Top Photo: Mahonia buds, blossoms, and leaves on Dinosaur Trail. Mahonia goes by the names Oregon grape, grape holly, mountain grape or just plain Mahonia among others. Grape because the ripe fruit has a visual similarity to grapes. Holly, because the leaves resemble holly leaves. The name Mahonia is the binomial genus name of this and several other west coast broadleaved plants. It’s derived from Bernard McMahon (Mahon-ia) horticulturist, author, and one of the stewards of the Lewis and ClarkRead more


Banana Trees at the Museum? You might expect to see banana trees in the Conservatory of the Butterfly House with all of its tropical butterflies fluttering about, but did you know that they grow along the Dinosaur Trail? The most common variety of banana tree grown in our area is a cold hardy species called Musa basjoo. This variety produces fruit, but the fruit are small and full of seeds which makes eating them more work than fun. The bananasRead more

Horsetail, you say?

If you’ve been to the Dinosaur Trail and walked past the Troodons, you’ve seen horsetail. There are more than twenty species of horsetail (Equisetum) some of which grow straight and tall with little branching, some branch out extensively from the hollow central stem, some grow in water, and some grow in dryer habitats, but they all have one thing in common, the do not have flowers or produce seeds. Although once established horsetails spread ?from rhizomes under the soil, Equisetums reproduceRead more