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Missouri Botanical Garden-- Plants in Bloom

Background Information on Plants in Bloom

Many of the Garden's 850,000 annual visitors are interested in knowing what plants bloom when. Surprisingly, historic records are essentially unavailable. For prairie and glade species at the Arboretum, some information exists in the archival papers of Dr. Edgar Anderson. For the Garden itself, however, such information has apparently never been recorded.

In response to this need, the Kemper Center for Home Gardening initiated in 1989 a Bloom Date Information project, in which Master Gardener volunteers record the data. In 1993, the project was expanded to encompass all public areas of the Garden.

Plants in Bloom serves as a resource not only to the public, but also to Garden staff. The text and images here inform those Garden personnel who have infrequent opportunities to walk the grounds and observe the plants.

Plants in Bloom also serves as an opportunity to increase knowledge of plant life cycles. The project now collects degree-day information based on the accumulation of heat units (measured by averaging the high and low daily temperatures). Temperature, moisture, and day length affect the life cycles of plants, insects, and other animals. The study of these is called phenology.

To serve the community better, Plants in Bloom is available in several formats. For those who visit the garden in person, it is available at the Ridgway Center entrance as a printed document. The "At a Glance" segment of the document is also recorded weekly as part of our HortLine gardening information service.