Smarty Pants Podcast

Preaching the Floral Gospel

How the Plant Messiah saves species from the brink of extinction

By Stephanie Bastek | July 10, 2020
Carlos Magdalena, in the water lily pond at Kew (David Levene/eyevine/Redux)
Carlos Magdalena, in the water lily pond at Kew (David Levene/eyevine/Redux)

When we talk about climate change and conservation, animals tend to steal the show. Yet the organisms whose extinction would affect us the most are actually plants. Horticulturalist Carlos Magdalena has become known as the Plant Messiah for his work using groundbreaking, left-field techniques to save endangered species. First captivated by the bogs and flowers of his native Spain, Magdalena has spent much of his professional life in greenhouses and laboratories—and traveling the world, from the Amazon to Australia—to resurrect plants of all shades. He joins us this episode (originally aired in 2018) to share his mission to change the way we see the flora around us, by spreading the good word about green things.

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