Plant hunting in the Dominican Republic – A joint expedition between botanists from Miami and Santo Domingo

Monday, December 10, 2012

Scientists and horticulturists from the Montgomery Botanical Center (Dr. Chad Husby), Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (Dr. Brett Jestrow and Mr. Jason Lopez), and the National Botanic Garden of the Dominican Republic (Mr. Teodoro Clase) joined forces in a plant hunting expedition to the Dominican Republic organized and administered by Montgomery Botanical Center. This expedition was possible thanks to the generous support of Fairchild Trustee Mr. Lin Lougheed. Between 16 and 26 July, 2012 expedition members traveled across the western half of the country. One of the main aims of this field trip was to collect seeds of the palm Sabal domingensis. In addition, the trip resulted in 130 herbarium collections and over one hundred species for the living collections of the participating institutions. Horticultural jewels collected in this trip include material from 14 endemic genera. This trip ties scientific research with the plants growing in botanical gardens.

Individual of Fuchsia triphylla L. growing in the Cordillera Central. This was the first species of this genus brought into cultivation. Most current cultivars are related to this plant. Dr. Chad Husby standing near an individual of Sabal domingensis at Puerto Plata, Cordillera Septentional. Dr. Brett Jestrow (foreground) and Mr. Jason Lopez (background) performing field studies at Cordillera Central.