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The Brothers Boutelou and the Grass they Barely Knew
May 5, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pmFree
The Brothers Boutelou and the Grass they Barely Knew: A Journey into Botany, History, Exploration, and Two Remarkable Men
a talk by Debbie DeWolf Allen
Botanical names can be challenging to pronounce and to spell, yet they hold a treasure trove of meaning. Latin plant names often describe a distinctive characteristic of the plant, but sometimes they honor a person: some mysterious unknown figure from the past who must have some importance in the botanical world.
In this special NHI Speaker Series talk by Prescott’s own Debbie Allen, we delve into the origin of the name of Blue Grama Grass, Bouteloua gracilis. Blue Grama is native to the southwest, and is charming, distinctive, and easy to identify. The origin of the genus name, Bouteloua, takes us back to a tale that intertwines two Spanish gardeners from the late 1700’s, an enlightened king of Spain, an expedition to explore the New World, and some amazing botanical drawings that were lost for almost 200 years. Come take a fascinating journey that encompasses botany, history, exploration, and the tale of two remarkable men.