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Alex Abair

I work on molecular systematics of plants. Always looking for new species to stare at. WI➡️OR➡️NM➡️FL

Alex Abair (@plantexplorer) Instagram photos and videos

List of Instagram medias taken by Alex Abair (@plantexplorer)

Some stuff from my hike today. As far as I know, the second photo is the first recorded occurence of Monarda fistulosa in flower in the Organs.

These stamens look like fiber optic tufts. (Acaciella angustissima var texensis)

I shined a UV light on my western spotted horsemint to see if anything interesting would happen. The result: kinda. (Monarda punctata var. occidentalis)

I've been swamped with my thesis defense, so I haven't had a lot of time to go botanizing lately. I get my fix by checking plants in the greenhouse. My Monarda hybrid is doing so well!

Chaparral, New Mexico

Looks a little like a spiny peyote, but nope, it's Echinocactus horizontalis. PSA, don't harvest wild cacti. I'm putting my new BLM collecting license to use with this cactus.

Organ, New Mexico

The first foxtail cactus I've ever seen. And it's in full flower! (Escobaria vivipara var. neomexicana)

My Monarda is all grown up. I started it from wild seed in the greenhouse because I didn't have a solid ID on the population. Now I know it's Monarda punctata var. occidentalis, and chromosome counts are on the way. The flowers smell like baby oil (some unknown proprietary fragrance), and the leaves smell like thyme.

People commented that my last post was in nature (fair enough), so here is a post that is undeniably non... It's a budding pitcher on a pitcher plant in the greenhouse.

New Mexico

I'm using a paperclip to simulate a hummingbird beak in this Salvia greggii flower. The trigger mechanism slaps some pollen on the "beak" and the hummingbird goes on to pollinate the next flower.

New Mexico

Giant asparagus relative "soaptree yucca". (Yucca elata ssp. elata)

Achenback Canyon

"Antelope-horns" milkweed (Asclepias asperula ssp. asperula)

Mesquite, New Mexico

Blue cinder from the dunes west of Mesquite. Some kind of iron oxidization?

Tortugas Mountain Observatory

It's hedgehog cactus flowering season in this part of the Chihuahuan Desert. (Echinocereus coccineus ssp. rosei)

Organ Mountains (New Mexico)

Strange flowers on Krameria lanceolata.

I was positive my poppies died when the swamp coolers didn't kick in, but they all survived! I love this Hungarian cultivar. (Papaver somniferum)

I'll be moving to Gainseville, FL in August to study mints (hopefully this subgenus) in the Soltis Lab at the University of Florida. Any tips about living in Gainesville?

I found some peridot while botanizing around the border.

OSU McDonald-Dunn Research Forest

I came back to visit after two years in New Mexico. Some forests remain exactly as I left them. Other forests I used to know very well have been completely destroyed by logging. Fortunately, my favorite spot is still here.

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