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1927 Map of the Arboretum

2017: Hunnewell Intern Expedition to Western Massachusetts

2017 Hunnewell interns preparing a herbarium specimen of bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata). Melissa Green, 2017.
2017 Hunnewell interns preparing a herbarium specimen of bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata).

Plants collected on this Expedition

Plant ID Accession Date Received As Origin Source

Expedition Stats


Event Type
Collection Type
Germplasm, Herbarium Specimens
Arnold Arboretum Participants
Monica Alves, Adam Beck, Rachel Brinkman, Natalie Buckley-Medrano, Alex Burnette, Alexander Disyak, Robert Dowell, Melissa Green, Marcus Jensen, Rachel Lawlor, Elena Leander and Matthew McDermitt
The 2017 Hunnewell Interns hiking through the beautiful landscape of the Savoy Mountain State Forest in Massachusetts. Melissa Green, 2017.

In the summer of 2017, the Isabella Welles Hunnewell Interns made a plant collecting expedition to the Berkshire Mountains in western Massachusetts. It was a chance for them to get a taste of plant collecting in the wild, while aiding the Arboretum’s Campaign for Living Collections. Much like the 2016 expedition, they took turns with each of the tasks involved in gathering plant material: documentation, herbarium voucher Herbarium specimen: An herbarium specimen is a pressed and dried plant sample that is generally mounted on a sheet of paper. Specimens can be stored indefinitely and are used for a wide variety of botanical research. preparation, and propagule collection.

This expedition took place from June 9-11, within two Nature Conservancy properties in western Massachusetts: the Hawley Bog Preserve and Reed Brook Preserve. Other areas explored included the Savoy Mountain State Forest and riparian habitats on the Mohawk Trail along the Deerfield River. The interns camped for the weekend at the Savoy Mountain Campground located in Florida, Massachusetts.

The eight target species for the expedition were bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis), Canada moonseed (Menispermum canadense), bigtooth aspen (Populus grandidentata), quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), dwarf chestnut oak (Quercus prinoides), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), slippery elm (Ulmus rubra), and American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon). The team targeted American cranberry in the bogs, while they sought the remaining species in the mountainous upland terrain.

Back in Boston

The group collected four taxa Taxon: In biology, a taxon (plural taxa) is a group of one or more populations of an organism or organisms seen by taxonomists to form a unit. out of the eight desired species (P. grandidentata, P. tremuloides, U. rubra, and V. macrocarpon) yielding a total of seven accessions. Of these, young quaking aspen (accession 170-2017*A and *B) and slippery elm (accessions 172-2017*A and *B) trees are now growing on the grounds.

The Collecting Team

The collection team included 2017 Isabella Welles Hunnewell Interns Monica Alves, Alex Burnette, Alexander Disyak, Melissa Green, Marcus Jensen, Rachel Lawlor, Elena Leander, and Matthew McDermitt; Horticulture and Greenhouse staff Adam Beck and Natalie Buckley-Medrano; Living Collections Fellow Robert Dowell; and Assistant Manager of Horticulture Rachel Brinkman.

A purple pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea ssp. purpurea growing at the Hawley Bog Preserve in Hawley, MA.
A round-leaved sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) growing at the Hawley Bog Preserve in Hawley, MA.
2017 Hunnewell Intern Monica Alves displays two plastic bags containing America cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon), one of the target species for collection on the expedition.
Big-tooth aspen (Populus grandidentata) seed collected by the Hunnewell interns at the Savoy Mountain State Forest in Florida, MA.