Plants

  • Diorama Spotlight: Elk at Inspiration Point

    Published09/29/2020 , By Adam Hartman, gallery programs assistant

    Elk at Inspiration Peak is one of only two large dioramas at the Bell Museum to depict an autumn scene. The background, painted by Francis Lee Jaques in 1946, showcases the auburn, crimson, and amber leaves of the oak savanna from a unique perspective — above the landscape. Jaques’ painting…
  • Putting Mushrooms on the Map

    Published06/29/2020 , By Eve Daniels

    After a few minutes chatting with Peter Kennedy, fungi collection curator at the Bell Museum, it’s easy to picture him starring in a survival show called “The Mushroom Hunter.” Given his in-depth expertise about fungi, he’s someone you would like to have along if you’re lost in the forest, trying…
  • National Pollinator Week 2020

    Published06/22/2020 , By Heather, Gallery Programs Coordinator & MN Master Naturalist; Adam, Gallery Programs Assistant

    Pollinators play a key role in plant reproduction for the majority of flowering plant species. When pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, bats, birds, and many other insects visit flowers, they end up moving pollen from flower to flower, which results in plant fertilization. While some plants are able to self-fertilize,…
  • Lichen Minded

    Published06/09/2020 , By Eve Daniels

    Next time you’re out in nature, take a moment to look for the lichens. You’ll see their unique colors and patterns on the rocks, trees, and stone structures everywhere from Northern Minnesota to the world’s deserts, tropics, and tundras. A symbiotic organism that’s part fungi, part algae or cyanobacteria, lichens…
  • Diorama Spotlight: Big Woods

    Published05/28/2020 , By Adam Hartman, gallery programs assistant

    During early European settlement of this continent, French traders referred to the more than 2,000 square miles of hardwood forest in what is now south-central Minnesota as the “Big Woods.” Not only was the forest vast, but the trees that grew there were huge (or “big”)! Today, all that remains…
  • International Day for Biological Diversity

    Published05/18/2020 , By Adam Hartman & Heather Cummins

    As we kick off the first day of the week leading up to the International Day for Biological Diversity on Friday, let’s take a look at what it is and why it matters. The short version is that it’s a day the United Nations declared for increasing understanding and awareness…
  • Adventures in Plant Evolution

    Published05/13/2020 , By Eve Daniels

    Ya Yang hiked to a glacier in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Lightning cracked in the distance. Yang and her collaborators found the plant they were looking for, pulled it from the icy water, roots and all.
  • Statewide Biodiversity Survey

    Published05/07/2020

    In 2019, Bell Museum curators embarked on the creation of a baseline biodiversity survey to document plant and animal species on six U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recreation areas, with a particular focus on locating species of conservation concern.
  • Minnesota Icons: Showy Lady’s Slipper

    Published05/03/2020 , By Heather Cummins

    In 1902, the showy lady’s slipper, also called the pink and white lady’s slipper, became Minnesota’s state flower. Showy lady’s slippers have been protected in Minnesota since 1925, making it illegal to pick, uproot, or unearth these special symbols of our state. Lady’s slipper orchids get their name from the…
  • City Nature Challenge 2020

    Published04/23/2020

    Since 2016, The City Nature Challenge has become an international effort for people to engage with nature and document plants and wildlife in cities across the globe. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, City Nature Challenge 2020 will not be a challenge to get the most entries or number of…