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Science Saturday: Scenes from Botany’s field work in southwest Florida

The Botany team at Selby Gardens collaborates with our neighboring counties to study rare Florida plants in efforts to conserve them in the wild. They gather ecological and lifecycle data, as well as DNA samples of plants to name just a few of the activities they conduct during their field work. They then bring these data and samples back for further analyses. Here are a few behind-the-scenes pics of a recent trip in Lee County, Fla.

Dr. Shawn McCourt and Agave decipiens

Dr. Shawn McCourt standing next to a very large Agave decipiens. This is a species native to Florida, and goes by the common name Spanish bayonet. The tips of the leaves are quite spiney, as are the teeth that are found on the margins. So many spiney plants in this landscape!

Selby Gardens field work in southwest Florida

A mutated Harrisia aborignium, the focal species of this field trip. Typically the top tips of these plants gradually narrow to a tip, rather than flattening out like a paddle as shown here. This is the first we have seen a plant exhibiting this form in the field.