Friday, July 29, 2011

Temple of the Winds

One definite highlight of the Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens (see previous post) was stumbling upon this fern-festooned temple in an out-of-the-way corner of the property. As the sign says, this is the Temple of the Winds, and it is adorned with native staghorn ferns. Pretty neat!

Australian Royal Botanic Garden

We've had an excellent time in Melbourne so far, and one of the highlights was a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens located right in downtown Melbourne. This sprawling garden is packed with winding paths, grassy lawns, and lush forests for visitors to explore. The collection of native plants is impressive, and includes lots of tree ferns like the one shown above. It's mid-winter here right now, but many plants are still flowering, since it gets chilly here in the cold season but not particularly harsh. Photos of a very small selection of the species present in the garden are below; some don't have names as I couldn't find labels on them and I'm not all that familiar with the Australian flora!

Succulent garden

Acacia sp.; Ceiba insignis

Pathway through the garden

Clematis sp. (?); unknown

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Posts have been scarce this summer as I've been busily working on writing my PhD thesis. I get a break from writing next week, though, as I'll be heading to Melbourne, Australia to attend the International Botanical Congress and explore the state of Victoria. IBC happens every six years in a different part of the world, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to visit a new (for me) part of Australia - I studied abroad in Brisbane and got to visit Sydney and the Center during my five-month stay there in 2004. I will also be talking about my dissertation research in a symposium on fern biology at the conference, which will be a great opportunity to get feedback and discuss my research with an international cadre of plant scientists. Following the conference I will be traveling with my lab around Victoria for a few days, and hopefully finding some ferns. Stay tuned for photos and posts from the trip!