LAWRENCE — The public is invited to the annual summer tour of the University of Kansas Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 2.
The medicinal garden was developed as part of the KU Native Medicinal Plant Research Program by the botany lab of Kelly Kindscher, senior scientist at the Kansas Biological Survey and professor in KU’s Environmental Studies Program. The program is a collaboration between the Kindscher lab and the medicinal chemistry lab of Barbara Timmermann, University Distinguished Professor of medicinal chemistry.
The gardens established by the program, including the medicinal research garden and the School of Pharmacy Medicinal Plant Garden, have attracted hundreds of visitors since they were installed in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
Kindscher will lead Sunday’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 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 environmental studies, engineering, journalism, architecture, fine arts and geology 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 garden tours typically draw upward of 80 attendees, ranging from toddlers to visitors in their 80s. The garden pathways are ADA-compliant.
Features of the garden:
• Research plantings—This 50-by-260-foot space includes large beds of about 25 species of native plants each year, 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 second 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 now has had more than 60 individual plots maintained by KU students, faculty and staff, as well as two large community plots.