100 episodes

Plants are everything. They are also incredibly interesting. From the smallest duckweed to the tallest redwood, the botanical world is full of wonder. Tune in for a podcast celebrating everything botany.

In Defense of Plants Podcast In Defense of Plants

    • Science
    • 4.8 • 1.1K Ratings

Plants are everything. They are also incredibly interesting. From the smallest duckweed to the tallest redwood, the botanical world is full of wonder. Tune in for a podcast celebrating everything botany.

    Ep. 477 - Juncus, What a Rush!

    Ep. 477 - Juncus, What a Rush!

    Join Chief Botanist for NatureServe Wes Knapp and me as we take a deep dive into an all-too-often overlooked group of plants - the rushes (genus Juncus). Rushes are fascinating and beautiful plants when you get to know them, and the genus has a lot of secrets waiting to be revealed. From their unique morphological characters to what it takes to describe a new species, who better to talk to than one of North America's rush experts. This episode was produced in part by Robert, Thomas, Valerie, Joan, Mohsin Kazmi Photography, Cathy, Simon, Nick, Paul, Charis, EJ, Laura, Sung, NOK, Stephen, Heidi, Kristin, Luke, Sea, Shannon, Thomas, Will, Jamie, Waverly, Brent, Tanner, Rick, Kazys, Dorothy, Katherine, Emily, Theo, Nichole, Paul, Karen, Randi, Caelan, Tom, Don, Susan, Corbin, Keena, Robin, Peter, Whitney, Kenned, Margaret, Daniel, Karen, David, Earl, Jocelyn, Gary, Krysta, Elizabeth, Southern California Carnivorous Plant Enthusiasts, Pattypollinators, Peter, Judson, Ella, Alex, Dan, Pamela, Peter, Andrea, Nathan, Karyn, Michelle, Jillian, Chellie, Linda, Laura, Miz Holly, Christie, Carlos, Paleo Fern, Levi, Sylvia, Lanny, Ben, Lily, Craig, Sarah, Lor, Monika, Brandon, Jeremy, Suzanne, Kristina, Christine, Silas, Michael, Aristia, Felicidad, Lauren, Danielle, Allie, Jeffrey, Amanda, Tommy, Marcel, C Leigh, Karma, Shelby, Christopher, Alvin, Arek, Chellie, Dani, Paul, Dani, Tara, Elly, Colleen, Natalie, Nathan, Ario, Laura, Cari, Margaret, Mary, Connor, Nathan, Jan, Jerome, Brian, Azomonas, Ellie, University Greens, Joseph, Melody, Patricia, Matthew, Garrett, John, Ashley, Cathrine, Melvin, OrangeJulian, Porter, Jules, Griff, Joan, Megan, Marabeth, Les, Ali, Southside Plants, Keiko, Robert, Bryce, Wilma, Amanda, Helen, Mikey, Michelle, German, Joerg, Cathy, Tate, Steve, Kae, Carole, Mr. Keith Santner, Lynn, Aaron, Sara, Kenned, Brett, Jocelyn, Ethan, Sheryl, Runaway Goldfish, Ryan, Chris, Alana, Rachel, Joanna, Lori, Paul, Griff, Matthew, Bobby, Vaibhav, Steven, Joseph, Brandon, Liam, Hall, Jared, Brandon, Christina, Carly, Kazys, Stephen, Katherine, Manny, doeg, Daniel, Tim, Philip, Tim, Lisa, Brodie, Bendix, Irene, holly, Sara, and Margie.

    • 53 min
    Ep. 476 - Ashes, Roses, and the Great Southern Brood

    Ep. 476 - Ashes, Roses, and the Great Southern Brood

    Conservation Biologist Sara Johnson returns to the podcast to talk about some of the botanical rabbit holes we have been exploring in recent weeks. We discuss ash (Fraxinus spp.) and rose (Rosa spp.) diversity and wax poetic about our time experiencing the majesty of the Great Southern Brood of periodical cicadas. This episode was produced in part by Valerie, Joan, Mohsin Kazmi Photography, Cathy, Simon, Nick, Paul, Charis, EJ, Laura, Sung, NOK, Stephen, Heidi, Kristin, Luke, Sea, Shannon, Thomas, Will, Jamie, Waverly, Brent, Tanner, Rick, Kazys, Dorothy, Katherine, Emily, Theo, Nichole, Paul, Karen, Randi, Caelan, Tom, Don, Susan, Corbin, Keena, Robin, Peter, Whitney, Kenned, Margaret, Daniel, Karen, David, Earl, Jocelyn, Gary, Krysta, Elizabeth, Southern California Carnivorous Plant Enthusiasts, Pattypollinators, Peter, Judson, Ella, Alex, Dan, Pamela, Peter, Andrea, Nathan, Karyn, Michelle, Jillian, Chellie, Linda, Laura, Miz Holly, Christie, Carlos, Paleo Fern, Levi, Sylvia, Lanny, Ben, Lily, Craig, Sarah, Lor, Monika, Brandon, Jeremy, Suzanne, Kristina, Christine, Silas, Michael, Aristia, Felicidad, Lauren, Danielle, Allie, Jeffrey, Amanda, Tommy, Marcel, C Leigh, Karma, Shelby, Christopher, Alvin, Arek, Chellie, Dani, Paul, Dani, Tara, Elly, Colleen, Natalie, Nathan, Ario, Laura, Cari, Margaret, Mary, Connor, Nathan, Jan, Jerome, Brian, Azomonas, Ellie, University Greens, Joseph, Melody, Patricia, Matthew, Garrett, John, Ashley, Cathrine, Melvin, OrangeJulian, Porter, Jules, Griff, Joan, Megan, Marabeth, Les, Ali, Southside Plants, Keiko, Robert, Bryce, Wilma, Amanda, Helen, Mikey, Michelle, German, Joerg, Cathy, Tate, Steve, Kae, Carole, Mr. Keith Santner, Lynn, Aaron, Sara, Kenned, Brett, Jocelyn, Ethan, Sheryl, Runaway Goldfish, Ryan, Chris, Alana, Rachel, Joanna, Lori, Paul, Griff, Matthew, Bobby, Vaibhav, Steven, Joseph, Brandon, Liam, Hall, Jared, Brandon, Christina, Carly, Kazys, Stephen, Katherine, Manny, doeg, Daniel, Tim, Philip, Tim, Lisa, Brodie, Bendix, Irene, holly, Sara, and Margie.

    • 29 min
    Ep. 475 - Island Restoration Needs Plants

    Ep. 475 - Island Restoration Needs Plants

    Islands are hotbeds for unique biodiversity. Strange and unique island plants form the foundation of strange and unique ecosystems. Sadly, the human hand has not been kind to Earth's island ecosystems, especially in recent times. The introduction of invasive species like rats, cats, and goats have brought many islands to the brink of collapse and that is why organizations like Island Conservation exist. Join me and Head of Innovation David Will as we discuss what he and his colleagues are doing to save some of the world's unique island biodiversity and learn what an important role plants play in the process. This episode was produced in part by Joan, Mohsin Kazmi Photography, Cathy, Simon, Nick, Paul, Charis, EJ, Laura, Sung, NOK, Stephen, Heidi, Kristin, Luke, Sea, Shannon, Thomas, Will, Jamie, Waverly, Brent, Tanner, Rick, Kazys, Dorothy, Katherine, Emily, Theo, Nichole, Paul, Karen, Randi, Caelan, Tom, Don, Susan, Corbin, Keena, Robin, Peter, Whitney, Kenned, Margaret, Daniel, Karen, David, Earl, Jocelyn, Gary, Krysta, Elizabeth, Southern California Carnivorous Plant Enthusiasts, Pattypollinators, Peter, Judson, Ella, Alex, Dan, Pamela, Peter, Andrea, Nathan, Karyn, Michelle, Jillian, Chellie, Linda, Laura, Miz Holly, Christie, Carlos, Paleo Fern, Levi, Sylvia, Lanny, Ben, Lily, Craig, Sarah, Lor, Monika, Brandon, Jeremy, Suzanne, Kristina, Christine, Silas, Michael, Aristia, Felicidad, Lauren, Danielle, Allie, Jeffrey, Amanda, Tommy, Marcel, C Leigh, Karma, Shelby, Christopher, Alvin, Arek, Chellie, Dani, Paul, Dani, Tara, Elly, Colleen, Natalie, Nathan, Ario, Laura, Cari, Margaret, Mary, Connor, Nathan, Jan, Jerome, Brian, Azomonas, Ellie, University Greens, Joseph, Melody, Patricia, Matthew, Garrett, John, Ashley, Cathrine, Melvin, OrangeJulian, Porter, Jules, Griff, Joan, Megan, Marabeth, Les, Ali, Southside Plants, Keiko, Robert, Bryce, Wilma, Amanda, Helen, Mikey, Michelle, German, Joerg, Cathy, Tate, Steve, Kae, Carole, Mr. Keith Santner, Lynn, Aaron, Sara, Kenned, Brett, Jocelyn, Ethan, Sheryl, Runaway Goldfish, Ryan, Chris, Alana, Rachel, Joanna, Lori, Paul, Griff, Matthew, Bobby, Vaibhav, Steven, Joseph, Brandon, Liam, Hall, Jared, Brandon, Christina, Carly, Kazys, Stephen, Katherine, Manny, doeg, Daniel, Tim, Philip, Tim, Lisa, Brodie, Bendix, Irene, holly, Sara, and Margie.

    • 47 min
    Ep. 474 - Untangling Cryptic Diversity

    Ep. 474 - Untangling Cryptic Diversity

    Sometimes the differences between species are vast (e.g., a maple and an oak) but other times they are subtle to the point of requiring a trained eye and essentially learning a new language. So-called cryptic species are extremely challenging to understand, but that is why spending time in the field can be so rewarding. Moreover, to understand cryptic species is to better understand biodiversity on Earth. Join me and botanist Brett Budach as we explore four genera (Lupinus, Xyris, Dichanthelium, and Andropogon) full of cryptic diversity and learn why he is so up for the challenges they present. This episode was produced in part by Joan, Mohsin Kazmi Photography, Cathy, Simon, Nick, Paul, Charis, EJ, Laura, Sung, NOK, Stephen, Heidi, Kristin, Luke, Sea, Shannon, Thomas, Will, Jamie, Waverly, Brent, Tanner, Rick, Kazys, Dorothy, Katherine, Emily, Theo, Nichole, Paul, Karen, Randi, Caelan, Tom, Don, Susan, Corbin, Keena, Robin, Peter, Whitney, Kenned, Margaret, Daniel, Karen, David, Earl, Jocelyn, Gary, Krysta, Elizabeth, Southern California Carnivorous Plant Enthusiasts, Pattypollinators, Peter, Judson, Ella, Alex, Dan, Pamela, Peter, Andrea, Nathan, Karyn, Michelle, Jillian, Chellie, Linda, Laura, Miz Holly, Christie, Carlos, Paleo Fern, Levi, Sylvia, Lanny, Ben, Lily, Craig, Sarah, Lor, Monika, Brandon, Jeremy, Suzanne, Kristina, Christine, Silas, Michael, Aristia, Felicidad, Lauren, Danielle, Allie, Jeffrey, Amanda, Tommy, Marcel, C Leigh, Karma, Shelby, Christopher, Alvin, Arek, Chellie, Dani, Paul, Dani, Tara, Elly, Colleen, Natalie, Nathan, Ario, Laura, Cari, Margaret, Mary, Connor, Nathan, Jan, Jerome, Brian, Azomonas, Ellie, University Greens, Joseph, Melody, Patricia, Matthew, Garrett, John, Ashley, Cathrine, Melvin, OrangeJulian, Porter, Jules, Griff, Joan, Megan, Marabeth, Les, Ali, Southside Plants, Keiko, Robert, Bryce, Wilma, Amanda, Helen, Mikey, Michelle, German, Joerg, Cathy, Tate, Steve, Kae, Carole, Mr. Keith Santner, Lynn, Aaron, Sara, Kenned, Brett, Jocelyn, Ethan, Sheryl, Runaway Goldfish, Ryan, Chris, Alana, Rachel, Joanna, Lori, Paul, Griff, Matthew, Bobby, Vaibhav, Steven, Joseph, Brandon, Liam, Hall, Jared, Brandon, Christina, Carly, Kazys, Stephen, Katherine, Manny, doeg, Daniel, Tim, Philip, Tim, Lisa, Brodie, Bendix, Irene, holly, Sara, and Margie.

    • 58 min
    Ep. 473 - Root Evolution Revisited

    Ep. 473 - Root Evolution Revisited

    There is no denying that roots are one of the most important organs on a plant. However, unless its an epiphyte, root activity takes place underground, largely out of site and out of mind. This has not stopped my guest today from trying to understand the origin and evolution of these amazing structures. We revisit a conversation with plant evolutionary biologist Dr. Sandy Hetherington whose work spans hundreds of millions of years of root history. Join us as we explore the early days of root evolution and learn how things like fungal symbionts and a lack of organic matter set the course for root evolution. As you will hear, this work also relies heavily on museum and herbarium collections, underscoring the importance of preserving these important data goldmines. This episode was produced in part by Joan, Mohsin Kazmi Photography, Cathy, Simon, Nick, Paul, Charis, EJ, Laura, Sung, NOK, Stephen, Heidi, Kristin, Luke, Sea, Shannon, Thomas, Will, Jamie, Waverly, Brent, Tanner, Rick, Kazys, Dorothy, Katherine, Emily, Theo, Nichole, Paul, Karen, Randi, Caelan, Tom, Don, Susan, Corbin, Keena, Robin, Peter, Whitney, Kenned, Margaret, Daniel, Karen, David, Earl, Jocelyn, Gary, Krysta, Elizabeth, Southern California Carnivorous Plant Enthusiasts, Pattypollinators, Peter, Judson, Ella, Alex, Dan, Pamela, Peter, Andrea, Nathan, Karyn, Michelle, Jillian, Chellie, Linda, Laura, Miz Holly, Christie, Carlos, Paleo Fern, Levi, Sylvia, Lanny, Ben, Lily, Craig, Sarah, Lor, Monika, Brandon, Jeremy, Suzanne, Kristina, Christine, Silas, Michael, Aristia, Felicidad, Lauren, Danielle, Allie, Jeffrey, Amanda, Tommy, Marcel, C Leigh, Karma, Shelby, Christopher, Alvin, Arek, Chellie, Dani, Paul, Dani, Tara, Elly, Colleen, Natalie, Nathan, Ario, Laura, Cari, Margaret, Mary, Connor, Nathan, Jan, Jerome, Brian, Azomonas, Ellie, University Greens, Joseph, Melody, Patricia, Matthew, Garrett, John, Ashley, Cathrine, Melvin, OrangeJulian, Porter, Jules, Griff, Joan, Megan, Marabeth, Les, Ali, Southside Plants, Keiko, Robert, Bryce, Wilma, Amanda, Helen, Mikey, Michelle, German, Joerg, Cathy, Tate, Steve, Kae, Carole, Mr. Keith Santner, Lynn, Aaron, Sara, Kenned, Brett, Jocelyn, Ethan, Sheryl, Runaway Goldfish, Ryan, Chris, Alana, Rachel, Joanna, Lori, Paul, Griff, Matthew, Bobby, Vaibhav, Steven, Joseph, Brandon, Liam, Hall, Jared, Brandon, Christina, Carly, Kazys, Stephen, Katherine, Manny, doeg, Daniel, Tim, Philip, Tim, Lisa, Brodie, Bendix, Irene, holly, Sara, and Margie.

    • 39 min
    Ep. 472 - Snorkelwort & Friends are X-Treme!

    Ep. 472 - Snorkelwort & Friends are X-Treme!

    Any organism that ephemeral gravel puddles home must be ready to deal with extremes. That is what makes snorkelwort (Gratiola amphiantha) and its aquatic neighbors so darn cool. It's what also makes it so very rare. Join me and Anna Wyngaarden as we take a deep dive into how she is trying to solve some of the many mysteries surrounding how plants like snorkelwort, mat-forming quillwort (Isoetes tegetiformans), and black-spored quillwort (I. melanospora) eke out a living in tiny granite pools. This episode was produced in part by Mohsin Kazmi Photography, Cathy, Simon, Nick, Paul, Charis, EJ, Laura, Sung, NOK, Stephen, Heidi, Kristin, Luke, Sea, Shannon, Thomas, Will, Jamie, Waverly, Brent, Tanner, Rick, Kazys, Dorothy, Katherine, Emily, Theo, Nichole, Paul, Karen, Randi, Caelan, Tom, Don, Susan, Corbin, Keena, Robin, Peter, Whitney, Kenned, Margaret, Daniel, Karen, David, Earl, Jocelyn, Gary, Krysta, Elizabeth, Southern California Carnivorous Plant Enthusiasts, Pattypollinators, Peter, Judson, Ella, Alex, Dan, Pamela, Peter, Andrea, Nathan, Karyn, Michelle, Jillian, Chellie, Linda, Laura, Miz Holly, Christie, Carlos, Paleo Fern, Levi, Sylvia, Lanny, Ben, Lily, Craig, Sarah, Lor, Monika, Brandon, Jeremy, Suzanne, Kristina, Christine, Silas, Michael, Aristia, Felicidad, Lauren, Danielle, Allie, Jeffrey, Amanda, Tommy, Marcel, C Leigh, Karma, Shelby, Christopher, Alvin, Arek, Chellie, Dani, Paul, Dani, Tara, Elly, Colleen, Natalie, Nathan, Ario, Laura, Cari, Margaret, Mary, Connor, Nathan, Jan, Jerome, Brian, Azomonas, Ellie, University Greens, Joseph, Melody, Patricia, Matthew, Garrett, John, Ashley, Cathrine, Melvin, OrangeJulian, Porter, Jules, Griff, Joan, Megan, Marabeth, Les, Ali, Southside Plants, Keiko, Robert, Bryce, Wilma, Amanda, Helen, Mikey, Michelle, German, Joerg, Cathy, Tate, Steve, Kae, Carole, Mr. Keith Santner, Lynn, Aaron, Sara, Kenned, Brett, Jocelyn, Ethan, Sheryl, Runaway Goldfish, Ryan, Chris, Alana, Rachel, Joanna, Lori, Paul, Griff, Matthew, Bobby, Vaibhav, Steven, Joseph, Brandon, Liam, Hall, Jared, Brandon, Christina, Carly, Kazys, Stephen, Katherine, Manny, doeg, Daniel, Tim, Philip, Tim, Lisa, Brodie, Bendix, Irene, holly, Sara, and Margie.

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
1.1K Ratings

1.1K Ratings

Rich Jester ,

This Podcast is a STEM powerhouse!

As someone deeply rooted in the financial sector and passionate about STEM education, discovering the "In Defense of Plants" podcast has been an absolute revelation. Each episode is like stepping into a verdant, unexplored world, where the intricacies of plant life are unraveled with a palpable enthusiasm that's as infectious as it is educational.

The host's ability to delve deep into the botanical sciences while keeping the discussions accessible is truly commendable. This podcast isn't just about appreciating the aesthetics of flora; it dives into the ecological, biological, and environmental significance of plants in sustaining our planet's ecosystems. What I appreciate most is how each episode is meticulously researched and presented with clear links to how plant biology intertwines with technology and data analysis—subjects close to my professional heart.

"In Defense of Plants" also wonderfully champions the cause of continuous learning and curiosity, values that resonate deeply with my passion for STEM education. It’s a resource that not only enlightens but also inspires, bridging the gap between nature and technology and showing just how interconnected our world is. For anyone looking to enrich their understanding of the natural world or seeking a companion for their intellectual journeys, this podcast is a treasure trove worth exploring.

Podsforever ,

Excellent topics!!

Just bought Matt’s book and am enjoying it so much. This is the best podcast and the topics are just great. I also bought “Darwin and the Art of Botany “ after listening to the episode of the same name. Both books are on Amazon. I’m planning on working my way through every single episode !

KEMorgan123 ,

Loads of information, not babbling

Love this podcast. I can't stand the babble in most podcasts! Let's get to the science people. This is a perfectly run informational cast 💚

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