All Events »

Botanical Names virtual workshop

October 13 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on October 20, 2021 at 5:30 pm

Nasturtiums bloom at the Berkshire Botanical Garden's harvest festival.
Photo by Kate Abbott

Judith Summer, a classically trained botanist and writer in ethnobotany, flowering plants, plant adaptations and garden history, will offer a tour of the plant kingdom to explore the work of Linnaeus and the origin of botanical names — the naming system in place since 1753.

She will begin with plant names and their history and the Latin and Greek roots that often show up in plant names. In illustrated talks, she will weave botanical manes with science, exploration, history, and the state of modern plant names, from the ancient Doctrine of Signatures to modern DNA analysis.

The group will also talk why names sometimes change ( not to vex gardeners), familiar plants and some that are rare, taking a close look at their botanical names and pooling collective knowledge.

Judith Sumner is a graduate of Vassar College and completed her graduate studies in botany at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She studied at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the British Museum and the Jardin des Plantes and did extensive field work in the Pacific region on the genus Pittosporum.

Her projects include field studies in the Great Smoky Mountains and work with the United Nations developing petroleum-rich plants in the Caribbean. She served as a visiting scientist for several summers in the LEAP (Learning about Plants) program at Harvard for Boston school teachers and has volunteered as a National Public Radio Science mentor.

Judith has been the scientist-in-residence at the Star Island Natural History Conference and a guest on the “Martha Stewart Living” TV show, the PBS program “Cultivating Life,” and various other PBS and educational programs. She lectures widely and is an award-winning writer including: The Natural History of Medicinal Plants (Timber Press); American Household Botany (Timber Press); and Plants Go to War: A Botanical History of World War II.

She will teach this course on Zoom in two sessions.

Register here »

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

If you’d like to see the website grow, you can join me for a few dollars a month, enough for a cup of coffee and a cider doughnut. Members get access to extra stories and multimedia, itineraries a bookmark tool. Let me know what you're looking for, and we’ll explore together.

Event Details


October 13
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Categories:
, ,

Event Location

Berkshire Botanical Garden
5 West Stockbridge Road
Stockbridge, MA

Browse Events

Calendar of Events

M Mon

T Tue

W Wed

T Thu

F Fri

S Sat

S Sun

2 events,

6 events,

10 events,

10 events,

15 events,

37 events,

20 events,

2 events,

8 events,


WeeMuse Littlest Learners

11 events,

11 events,

16 events,