Understanding our environment

Native Medicinal Plant Research Program

A summer tour of the medicinal research garden.

This collaboration between the Kansas Biological Survey and the KU Department of Medicinal Chemistry began in 2009 as a broad-based search for medicinal compounds in plants native to the U.S. Great Plains. Since then, more than 300 collections of plants have been tested using state-of-the-art high-throughput screening at KU. Among the program's discoveries are powerful cancer-fighting compounds in a native Kansas species, Physalis longifolia, or wild tomatillo.

The program's Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden (directions), north of Lawrence, is part of the KU Field Station and open to the public every day, dawn to dusk. Public tours are held each year in summer and fall. The KU Student Farm is on the same site, as are other research projects being carried out by scientists at KU and other universities.

The medicinal plant program also established the KU School of Pharmacy Medicinal Garden along the south patio of the pharmacy building on KU's west campus.

The program currently maintains its own website, http://nativeplants.ku.edu/.

 


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