Exploration Manager Scott McMahan, who has made more than two dozen seed collecting trips to Asia, shares his experiences. u

Cercis chuniana

Bretschneidera sinensis

Pinus krempfii

WHY IT MATTERS

Scott McMahan

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Collecting, evaluating, preserving and disseminating seed from other parts of the world is key to the conservation of plants everywhere.

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What do you find rewarding about these exploration trips? McMahan: When I was just out of college and working as a propagation intern at a South Carolina wholesale nursery I was asked one day to pick up an elderly visitor at the sales yard. We hit it off, and it became a weekly occurrence for almost a year. As we walked around the nursery he told me stories of his travels to Japan and Korea back when he worked for the USDA, charged with finding new ornamental plants to introduce back in the U.S. I was mesmerized by his travels and his finds. His name was Dr. John Creech, and he was the director and plant explorer of the U.S. National Arboretum from 1973-1980. He definitely planted the seed in my head that plant exploration was actually a thing. The adventure is what got me into it, but it is the people I meet, the natural areas I visit and more recently the good we can help achieve in the countries I work in that keep me going back. What are your proudest discoveries? Over the past 18 years, I have made more than two dozen trips to Southeast Asia and have seen and collected many of the rarest temperate plants in the world, but a few do stand out: •

Pinus krempfii: Very rare pine from the central highlands of Vietnam. Last December, I collected the first cones to enter the U.S. Bretshneidera sinensis: In spring 2015, we found a single flowering specimen in a remote location in northwestern Vietnam. This tree helped launch a major conservation undertaking there that the Garden is helping lead. Cercis chuniana: Again, seed from a single plant we found in 2014 in Hubei, China has proven to be exceedingly rare in cultivation. We are now working with nurserymen to propagate this plant for further distribution. Begonia species: India is home to a dizzying array of begonia species, but one of my very favorites has to be a giant of the genus from the Mishmi Hills in northeastern India.

What are travel conditions like? What are the worst you ever encountered? Almost all my field work is done in northeastern India, northern Vietnam or southern China with a small group led by a 12 PlantIntel

River crossing in India

“The worst conditions I’ve encountered are almost always on the edges of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.” guide. Living conditions can be rough while in the field, but oftentimes it has more to do with the weather than with the campsite we’ve chosen or the grungy hotel we have to stay in for a night. Because we are in the field for only weeks at a time, we don’t have the luxury of skipping a day when it’s pouring rain. During prime seed collecting months it may rain for three weeks straight, but we still go out. The worst conditions I’ve encountered are almost always on the edges of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Have you ever gotten lost or encountered any dangerous situations? The areas that I end up working in are in extremely remote parts of the eastern Himalayas. Unfortunately, getting lost is part of it. There have been numerous occasions in which our group has been “turned around”

Seeds for the future New conservation center a hub for plant research, collaboration By EMILY COFFEY

Dinner: fried tadpoles

for half a day or so, but only once in my 18 years have we ever gotten so lost that we ran out of all provisions, slept on the steep side of a limestone mountain completely exhausted, and had fleeting thoughts of what would happen if we didn’t make it out. Tragically, just as a search party was dispatched and we were finding our way out, a Scottish botanist was entering the same area but from the other side, and he chose to go it alone. That was the last time he was seen alive. His skeleton was found two years later at the base of a cliff by local farmers working in the jungle – a stark reminder to us of the safety in numbers.

SCOTT McMAHAN is the Garden’s Manager of International Plant Exploration.

The opening of the new Southeastern Center for Conservation is a testament to the Garden’s commitment to leadership in international plant conservation, research, training and education. The two-story addition to the Fuqua Orchid Center is both a program and a place. As an intellectual institute, the center’s name recognizes the Garden’s role in regional, national and international efforts for leading innovative strategies and partnerships to conserve imperiled plants and natural communities. As a facility, the center supports the advancement of fieldbased conservation efforts for preserving species in their native habitats, conservation collections management, interdisciplinary research, restoration of priority habitats and educational outreach. The center will aid in the expansion of collaborations with research universities, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish &

Wildlife Service and other partners working to protect imperiled species. University of Georgia plant biology professor Jim Leebens-Mack said the launch of the center marks the growth of the Garden’s scientific mission “and amplification of its status as a leader in global efforts to better understand and conserve plant diversity.” At more than 11,000 square feet, the center houses offices as well as 3,800 square feet of state-of-the-art molecular and micropropagation laboratories, backed with seed banking facilities ranging from cold storage to cryogenic capabilities. In addition, the center enables collaboration with university researchers and students who can use the Garden’s collections for their research into the biodiversity and conservation of plants. “Having a center devoted to the study of rare and endangered plants of this region ensures that the most needed research will be undertaken and that the next generation of

The Ron Determann Micropropagation Lab offers facilities for growing imperiled orchids backed by seed banking from cold or cryogenic storage.

plant conservationists is trained,” said Vivian Negron-Ortiz, a botanist with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. “The conservation community of this region is ecstatic to have such a facility for the benefit of our precious plant heritage.” atlantabg.org 13


WHY IT MATTERS

Plant awareness is a critical tool in teaching youth the important role nature plays in world challenges such as climate change, food security and disease prevention.

opening eyes Education staff strives to connect kids with plants By LORIN BOREN

Most school children are unaware of the plants that surround them and as a result don’t understand the impact they have on their lives. Many factors, including urbanization, the proliferation of technology and lack of botanical content in classroom curricula, are the cause. The result is a society increasingly out of touch with nature and unable to adequately address many plant-related challenges such as climate change, food security, and disease treatment and prevention. To help combat the problem, the Garden’s education staff is taking a multi-faceted approach to serving students lacking plant awareness. The goal is to increase that awareness while creating opportunities to engage with nature – both at the Garden

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and within the students’ own classrooms and communities. Teachers from low-income schools enjoy several opportunities to bring their students to the heart of Midtown for exploring various habitats and plant ecosystems first hand and at no cost. Since 2006, the Garden has partnered with the City of Atlanta and Atlanta Public Schools to host Kinder in the Garden, a day devoted to connecting kindergarten children with nature through activities such as seed planting, herb smelling and plant discovery. Other metro Atlanta school groups may opt for self-guided tours of the Garden or participate in the newly developed Garden Experience program in which children get a 30-minute instructor-led lesson on topics ranging from flower dissection

to plant identification and even examining plant parts under a microscope. In addition to these programs, the Garden has started a paid summer high school internship program in which 10 students from lower-income schools are given the opportunity to work side by side with Garden experts while sharpening their college and career readiness skills. Yet some schools are unable to visit the Garden because of scheduling conflicts or transportation costs. For these students, Garden educators go to them, traveling to their classrooms to share seeds, amphibians, carnivorous plants and beeswax through 50-minute science standardsbased lessons. In 2018, through this program alone the Garden reached more than 8,400 students and their teachers, a 171 percent increase in participation over the previous year, thanks to increased staff, an expanded service area and strategic marketing. While the full impact of the Garden’s efforts to build plant awareness is unknown, some evidence suggests its programs are making a difference. Many students that regularly participate in the programs are beginning to recognize instructors and get excited when new presentations are shared. More teachers

LEFT: Plant discovery is a key activity during Kinder in the Garden. TOP: High school interns work side by side with Garden staff. ABOVE: Staff take their lessons on the road to schools through a popular Outreach program.

are realizing the impact of the Garden as a supplement to their lessons. Michelle Ross, a second-grade teacher at Ivy Prep Academy, said what she enjoyed most about a Garden Experience lesson her class attended was the student engagement and participation. “I liked the hands-on learning,” she said. One of the most encouraging reactions to the Garden’s school programs came from Kayla Mickens, a Therrell High School

LORIN BOREN is the Garden’s School Programs Assistant Manager.

student who participated in the high school internship program. “I feel like this internship has opened my eyes a little more to science, biology and especially plant life,” she said. “I think there is a possibility that I may choose a career that has something to do with plants.” atlantabg.org 15


Bee buzz

NATIVE PLANTS FOR POLLINATORS

Staff helps community pollinator gardens flourish

Atamasco lily Zephyranthes atamasca

By MELINA LOZANO DURAN

Threadleaf coreopsis Coreopsis verticillata

False indigo Baptisia alba

Wild bergamot Monarda fistulosa

Carolina jessamine Gelsemium sempervirens

New England aster Symphyotrichum novae-angliae

Most visitors know the Garden is abuzz with activity in spring and summer. But what they may not realize is the Midtown attraction also is an oasis for many animals that have been pushed out of their natural habitats, including some 20 species of native bees. Bees and other pollinators such as butterflies, birds and insects are welcomed as VIP guests at the Garden because without them plants would not be pollinated. Beyond their beauty, pollinators are especially critical to agriculture. It’s estimated that onethird of the food consumed daily relies on pollination. Loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction and pesticide use are ongoing global threats to these animals. Yet, there are many ways consumers can encourage pollinators – from simply planting patio pots with colorful flowers that attract them to carefully designing and cultivating pollinator gardens. For seven years the Garden’s conservation staff has taken that message on the road. It has partnered with community groups through the Greater Atlanta Pollinator Partnership, Park Pride, City of Atlanta and The Conservation Fund to educate residents about the issue and to increase pollinator habitats, including creating pollinator gardens adjacent to community gardens in seven city parks. There, community members have been trained to become stewards of the projects for continuing pollinator conservation. Programs also have been offered at local elementary and middle schools where students can learn the importance of native plants, food gardens and how they rely on the help of animal pollinators. Additionally, college interns have helped survey insect pollinators in established pollinator gardens focusing on native bee species. Georgia is home to about 400 of the 3,400 native bee species throughout North America. These species are key in the reproduction and sustainability of natural ecosystems, the animals they support and of agricultural crops. The hairy bodies of bees and foraging habits that actively search for pollen and nectar make them successful pollinators. Despite the challenges, the National Pollinator Garden Network recently announced that its Million Pollinator Garden Challenge has registered more than a million pollinator gardens over the past four years, surpassing its goal. Yet it’s not enough to focus conservation efforts solely on pollinator gardens. Biological inventories, citizen science and events such as the Great Georgia Pollinator Census are needed to better understand how to support other pollinator species such as birds, butterflies, flies, moths and beetles. In natural areas where plant restoration MELINA LOZANO DURAN efforts are under way, the Garden plans is the Garden’s former to conduct baseline insect pollinator Pollinator Garden Coordinator. surveys to assess the success of ongoing habitat restoration efforts. 16 PlantIntel

Staff help community residents tend their pollinator garden.

HOW TO ENCOURAGE POLLINATORS • Know what lives in your area. Visit the Greater Atlanta Pollinator Partnership at gapp.org • Avoid using pesticides for insect control, including mosquitos. If mosquitos are a problem, get rid of any standing water where they breed.

Orange coneflower Rudbeckia fulgida

WHY IT MATTERS

• If you do not have a garden, pots of colorful-blooming plants work, too. • Leave some bare patches in garden beds because 70 percent of native bees are ground nesters.

Wild sweet William Phlox divaricata

• Plant at least three flowering plants per season that will attract pollinators. • Insect pollinators like bees and butterflies usually live in and on plants (Butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed; bees build their nests in hollowstemmed plants). • Concentrate on flowering native plants.

Butterfly weed Asclepias incarnata

Goldenrod Solidago caesia

Pollinators are critical for biodiversity, especially in agriculture in which one-third of the food supply relies on them. atlantabg.org 17


Food for thought Edible Garden programs satisfy healthy appetites The Edible Garden and its Outdoor Kitchen have blossomed into a special spot where friends and families connect with plants grown and freshly harvested for chef dinners, weekend demos and the menu at Longleaf, the Garden’s restaurant.

USES: In perennial beds or in pots that can be brought inside for winter.

The Outdoor Kitchen schedule is packed with exciting garden-to-table demonstrations, dinners and more.

Many guests are interested in cooking with greens such as chard, kale and spinach, and

GENUS Brugmansia and Datura. One and the same? Angel’s trumpet or devil’s snare? Both are common names for two closely related Solanaceous (nightshades) plants. Brugmansia, Angel’s trumpet (left), has pendulous flowers and with its woody nature can grow into a small tree. Datura, devil’s snare, has flowers that point up and is generally a herbaceous perennial. Both have found homes in Southern gardens because of their large, alluring flowers and tropical look.

HEIGHT & WIDTH: 3’ x 6’, varying by species and cultivar

For guests, there’s something magical about fresh food – the pungent scent of just-picked rosemary, the mouth-watering taste of a vineripe tomato, the simple beauty of a basket of shiny red, yellow and green peppers. It motivates them to want to grow and cook their own ingredients.

“What surprises people most about cooking with fresh ingredients is how easy it can actually be,” said Garden Chef Megan McCarthy. “I have so many people say that they didn’t even know they liked something like okra, beets or eggplant until they tried it in a delectable recipe here at the Garden. I love to take a simple approach to cooking from what is growing in the garden and create a delicious and easy recipe our guests can duplicate at home.”

Brugmansia and Datura

NOTEWORTHY CHARACTERISTICS: Both have large trumpet-shaped flowers and spiny fruit. Always wear gloves when working with them. Datura blooms mostly in white and purple; Brugmansia has peach, pink, white or yellow flowers.

By ABBY GALE

On weekends, Garden Chefs delight visitors in culinary conversation about preparing garden ingredients that are raised in a sustainable manner just a few feet away from the teaching kitchen.

PLANT CLOSEUP

learning new ways to preserve nutrients. Some want to know the best ways to store and utilize fresh herbs. Many also ask about when to use salts, peppers and olive oils. And it goes without saying that they share a common joy in sampling a new delicious taste. Anxious to help, the Garden Chefs are knowledgeable about nutrition science and healthy eating.

great source for menu inspiration,” he said.

Another common question is how all the produce and herbs grown in the Edible Garden gets used. First, only the freshest ingredients are used in recipes for the weekend Garden Chef demos and for the Garden’s guest chef dinner programs, the Well-Seasoned Chef and Fresh Plates classes. Second, Longleaf Chef Jason Paolini uses them to create a seasonally-driven menu for restaurant guests. “The Edible Garden is a

Beyond the lessons, tasting food is fun. In addition to the demos, the Outdoor Kitchen is a constant buzz of activity with special occasions like Vanilla Sunday, Refugee Recipe Celebration and Chocolate Covered Weekend. Several popular hands-on cooking camps are geared for children each June and July.

WHY IT MATTERS Cooking with fresh ingredients encourages consumers to grow healthy food and cultivate sustainable gardens and productive communities.

Finally, any food not harvested for those programs is donated to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Last year, the Garden provided the nonprofit with more than 350 pounds of fresh produce as well as more than 1,000 plants for its community gardens.

CARE: In all but the deepest South, both will die to the ground in winter. Many people cover their crowns with leaves or mulch, then remove it once new growth emerges in spring and all risk of frost has passed. Brugmansia are longer-lived plants than Datura. PROPAGATION: Datura propagate readily from seed. Brugmansia propagate readily from cuttings. PROBLEMS: Weevils, whiteflies, spider mites

Little wonder that food is such a great means for connecting people with plants.

ABBY GALE is the Garden’s Public Programs Manager.

AMANDA BENNETT oversees the Garden’s horticulture staff and display Gardens.

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FAMILY: Solanaceae | ZONE: Hardy in zone 9 | BLOOM TIME: Summer| LIGHT: Full sun to part shade | NATIVE: Mexico/South America


The mission of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is to develop and maintain plant collections for display, education, research, conservation and enjoyment. Ghost Orchid (Dendrophylax lindenii)

PlantIntel

| Vol. 1, Issue 1, 2019-20 | The Anna and Hays Mershon President & CEO: Mary Pat Matheson Vice President, Marketing: Sabina Carr | Editor: Danny Flanders | Designer: Bo Shell

Profile for Atlanta Botanical Garden

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PlantIntel: Science in Action | Vol. 1, Issue 1, 2019-20

PlantIntel, Vol. 1, Issue 1  

PlantIntel: Science in Action | Vol. 1, Issue 1, 2019-20