Ask an Expert! Scientific Schmientific Names…What is the Big Deal?

In a previous blog post we discussed the use of common names for plants at the Arboretum and how they are totally fine and appropriate to use, as long as they are not xenophobic or derogatory. However, for staff at Hoyt Arboretum and others who work with hundreds of different plant species from around the … Read more Ask an Expert! Scientific Schmientific Names…What is the Big Deal?

Racism in Taxonomy: What’s in a Name?

Inequities run deep in the natural sciences, and it’s apparent in the racist and xenophobic nomenclature of some trees and plants. Even within the last 30 years, anti-Black slurs were commonly used to describe plants. There are many examples, including Echinocactus polycephalus and Bertholletia excelsa (Brazil nuts), that carry ugly colloquial names that only recently … Read more Racism in Taxonomy: What’s in a Name?

Ask an Expert! Common Names at Hoyt Arboretum… Practical, Fun, or Confusing?

Why can’t we just use common names for all plants? Wait a minute… We often do use common names for plants here at Hoyt Arboretum! If you are a hiker, gardener, or just a general lover of plants, using common names for most plants is totally fine and appropriate. Really, there is no plant shaming … Read more Ask an Expert! Common Names at Hoyt Arboretum… Practical, Fun, or Confusing?

Ask an Expert! How Herbarium Specimens are Made at Hoyt Arboretum…

…and how to make your own pressed flowers and leaves at home! At Hoyt Arboretum, we make several hundred pressed and dried plant specimens every year to scientifically document and validate our tree collection. Many of the larger botanic gardens and arboreta, as well as most land-grant universities, have dried plant collections to record the … Read more Ask an Expert! How Herbarium Specimens are Made at Hoyt Arboretum…

Ask an Expert! Distinctive Dogwoods at Hoyt Arboretum

Late spring is a perfect time to visit Hoyt Arboretum to see many of our glorious dogwoods! The Arboretum has over 70 different species, varieties, or cultivars of dogwoods, with most of them located in the Dogwood Section along the north end and back edge of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. First off, what is a … Read more Ask an Expert! Distinctive Dogwoods at Hoyt Arboretum

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