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Vanishing Acts: Magnolia Officinalis

Magnolia Officinalis Flower

Magnolia officinalis, sometimes referred to as the Houpa magnolia, is essentially unknown outside of China where it grows only in mountainous regions and valleys. It is a fast growing tree, reaching 50 feet in height, bearing highly aromatic large flowers in the spring. It is prized among Chinese herbalists, not for its flower, but for its bark. … [Read more]

Hidden in Plain Sight: Isaac’s Café Specials, March 14-18, 2016

3-14-16 Special

I’m sure you have heard the phrase “hidden in plain sight”.   At Bernheim,  now is the perfect time to find things hidden in plain sight if you just know where to look.  I can’t tell you how many times I have walked right past a newly bloomed wildflower only to have Wren Smith, our Interpretive Programs Manager, point it out behind me.  She uses … [Read more]

Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: Toothsome Toothworts

Purple cress

 The Toothsome Toothworts & Purple Cress Spring wildflowers have begun to bloom on the Bent Twig Trail and elsewhere at Bernheim. The two-leaf toothworts that held their buds in tiny closed fists for days, are now opening. Both the common name for these diminutive members of the mustard family (Brassiceace), and one of the often listed genus … [Read more]

Vanishing Acts: In Search of Trees

A Young Fraser Fir Bernheim acquired to accompany the Vanishing Acts exhibit

With only a few days to go, we anxiously anticipate the public opening of the Vanishing Acts exhibit which highlights rare and endangered species from all over the world.  Informative, interactive signs have been installed and are a great resource for learning about these species and their importance in the world’s forest.  Many of the plants in … [Read more]

Tales from the Bent Twig Trail: Making Change

IMG_5271

Virginia Pines are agents of change. Like all trees, virginia pines, Pinus virginiana, are alchemists, transforming ingredients such as water, carbon dioxide, and the energy of the sun, into food (carbohydrates) for the planet. But first the energy becomes trunk, root, and leaves, or in this case, needles. During this remarkable transformation … [Read more]

Can’t wait for Asparagus! – Isaac’s Cafe Special March 7 – 11

lunch special

My mother always said, "patience is a virtue".  She certainly did not coin the phrase but this was her go-to response whenever there was wait time for something good to happen.  When it comes to asparagus, Asparagus officianalis Liliaceae Family, patience truly is a virtue. Asparagus greets us in early spring but may take 2 to 3 years to get … [Read more]