Browse Archives lecture

Thursday, May 19, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – All About Roses

David Cannistraro, past President of the New England Rose Society, will discuss a selection of rose types, and how to properly plant them, prune them, and protect them through the winter, at The Gardens at Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street in Wellesley on Thursday, May 19 beginning at 7 pm. He’ll also review the best methods to deadhead and fertilize, and include a comparison of natural and over-the-counter sprays. A fun program to make rose growing easy, this program will be hands-on with potted rose demonstrations.

Current Rose Society President Teresa Mosher, will also be on site, selling and signing her book, A Year In My Rose Garden.
$12 Mass Hort members, $20 nonmembers. Register at 617-933-4973 or email

Tuesday, May 10, 7:30 pm – Coevolution in a Bee-Orchid Mutualism

The next meeting of the Cambridge Entomological Club will be held on Tuesday May 10 at 07:30 PM in in room 101 of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 84 Oxford Street, Cambridge. Santiago Ramirez will present a talk entitled Coevolution in a Bee-Orchid Mutualism.  A short explanation on the topic: it’s all about the perfume.

All are welcome to join us at 5:45 at the West Side Lounge for an informal pre-meeting dinner. Please note the change in location from past years.  The speaker explains his program:

“Evolutionary biologists have long recognized the central role that species interactions play in the origin and maintenance of biological diversity. However, the ecological conditions and the genetic mechanisms whereby interacting lineages coevolve and adapt to one other remain poorly understood. My work investigates the genetic bases of coadaptation in a highly specialized plant-pollinator mutualism. Unlike the majority of insects, male euglossine bees do not produce their own pheromones, but instead gather and accumulate perfume compounds (terpenes) from the environment to present subsequently to females during courtship display. Male-gathered perfumes are species-specific, and thus likely mediate reproductive isolation among related bee lineages. A large diversity of orchid species from the American tropics has evolved the production of terpene-rich floral scents to attract male euglossine bees in exchange for pollination services. My research explores the mechanisms of coadaptation and reproductive isolation on both sides of this fascinating mutualism. On the bee side, my research aims to (1) characterize the diversity of perfume phenotypes across the phylogeny of euglossine bees, (2) investigate whether and how male perfume phenotypes mediate reproductive isolation among lineages, and (3) characterize the genetic and functional bases of sensory (olfactory) perception that control perfume specificity. On the orchid side, my work aims to (4) elucidate the ecological and chemical mechanisms of scent-mediated pollinator specificity, (5) determine whether and how divergent floral scent phenotypes promoted the evolution of reproductive isolation, and (6) characterize the genetic mechanisms that regulate scent production and differentiation among related orchid lineages. My research integrates approaches from multiple disciplines including evolutionary biology, genomics, molecular biology, chemistry and physiology to investigate how genetic toolkits are coopted to generate the intricate associations we observe between species in nature.”

The meeting is free and open to the public.  Image from

Wednesday, May 18, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Nature’s Ambassador: The Legacy of Thornton W. Burgess

Do you recall tales of Old Mother West Wind, Jimmy Skunk, Sammy Jay, Reddy Fox, Grandfather Frog, or Jerry Muskrat? For over 100 years, the animal books and stories of beloved children’s author Thornton W. Burgess have delighted millions of children and their parents; more than of half his seventy books remain in print today.

However, there was much more to Burgess, the man, than just a writer of children’s books: he was a dedicated naturalist who was honored by prestigious scientific institutions for his advocacy of wildlife and conservation practices that resonate today. His books, syndicated columns, and radio programs both entertained and educated children, introducing them to wildlife habitat, species extinction, and roadside litter.

In Nature’s Ambassador, Christie Lowrance explores Burgess’s life and legacy, from his Cape Cod childhood to the present. Christie will speak on Wednesday, May 18 in the Hunnewell Building at the Arnold Arboretum beginning at 7 pm. Free for Arboretum members, $5 for nonmembers.  Register at

Tuesday, May 10, 7:00 pm – The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World

Award winning author Andrea Wulf shares the plant explorer Alexander von Humboldt’s life and legacy on Tuesday, May 10 at 7 pm at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston.  Tower Hill members $15, non-members $25.  Register at

Thursday, April 28, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Gardening for Bees: Their Flowers and Nests in Your Homescape

Join The Massachusetts Horticultural Association on Thursday, April 28 at 7 pm for an evening learning how to beautifully landscape our yards to support our native bees! Tom Sullivan, founder of Pollinators Welcome, will share years of experience and get you on your way to creating an edible homescape that is both beautiful and purposeful. The program will take place in the Parkman Room of the Education Building at Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street in Wellesley.

Mass Hort Members $12 , Non-Members $20. Register online at Image from

Monday, May 2, 11:00 am – 12:00 noon – Creative Sustainability on the Rose Kennedy Greenway

Join senior horticulturist and designer Darrah Cole of the Rose Kennedy Greenway on a visual tour of the Greenway parks and features as seen through the lens of its organic horticulture program. The lecture will take place Monday, May 2 from 11 – 12 in the Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium in the Museum of Fine Arts Boston as part of Art in Bloom. Free with admission to the museum – no ticket required.

Saturday, May 7, 2:00 pm – All the Presidents’ Gardens: Madison’s Cabbages to Kennedy’s Roses

On Saturday, May 7 beginning at 2 pm at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston, author and garden historian Marta McDowell will show us how the White House grounds reflect America’s enthusiasms, from George Washington’s obsession with collecting trees to Michelle Obama’s kitchen garden.  The talk and book signing is free with admission, but pre-registration is required.  Register at or call 508-869-6111, ext 124.

Thursday, May 5, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Seed of Renewal: Indigenous Agricultural and Culinary Revitalization in the Far Northeast

Join The Massachusetts Horticultural Society on Thursday, May 5 at 7 pm at Elm Bank, 900 Washington Street in Wellesley, as ethnobotanist Dr. Fred Wiseman shares his experiences tracking down the seeds of the agricultural and culinary history of the Wabanaki tribe from Northern New England. Dr. Wiseman has worked with indigenous communities for years to restore tribal food systems and increase food and seed sovereignty by reintroducing ancient crops, agricultural practices and cuisine. Learn about these ancient techniques and try them in your own food gardens at home. MHS members $12, nonmembers $20. Register at  Map from

Sunday, May 1, 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm – Bird Nest Botany

Birds’ nests are the architectural wonders of the animal kingdom, constructed mostly of plant materials.

In Judith Sumner’s May 1st slide-illustrated lecture at the Arnold Arboretum, beginning at 2:30, we will explore various types of nests and the botanical materials used in their construction. When incorporated into nest structure, stems, leaves, and fibers have anatomical and structural properties that defy harsh weather and rigorous use.

We will also examine the biologically active plant material used to line nests, which may have antibiotic and insecticidal properties. Join us for a fascinating look at nest form and function, with particular attention to plant structures and their adaptive re-use in nest construction. Fee $5 for Arboretum members, $10 for nonmembers.  Register at or call 617-384-5277. Image from

Sunday, May 1, 1:00 pm – Food Gift Love: 100 Recipes to Make, Wrap & Share

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Maggie Battista, the founder of Eat Boutique will show you how to make madeleines, a treat from her book Food Gift Love, and offer creative guidance on how to wrap food gifts with style.  This presentation will be followed by a book signing, and will take place Sunday, May 1 at 1 pm at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive in Boylston.  Free with admission but registration requested at