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August 28, 2023 (Monday)
4 p.m. PST
Morbid Anatomy Online

Super Natural: Plants Behaving Weirdly

Once upon a time, "weird" referred to the supernatural—anything eerie, fantastic, or mysterious. Today, it still connotes the unconventional. Plants are conventionally perceived as passive organisms that serve human culture by being decorative and/or productive. But nature is rife with weird plants that defy this concept. Some upend the natural order by eating animals. Others are parasites or produce treacherous narcotics. Most survive by manipulating animals (including humans) for their own purposes. Meet some botanical rebels that demonstrate all plants are wonderfully weird.

Free online presentation:

September 22, 2023 (Friday)
10 a.m.
The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Compulsive Gardeners

native bumble bee on
Botanical Bedfellows: Meet the Pollinators

In recent years, growing concern has focused on the survival of pollinators, particularly honeybees, which are important to many commercial crops. But the 400-plus other bee species that are native to California are also vital pollinators—and they are only part of the story of plant reproduction and biodiversity. Plants rely on pollinators to produce fertile seeds and other animals—often birds—to disperse their seeds. Though butterflies are often grouped with pollinators, their role in this survival saga is more indirect. Learn about the beautiful and complex botanical connections between bees, birds, and butterflies.


November 9, 2023 (Thursday)

Southern California Horticultural Society

8 p.m.

Location TBA

Rooted in History

The plant collections at The Huntington are rooted in stories—sagas of inspired plant collectors, of agriculture and agronomy, of the deft manipulation of plant DNA over centuries, of strange and wondrous evolutionary adaptations, and plants employed as elements in time-honored landscape narratives. Complementing the living history that fills the gardens are scientific works from the Library collections that chronicle the evolution of botany and horticulture as well as the natural and cultural histories of the plants that surround us in The Huntington Gardens.

Sandy Masuo is the senior writer in The Huntington’s Office of Communications and Marketing and has shared the remarkable tales of many a plant as a contributor to the weekly blog, Verso. She is also a popular presenter and has given talks for various plant societies and garden clubs. Join her for a stroll through the pages of noteworthy books that will make the gardens bloom anew.


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