Tales Of A Weed Worker – With Botanist Rich Old

When you cross paths with a wild animal, oftentimes you notice it and recognize it by name. Can you do the same with plants? Rich Old can. He has a PhD in plant science from the University of Idaho and has been doing plant identifications for the College of Agriculture at Washington State University since 1976. Now, he can identify plants from the smell or by looking at the hairs from leaf fragments. In this episode of Traverse Talks with Sueann Ramella, Rich discusses the importance of plants, specifically the importance of native plants. Together, the two theorize about why people know far less about plants than they do about moving species and wonder whether people would be more inclined to protect native species if they knew more about them. Listen to learn more about botany on the Palouse and the rich history of Steptoe Butte.