Field of Science

Botanists visit the New Orleans Botanical Garden

The NOBG is located within City Park, one of the larger municipal parks in North America.  NOBG got a start during the depression as a WPA project, but over the decades it fell into neglect and disrepair through lack of funding.  About 30 years ago a group of volunteers resurrected and refurbished the garden, but then it got flooded and nearly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina much like other areas in New Orleans.  Pictures of the devastation were heart breaking, lots of plants were lost, surviving plants lost their labels, records were destroyed, as well as the garden's library.  So the staff took advantage of visiting botanists by giving us tags and markers so we could ID anything that still lacked a label.  TPP got several cycads correctly labeled for them; a Dioon, 2 Cycas, a Zamia, and 2 Ceratozamia.  It was hard to believe the garden had recovered so well, but  not the library.  If you have any botany or horticulture books that you'd like to donate, they would be well used.  The City Park also contains a huge grove of the biggest, oldest (some over 700 years) live oaks (Quercus virginiana - probably), many 20-30 feet in truck diameter with a branch spread of 150 or more feet.  Without question it was an impressive grove of trees.  For those of you unfamiliar with this area, the grayish wisps festooning the trees is Spanish moss, neither from Spain nor a moss, but an epiphytic bromeliad (Tillandsia usneoides), however it doesn't look much like a flowering plant to most people.

1 comment:

Beth at PlantPostings said...

That botanical garden is one of my favorite places! How wonderful that you were able to help identify some of the plants for them. I hope to get back there again in the next few years.