Top Ten Plants with Dr. Mary Meyer and Dr. Natalie Bumgarner


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“Top 10 Plants: Increasing Awareness of Plants” with Dr. Mary Hockenberry Meyer and Dr. Natalie Bumgarner.

Plant blindness is the inability to “see” the plants around us, that is, to recognize them as separate and important pieces of our surroundings beyond their roles as general background or landscape. But for those who do “see” plants and their varied species, how can they communicate that information and passion to those around them? One potential answer? Lists. Drs. Mary Meyer and Natalie Bumgarner are pioneers in this technique, both coordinating with local partners, experts, media, and the public to spearhead Top Ten Plant programs in their states.

Listen in to learn:

  • How extension initiatives can bridge gaps between experts and the general public
  • Top tips for spearheading programs in your state or region
  • What kinds of partnerships and resources can develop from these initiatives
  • What plants made the list both in Minnesota and Tennessee

If you would like more information about this topic, this episode’s paper is available here:

This paper is always freely available.

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Contact us at or on Twitter @FieldLabEarth if you have comments, questions, or suggestions for show topics, and if you want more content like this don’t forget to subscribe.

If you would like to reach out to Mary, you can find her here: Twitter: @marygrasses

If you would like to reach out to Natalie, you can find her here:


CEU Quiz:

Top Ten Plants Minnesota website:

Ten Plants that Changed Minnesota Book:

Slide Set for Master Gardeners:

Games from MN program:

Teaching Aids/Activities:

Top Ten Plants Tennessee website:

University of Tennessee Plant Sciences YouTube Ten Plants That Shaped Tennessee playlist:

Mary’s Grasstalk Blog:

University of Minnesota Extension Yard and Garden News:

University of Tennessee Horticultural Information:

University of Tennessee Master Gardeners Instagram:

University of Minnesota Twitter: @UMNews

University of Minnesota Yard & Garden Twitter: @UMNyardgarden

University of Minnesota Extension: @UMNExt

University of Tennessee Twitter: @UTKnoxville

Bill Laws’ book, Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History:

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