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.
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.
Joseph Rock

Meet the Man Behind the Peony

In China, gramophone and camera in tow, botanist and explorer Joseph Rock collected seeds from the tree peony that bears his name.
Constantine Samuel Rafinesque

The Raffish and Radical Constantine Samuel Rafinesque

Constantine Samuel Rafinesque was an adventuring naturalist who named 2,700 genera and wrote about evolution before Darwin. Why has he been forgotten?
Poison Ivy leaves

How Poison Ivy Works

Where poison ivy comes from, why it gives some people such terrible reactions, and why—unfortunately for hikers and gardeners—its future is bright.
Illustration: a flower and leaf of the Franklinia alatamaha by William Bartram (1782)

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklinia#/media/File:William_Bartram01.jpg

America’s Mysterious Lost Tree

Extinct in the wild, the Franklinia tree is still cultivated in botanical gardens, private homes, parks, even cemeteries. It's also got an interesting Revolutionary-era backstory.
Lincoln Center trees

Speaking for the Trees

David George Haskell's book The Song of the Trees: Stories From Nature's Great Connectors, explores trees' connections with various communities.