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Botany of Food Plants Around the World (CANCELLED)

September 19 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 1:00 pm on Saturday, happening 4 times

Purslane salad with prickly pear dressing

Eating to the core of an apple or slicing a cucumber and seeing the circle of seeds helps us remember that these snacks are the fruits of plants! If you have an insatiable appetite for botany or are simply curious about the world around you, this class will offer a veritable buffet of fun and functional facts about food plants throughout the ages. For example:

  • Did you know that cacao beans were a form of currency for the Mayans?
  • Have you ever heard that tomatoes were once considered poisonous?
  • Can you conceive of the fact that the crunchy part of an apple is the ovary wall?

In this four-session class you’ll delve into topics such as food plant anatomy, economics, uses, nutrients and chemistry, and role in shaping civilization. But be warned, your ears might be exposed to some corny plant puns along the way.

This is a virtual* class that will be held in four sessions: Saturdays, Sept. 19  & 26 and Oct. 3 & 10, 1 – 2:30 p.m.

Register for Class Series

$60 per person for 4-class series
Members receive a discount on registration. Learn more about membership here.

*Participants who are registered will receive a link to the Zoom event by prior to the event. 

Dr. Karen Clary

Dr. Karen Clary


Dr. Clary’s career spans two decades in natural resources conservation. She retired from her position as the Center’s director of plant conservation in 2017 and has continued to volunteer and teach botanical classes. Dr. Clary has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of New Mexico. Clary also holds a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied speciation patterns, taxonomy and biogeography of yucca plants. While in New Mexico, she co-founded the Castetter Laboratory for Ethnobotanical Studies, a research lab devoted to the study of prehistoric subsistence and the origins of agriculture in the Southwestern United States.


September 19
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Event Categories:


Wildflower Center
4801 La Crosse Ave.
Austin, TX 78739 United States


Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center