Author Archive

Paul Cooper, head greenhouse grower for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, poses with 11 young titan arum plants, all offspring of the university’s world famous ‘Wee Stinky’ plant’s first bloom in 2012 (the first of two).

Paul Cooper, head greenhouse grower for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, poses with 11 young titan arum plants, all offspring of the university’s world famous ‘Wee Stinky’ plant’s first bloom in 2012 (the first of two).

[Cornell Chronicle 2015-04-23 via CALS Notes]

Researchers working with Cornell’s collection of rare titan arum plants are hoping three blooms will point them toward answers.

For those who may have missed it, one of Cornell’s titan arums – a tropical plant native only to Sumatra and famed for its giant corpse-scented flower – famously bloomed for the first time in the spring 2012. The event drew international media attention and thousands of visitors to the Kenneth Post Laboratory Greenhouses.

It also offered researchers throughout the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences a rare chance to study the complex biology of this unique reproductive spectacle. The massive bloom stayed open for days, lines of visitors snaked along hallways and sidewalks, and nascent insights into the subtle biochemistry of the bloom were born.

Read the whole article.

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Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club, revived a dormant tradition Friday: They planted and dedicated a tree to Marcia Eames-Sheavly, the club’s faculty adviser, in recognition of her service. The weeping cherry is located just northwest of Minns Garden.

“We give many thanks to our amazing adviser, Marcia Eames-Sheavly, to whom this lovely weeping cherry is dedicated! Marcia is a champion for her students, and never fails to see the beauty in those around her. Thank you for everything, Marcia, and we hope you enjoy seeing these blossoms from your new office!”

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If you fell asleep, Walter De Jong, potato breeder in the Plant Breeding and Genetics Section, appeared on The Daily Show last night in an investigative segment The Return of a Simplot Conspiracy.

“Walter does a great job explaining the science, even with potatoes being thrown at him, says Horticulture Section associate chair Steve Reiners.

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Nina Bassuk and Urban Eden students tag a Littleleaf Linden in front of Warren Hall.

Nina Bassuk and Urban Eden students tag a Littleleaf Linden in front of Warren Hall.

What’s a tree worth?

Students in Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (HORT/LA 4910/4920) are helping to make people more aware of why trees are worth hugging by hanging bright green “price tags” on trunks around the Ag Quad.

The students entered data about the trees, such as species, diameter and location, into i-Tree — a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service. The application then calculates monetary benefits from reduced stormwater runoff, improved air quality,  carbon dioxide sequestration and energy savings to nearby buildings by blocking wind in winter and providing shade in summer.

“It’s really quite eye-opening for people who think that trees are just nice to look at and don’t have any other value,” said Nina Bassuk, professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, who leads the class alongside Peter Trowbridge, professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture.

There are also benefits that are not easily quantified, such as wildlife habitats and emotional responses, added Bassuk, who is also director of the Urban Horticulture Institute.

More Urban Eden tree-taggers:

Urban Eden students tagging trees on Ag Quad.

 

Urban Eden students tagging trees on Ag Quad.

Urban Eden students tagging trees on Ag Quad.

Urban Eden students tagging trees on Ag Quad.

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In 1931, Barbara McClintock  published the first genetic map for maize. In 1983, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine -- the first woman to win that prize unshared -- for her work with transposable elements in corn.

In 1983, Barbara McClintock won Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine — the first woman to win that prize unshared — for her work with transposable elements in corn.

Just in time for Charter Day festivities …

150 Years of Plant Science at Cornell

Through vintage images, explore the history of plant science at Cornell — the students, the faculty, the Nobel laureates and other leaders and more.

Special thanks to Ed Cobb, Plant Biology Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, for collecting and compiling images and supplying historical information.

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Cornell professor Bill Miller with tulips Photo/Robyn Wishna

Photo/Robyn Wishna

Reposted from CALS Notes:

The Dutch surname Klaver means ‘clover’ in English, so it’s only fitting that Tim Klaver was raised surrounded by horticulture in North Holland, where his family operates a tulip farm.

Klaver is currently an intern on this side of the pond in the Section of Horticulture’s Flower Bulb Research Program with professor Bill Miller in the School of Integrative Plant Science. Every year Cornell hosts one such Dutch student intern, and Klaver was enthusiastic about signing up, given his … roots. While he has plenty of practical work experience with tulips, the native of Spanbroek came to Cornell to expand his knowledge of other flowers, such as daffodils and hyacinths, making ornamental floriculture expert Miller the perfect mentor. Miller, like Klaver, has horticulture in his blood, having been raised by a professor who earned an M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell’s floriculture and ornamental horticulture department in the 1950s, and who experimented in the very same greenhouses he and Klaver work in now.

With a childhood spent among commercial greenhouses in California, Miller’s main academic interests are floriculture, greenhouse cropping systems and the physiology of ornamental plants. He conducts research that provides New York and North American growers with the means to produce a more environmentally friendly product efficiently, research that Klaver is keen to take note of, as his interest in tulips isn’t only academic. Having previously studied business at Clusius College Hoorn in Holland, he hopes to take what he has learned at Cornell back to his home country to launch his own tulip company.

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Poppy cyanotype

Poppy cyanotype

From Jeffrey Beem-Miller, Society of Horticulture for Graduate Students (SoHo):

Celebrate Horticulture this Earth Day! Come learn about plant propagation, make beautiful artwork with plant materials (cyanotypes, right), and compete with the bees for prizes in a game of pollination at the annual Horticultural Outreach Day.

April 22 (Earth Day), 12 to 2 p.m.
On the Ag Quad south (by Plant Science)

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If you missed yesterday’s School of Integrative Plant Science seminar, Engineering the symbiotic signalling pathway of cereals, with Giles Oldroyd, Project Leader, Department of Cell & Developmental Biology, John Innes Centre, it’s available online.

More seminar videos: Horticulture | School of Integrative Plant Science

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Ian Peach in New Zealand

Ian Peach in New Zealand

Ian Peach, 2014 Frederick Dreer Award recipient will be presenting a seminar on his travels to Christchurch, New Zealand and the landscape architectural response to the earthquake.

His talk is entitled:

Seedbombs and Teatime: The Imperfect Parks of Christchurch, New Zealand.

Wednesday April 22, 12:15 p.m.
461 Kennedy Hall

The Frederick Dreer Award, administered by the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, offers wonderful opportunity for one or more students to spend 4 months to up to a year abroad pursuing his or her interests related to horticulture. The application deadline for the current cycle has passed. But you can view the application and instructions to start planning ahead for the 2016 award.

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Emily Detrick

Emily Detrick

Emily Detrick, graduate student in the Public Garden Leadership program, will speak on Cultivating Alpine Plants in the Northeast at the April 18 meeting of the Adirondack Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society.

Before coming to Cornell, Detrick was the alpine horticulturist at Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring, N.Y., where she worked with a diverse collection of alpine plants from around the world developed by the late Frank Cabot and long-time director Caroline Burgess. Detrick will share what she learned about which alpine plants and growing practices are best suited to the inhospitable conditions they face in Ithaca and the Northeast.

The program is free and open to the public and starts at 1 p.m in Plant Science 404. Bring a brown bag lunch and socialize starting noon.

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