The Orchid Album, written by Robert Warner and illustrated by John Nugent Fitch, set the standard for orchid description and illustration in the nineteenth century. Containing more than 500 stunning chromolithographic plates in 11 volumes, this work captured orchid varieties in their wild states before hybridization. The exhibition is on display in the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Lenhardt Library through May 9, 2010.
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In the Harry Potter books and movies, Harry attends a class on herbology taught by Professor Sprout. Ed Valauskas uses the Garden’s rare book collection to teach a similar class on how people’s notions of plants changed during the Renaissance. Learn about the legend of the vegetable lamb of tartar and so much more! Ed teaches this class again at 10 a.m. on July 10, 2010. Visit register.chicagobotanic.org to register.
The Lenhardt Library’s rare book collection is available by appointment. Visit www.chicagobotanic.org/library for more information.
We went to a virgin prairie remnant in south suburban Chicago and talked with Susanne Masi about the Plants of Concern project. Susanne and her research associates work with a team of dedicated volunteers to monitor the Chicago Wilderness region’s rarest plants, assess trends in their populations, and provide important data used to conserve our rapidly declining floral heritage.
Plants of Concern is coordinated by the Chicago Botanic Garden, having strong partnerships with local, state, federal and non-profit agencies. Currently, this project is funded through a grant program supported by the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, in support of Chicago Wilderness. USFWS and USFS grants of federal monies are administered by the Illinois Conservation Foundation & Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie–USDA Forest Service.