Mike Bone in the field (Lesotho)

The Steppes of the world house many thousands of interesting plants. The dry often rocky environments make a wonderful place to explore for plants suited to the unique situations created by rock and crevice plants. In this lecture we will discuss what makes a steppe, why the plants are so well suited for rock gardens, as well as look at some plants that have found a special home in the Denver Botanic Gardens Steppe Garden.

Mike Bone has been with the Denver Botanic gardens since 2002 where he has focused on the study of plants of the steppe regions of the world and their adjacent mountain ranges. Mike has travelled to Central and Middle Asia, Southern Africa, and extensively throughout the American west to collect seed and study the plants and ecology of the steppes. When not travelling Mike oversees the Steppe Garden, trial gardens, plant breeding, and propagation of wild collected material brought into the gardens. Mike has worked with Plant Select® and is an enthusiastic gardener and collector of plants. He has written articles for several gardening journals and is a contributor for 6 books published through the Denver Botanic Gardens including Steppes: The Plants and Ecology of the World’s Semi-arid Regions. Mike is currently Curator of the Steppe Collection at DBG.