Quinine Tree

Cinchona pubescens

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In a large greenhouse at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri, there grows a slender sapling of Cinchona pubescens, a tree that has played a remarkable role in human history. Journeying to this artificial tropical forest under glass, Ari Daniel Shapiro asks curators Carmen Ulloa Ulloa and Charlotte Taylor just what makes this famous “fever tree” special. He also learns how it’s possible to open a three-hundred-year-old bundle of dried plant specimens and disappear—happily—into the past.

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Photo Credit: Kate Lawless, courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden

Harvard MCZThe One Species at a Time podcast series is supported by the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology.



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