New Director’s Series at the Arnold Arboretum

Magnolia 'Betty' Arnold ArboretumMagnolia ‘Betty’

In this new lecture series, nationally recognized experts will examine an array of contemporary topics related to Earth’s biodiversity and evolutionary history, the environment, conservation biology, and key social issues associated with current science. Opportunities to informally chat with the speaker will follow each lecture.

Lectures are free, but registration is required. All lectures held in the Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum.

Register online or call 617.384.5277

A note about the photo above: I love taking photos at the Arnold Arboretum. Not only does every turn along the sweeping paths lead to a beautiful vista, with gorgeous and beautifully cared-for examples of individual plant specimens, but also because the garden is organized by plant family. As as example, surrounding the Hunnewell Building is a stunning collection of members of the Magnoliaceae, or Magnolia Family, both cultivars and species from around the globe. This allows you to more easily compare and comprehend some of the similarities and differences between, for instance, native sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginina), tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), and hybrid ‘Magnolia ‘Elizabeth.’ When photographing at the Arnold I also take a photo of the identifying tag attached to the tree or shrub, which allows me to continue photographing without having to stop and write down the information. Later I can easily look up the plant to find out all I can.

A Darwinian Look at Darwin’s Evolutionist Ancestors
Ned Friedman, Director, Arnold Arboretum
NEW DATE ADDED: Monday, January 31, 6:30–8:30pm

For over a century before the publication of On the Origin of Species, naturalists, theologians, atheists, horticulturalists, medical practitioners, poets, and philosophers had advanced evolutionary concepts for the diversification of life through descent with modification. The early history of evolutionary thought will be examined through the lens of Charles Darwin’s highly personal views of his evolutionist ancestors. We will examine the question of what set Darwin apart from the dozens of advocates of evolution who preceded him. Is Darwin truly deserving of his place in history? Come find out!

Register online or call 617.384.5277

Restoring Hawaii’s Marvels of Evolution

Robert Robichaux, University of Arizona
Monday, February 7, 6:30–8:30pm

Evolving in splendid isolation over millions of years, Hawaii’s native plants exhibit patterns of diversity that are unrivaled elsewhere on Earth. Especially striking are the many examples of adaptive radiation, in which original immigrants to the islands evolved into dazzling arrays of plants exhibiting great variation in form and habitat preference. Yet Hawaii’s native plants face an uncertain future. Many native plants, such as the exquisitely beautiful silverswords and lobeliads, now teeter on the edge of extinction. Join botanist Robert Robichaux of the University of Arizona and the Hawaiian Silversword Foundation as he discusses recent efforts to restore Hawaii’s marvels of plant evolution.

Register online or call 617.384.5277

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