KU Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden tour Saturday

ku medicinal garden

LAWRENCE— The public is invited to the annual fall tour of the University of Kansas Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5.

The medicinal garden was developed as part of the KU Native Medicinal Plant Research Program, a collaboration between the medicinal chemistry lab of Barbara Timmermann, University Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, and the botany lab of Kelly Kindscher, a senior scientist at the Kansas Biological Survey and a professor in KU’s  Environmental Studies Program.

The gardens established by the program, including the medicinal research garden3 and the KU School of Pharmacy Medicinal Plant Garden4, have drawn hundreds of visitors since they were installed in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Kindscher will lead Saturday’s tour of the research garden.

The garden serves as a gateway to the KU Field Station, as it is the first of several KU Field Station sites on East 1600 Road in Douglas County north of U.S. Highway 40. KU students are involved in maintenance and research at the garden. Land for the garden site was made available by KU Endowment.

Students in the fields of environmental studies, engineering, journalism, architecture, fine arts and geology all have taken part in projects at the garden. In addition, KU students, faculty and staff from many fields participate in the KU Student Farm at the same site.

The annual summer and fall tours typically draw 60 to 80 attendees, ranging from toddlers to visitors in their 80s. The garden pathways are ADA-compliant.

Primary areas of the garden include:

• Research plantings — This 50-by-260-foot space includes large beds of about 25 species of native plants, including wild tomatillo, echinacea, yarrow, various mints, white sage, milkweeds, stinging nettle and others.

• Demonstration/show garden—This 70-by-80-foot garden, just inside the gate at the research garden, is thriving in its third year of growth and includes seven different themed beds of medicinal plants.

• KU Student Farm—Conceived by KU students in 2010 through a class project, this community garden in 2013 has had more than 60 individual plots maintained by more than 80 KU students, faculty and staff.

The garden site is open to the public dawn to dusk. The KU Field Station is managed by the Kansas Biological Survey, a KU research unit, established at the University in 1911.

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