Seed Collections & Greenhouse Production Internship

September 8, 2022 Horticulture Department

My name is Kathryn Overman, and this fall I will be starting my senior year at New Mexico State University studying horticulture.

As the Seed Collections & Greenhouse Production Intern at Denver Botanic Gardens, I focused on three goals for my project over the summer. First, I entered wild collected seeds from Lesotho and Argentina into BG-BASE for entry into the seed herbarium. Second, I developed a protocol for digitizing the seed herbarium collection and began this by taking images of the entries. Third, I collected seeds from plants in the gardens for entry into the seed herbarium as well as short term storage in the event a plant in the collection needs to be replaced.

I learned a great deal during this internship, from both hands-on experience and through the classes I attended, such as learning about Colorado ecosystems and some of the most common plant families in the region. I gained experience in greenhouse production with various methods of propagation as well as caring for plants in the greenhouses and the nursery. I learned how the Gardens keeps records on its seed collections and how seed herbarium entries are created and had the opportunity to begin digitizing the seed herbarium collection for the creation of an online reference resource.

One of the most exciting aspects of this internship has been the opportunity to collect seeds from plants in the Gardens. There are a lot of unique and interesting plants in the collections that I was excited to learn more about. The biggest challenge I faced was the fact that many plants don’t have mature seeds available for harvest until later in the fall, months after the end of my internship. However, I was able to create a target list of plants that will be valuable to collect seeds from in the future.

In addition, I gained experience in a variety of other fields, from aquatic gardening to therapeutic horticulture and plant mapping. Having the opportunity to work with several horticulturists in several different locations has helped me to expand my knowledge of my fields of interest for my future career.

This post was contributed by Kathryn Overman, the 2022 Seed Collections & Greenhouse Production Intern.


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