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Hunting Plants at Boyce Thompson

Thanks to Mark Siegwarth, the executive director of Boyce Thompson Arboretum, I decided to pay a visit to the arboretum this afternoon.

Siegwarth gave a lecture Friday evening at Bullion Plaza for this month’s First Friday lecture series. He shared some fun, lesser known facts about the arboretum, as well as some stunning photos. He also pointed out plants of significance to keep an eye out for on the trail. Several of them intrigued me. I decided I would make the trip out, and see if I could pinpoint some of these plants by walking the trail myself.

Here is what I came up with:

(All photos by Jenn Walker  Property of Globe Miami Times.)

BTA1BTA1BTA1Pulque Agave Agave Salmiana

This succulent is native to southern and central Mexico. It is called the pulque agave because its sap is fermented to make pulque, a milky-looking Mexican alcoholic drink that gained popularity in the 19th century. Supposedly, the drink is rich in vitamins and nutrients.


Hopbrush Dodonaea ViscosaBTA2

This evergreen, drought-tolerant, flowering plant is pantropical! It is found throughout tropical and warm regions of the world: from California, Arizona, and Florida to South America, Africa, Southern Asia, Australia, and the Hawaiian Islands. Needless to say, this shrub is extremely resilient. (Sometimes it grows into a tree!)

BTA6Wollemi Pine Wollemia nobilis

Until the early ‘90s, this rare plant was identified only by fossil records. It was thought to be extinct! Then, in 1994, a field officer for the National Parks and Wildlife Service discovered the Wollemi Pine in Wollemi National Park, in New South Wales, Australia. Though it is informally known as the Wollemi Pine, it is in fact a conifer, not a pine tree.

So, next time you take a trip to the arboretum, see if you can spot these plants along the trail for yourself!

Of course, I couldn’t resist throwing in a few other photos:



Colonel William Boyce Thompson’s mansion, aka Picket Post House
Velvet Mesquite Prosopis velutina




About Jenn Walker

Jenn Walker began writing for Globe Miami Times in 2012 and has been a contributor ever since. Her work has also appeared in Submerge Magazine, Sacramento Press, Sacramento News & Review and California Health Report. She currently teaches Honors English at High Desert Middle School and mentors Globe School District’s robotics team.

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