WITH MORE THAN 1,000 SPECIES representing 187 plant families, Humboldt State’s Dennis K. Walker Greenhouse offers one of the largest teaching collections of living plants in California. Walker, a 1960 Botany alumnus who taught at HSU until 2005, was admired for his rigorous teaching and impressive collections of ferns and conifers. His collection of conifers is so complete, that it represents 65 of the 70 living conifer genera in the world.
ESTABLISHED IN 1982, the 11,500-square-foot facility is where students in HSU’s Botany and Biological Sciences programs get hands-on access to amazing and useful plants like Pilea cadierei (aluminum plant), Manihot esculenta (cassava), and the always popular Coffea arabica. There are specimens from Guatemala to New Caledonia, and students explore different habitats in the greenhouse’s various rooms.
THIS IS THE GREENHOUSE’S subtropical dome, where instructor Courtney Otto asks Botany 105 class students to compare different features of plants—stems, leaves, buds, roots, and more—and determine how each plant ekes out an evolutionary advantage.