11:11 am
Wed December 3, 2014

MSU Herbarium catalogues Michigan plant life

Alan Prather with a Michigan monkeyflower sample from the MSU Herbarium
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

There’s a special kind of library in the basement of the Plant Biology Labs at Michigan State University. Here, instead of taking a book off of a shelf, you can open a folder and find a dried plant that’s 150 years old and still green. The MSU Herbarium is an important resource for research biologists on campus.

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11:27 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Native plants promote state's environmental health


MSU Grad Bill Schneider operates Wildtype Native Plant Nursury in Mason, Michigan. Current State’s Peter Whorf has been taking us there this summer to hear about Schneider’s work and expertise in the field.

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1:19 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

After 80 years U of M plant finally blooms

The American Agave plant in the Matthaei Botanical Gardens has bloomed at the University of Michigan.
Credit Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Two weeks ago, we made quite a stink over a corpse flower that attracted long lines of visitors to Michigan State University. The Indonesian plant blooms infrequently and unpredictably.

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5:23 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Beyond beauty, Michigan plants offer environmental edge

Peter Whorf/WKAR

Bill Schneider has operated Wildtype Native Plant Nursery in Mason for the past 17 years. As a true native Michigander, Schneider has degrees from both Michigan State University and the University of Michigan. He moved to northern California in the 1980’s where he further developed in his growing interest in native plants.

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12:30 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

MSU's rare corpse flower comes to life

Curator Frank Telewski (left) and Peter Carrington, assistant curator, await the stench of the soon-to-bloom corpse flower from Sumatra, Indonesia.
Credit WKAR/Marie Steinbock

The Michigan State University campus here in East Lansing is often described as one of the most beautiful in America.

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1:01 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Neighbors in Action: Red Cedar chapter of Wild Ones

Bratton says Wild Ones programs are educational: they explain the importance of different soils, plants, and landscape design. These programs are open to the public at the Fenner Nature Center.
Credit courtesy of

It’s Wednesday and time for our Neighbors in Action segment, where we feature people and organizations working to make our community a better place. Today we feature the Red Cedar chapter of Wild Ones, a national organization that promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices and environmental education.

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12:00 am
Wed June 13, 2012

Botanist and the Beast: Uprooting a Toxic Invader

The Giant Hogweed (heracleum mantegazzianum) is native to Central Asia but grows in many parts of the world. It's considered an invasive species in the U.S.
Sorbus sapiens Flickr

An Ovid resident has some giant guests in her yard who've worn out their welcome.

Giant hogweed is a towering plant that can grow as tall as 14 feet, with white flowers spreading up to two feet in diameter.  While it’s nice to look at, giant hogweed is a highly toxic plant that can cause severe burns and even blindness.

Botanist Peter Carrington is the man Michigan State University is sending to uproot this invasive species.  He’s the assistant curator of the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden at MSU. 

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