Botanical Weeds at the Garden

Posted by Dominique Mitchell on April 3, 2012 3:25 PM.

Recently, amidst the hectic approach to our Annual Flower Show, Dr. George Wilder delivered an  overview of a category of plants that people don't frequently include in arrangements or showings, but which are remarkable and beautiful in their own way - Weeds.

Dr. Wilder collects weeds from all over but has found some remarkable ones right here in the Garden!

Read on to learn more about his collections of weeds from the Garden and his thoughts ons some of his more interesting and rare finds...

This week the Garden is hosting its annual flower show, an exercise designed to highlight the beauty of cultivated plants; however, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Dr. Wilder sees beauty in weeds, so he periodically searches for them in the Garden.

For example, he's made weed forays here during the last few weeks to collect samples for the herbarium. Below are images of some of his collections.

Photoscape_Wilder Photos.jpg

(Above: In order from left to right)

1. Acalypha arvensis (Euphorbiaceae) —This alien species only rarely seen in Collier and Lee Counties.In fact, Dr. Wilder first published its occurrence in Lee County, in 2006.

2. Amaranthus spinosus (Amaranthaceae) — Diverse species of Amaranthus occur in Florida; however, this is the sole Amaranthus species in southwestern Florida that exhibits spines, to his knowledge.

3. Erigeron quercifolius (Asteraceae) — This is an abundant species of roadsides and of lawns generally.

4. Triodanis perfoliata (Campanulaceae) — This weed is rare in Collier County and is only the second time that he's observed it in Naples.

Naples Botanical Garden is lucky that such a renown botanist calls the Garden his second home!

About Dr. George Wilder

Dr. Wilder is the resident Botanist and Herbarium Curator for the Garden. The herbarium contains over 30,000 specimens of dried plant material. This scientific catalog aids researchers in assessing the botanic health of the region and helps to identify and record changes in habitat over time. Dr. Wilder, a former professor of Biology, began collecting in the late 1980s.

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