Usnea antarctica

The Unsung Heroine of Lichenology

Elke Mackenzie’s moments of self-citation illuminate the hopes of someone who, against ease and tradition, did not wish to separate her identity from her research.
Botanical manuscript of 450 watercolors of flowers and plants

Plant of the Month: Dittany

Did women in the premodern world have much agency over reproduction? Their use of plants like dittany suggests that they did.
A person taking a photograph of a mushroom on their phone.

iNaturalist and Crowdsourcing Natural History

The citizen-science app iNaturalist lets you record observations of plants and animals. The data can be used to study biodiversity.

Freshwater Fish of Virginia

Roanoke College's Ichthyological Collection of over 800 freshwater fish documents the biodiversity we're losing at an alarming rate.
A hand holding a corn cob with a spray nozzle on its top

Corn Is Everywhere!

Two educators use the history of corn, from the domestication of maize 10,000 years ago to today's ubiquitous "commodity corn," to teach about biodiversity.
Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, Maria Sibylla Merian. Amsterdam: Apud Joannem Oosterwyk, 1719. Rare Book Collection, Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University. HOLLIS number 990013327990203941. Multimedia credit: Dumbarton Oaks/Elizabeth Muñoz Huber.

Plant of the Month: Guava

Often classified as an invasive species, guava ignites a longstanding, transnational battle over foreign invaders and local customs.
Great White Shark

Sharks Before and After Jaws

The blockbuster Jaws (1975) provoked fear by portraying sharks as "mindless eating machines." But what did people think of sharks before then?
from Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici by Antonio Franchi

Plant of the Month: Peony

Peony's effectiveness as an ancient cure translated into a tool of statecraft in the eighteenth century.
The Dragon tree (left) and Dragon tree fruit (right)

Plant of the Month: The Dragon Tree

Dragon's blood is all the rage now, but where does the scarlet resin come from?
Grapes on a vine

The Great Grape Graft That Saved the Wine Industry

Grape varieties from North America seemed harmless to French winemakers. But destructive bugs were imported with the plants.