Fairchild Events

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Not All Volunteers Pass Muster

Friday, September 6, 2013

We so truly value our Fairchild volunteers. They make day-to-day operations possible, not to mention our special events like Mango Festival and many others. I've met so many dedicated volunteers in the three+ months I've worked here, and they are all really friendly, and deeply knowledgeable in ways that can only come from devotion to a labor of love. Some kinds of volunteers however cannot remain in the Garden. This Triplaris cumingiana, sometimes called an ant tree, grew up on its...

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Eric Von Wettberg Receives Support from the National Science Foundation

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fairchild researcher and FIU faculty member Eric von Wettberg and his colleagues Doug Cook and Varma Penmetsa at the University of California at Davis were recently awarded an NSF grant for a project entitled: "Deducing the Genomic Footprint and Functional Impact of Chickpea Domestication on Nitrogen Fixation." In this project they aim to understand the dynamics of nitrogen uptake via symbiotic bacteria in the wild progenitors of legume crops and the ways in which human selection has ...

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Ah the Fecundity—You’ll Never Know What You Might Find

Monday, September 9, 2013

It rained heavily this morning, by the end transforming the daily noon steambath into cloudy, breezy, and tolerably cool conditions. So instead of trying to let my mind go blank during a quick lunchtime break today, I took a 20-minute walk around the Garden. I like to walk and poke around dark, brambly areas people avoid, like basements. Those less trodden areas appeal to me; maybe because they are usually quiet, and slightly ignored. But they are very much appreciated by ferns, fungi and ...

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Eric Von Wettberg Receives Support from the National Science Foundation

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fairchild researcher and FIU faculty member Eric von Wettberg and his colleagues Doug Cook and Varma Penmetsa at the University of California at Davis were recently awarded an NSF grant for a project entitled: "Deducing the Genomic Footprint and Functional Impact of Chickpea Domestication on Nitrogen Fixation." Read the full story....

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Director of Herbarium of Jardín Botánico de Puerto Rico Conducts Research in the Fairchild Herbarium and Library

Friday, September 13, 2013

Prof. Eugenio Santiago-Valent n (Director of the Herbarium of the Jard n Bot nico de Puerto Rico and Faculty of the Departamento de Biolog a de Universidad de Puerto Rico, Campus of R o Piedras, San Juan) is visiting (Sept, 1st - 14th) the Fairchild herbarium and library to perform research on taxonomy and nomenclature of several species from Puerto Rico. Prof. Santiago-Valent n's visit is supported by the Center for Applied Ecology and Conservation of...

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Ready, set, grow: Start an edible garden now

Saturday, September 14, 2013

As published in the Miami Herald Most of the country is winding its gardening down and focusing instead on the new school year and autumn preparations — composting those old annuals, collecting seeds, digging it all under to go fallow.

However, our extreme southern gardening is really just beginning. Now, finally, we can grow some fruit and vegetables without the fear of them frying to a crisp under the summer sun or rotting in our tropical summer downpours.

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Students from Coral Reef High School Join the Molecular Lab

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Danielle Coogan and Rachel Matthews from Coral Reef High School (Miami-Dade) are learning DNA skills in the FIU-FTBG Plant Molecular Systematics Laboratory located in the Science Village. They are being mentored by FIU-Fairchild Ph.D. candidate Emily Warschefsky (FIU major professor Eric Von Wettberg) and are developing a project centered on molecular phylogenetics of mango (Mangifera spp. (Anacardiaceae)). Image below from left to right: Danielle Coogan, Rachel Matthews, and Emily ...

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Safety in numbers

Monday, September 16, 2013

Larvae beginning to explore theAristolochia flower. Polydamas Swallowtail butterflies lay eggs in groups on the stems After the storms. and leaves of Dutchman's pipe vines. For the first few days after hatching, the larvae stay together. Gradually, they part ways as they grow larger and need more leaf surface on which to feed. After Sunday night/Monday morning storms, I discovered that the little brown caterpillars, which had begun to separate, regrouped along the stem of the ...

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Native Basil—an Endangered Plant for the Kitchen!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Did you know there is a species of basil native to South Florida? Ocimum campechianum is known by many common names, like wild sweet basil, wild mosquito plant, Least basil, Peruvian basil, and a few others. It is native, though not endemic, to extreme southern Florida. While it has become quite rare here-unfortunately earning the status of Endangered from the USDA-it is more common throughout parts of tropical America, including the West Indies. This annual grows to about 18 inches...

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The Atala and Coontie—a Comeback Saves Two Species

Friday, September 27, 2013

While taking a quick walk outside the Gallery building this morning I spotted a red caterpillar against the olivey-green leaves of a coontie (Zamia integrifolia). Then another, and another. It had to be the larvae of the atala butterfly (Eumaeus atala), which is infamous for depending on the coontie as its host plant. On close inspection, they are more like a brilliant glossy magenta scarlet, more orange towards their undersides, with two rows of seven yellows spots along their backs. During ...

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From extinction to your yard: a most unusual palm

Saturday, September 28, 2013

As published in the Miami Herald There are lists of plants and animals thought to have gone extinct, only to be rediscovered happily living out their lives unseen by those who take note of such things. What a reason for celebration, to find out we were wrong about the end of the line for a living community! Organisms in this category are said to belong to a “Lazarus taxon” — having seemingly risen from the dead like the Biblical Lazarus.


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