Dr. Wilhelm's Field Notes

Watch this page for information about Dr. Gerould Wilhelm's latest projects and research, plus upcoming and recent appearances



All Things Wetland Plants Videos
Two new videos with Bob Lichvar (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) and Gerould Wilhelm:


  • Lichens of the Southern Lake Michigan Region
  • Essay: "Thismia americana, a Chicago Endemic or an Elaborate Hoax?" (with Laura Rericha)
    "Some have suggested that the iconic Chicago-endemic, Thismia americana, a plant discovered by Norma Pfeiffer at 119th Street and Torrence Avenue in Chicago, is a legend based upon a hoax..." An essay by Dr. Wilhelm and Laura Rericha (published in The Great Lakes Botanist, January 2019).
  • Essay: "David's Story: A Child's Lesson" (July 2018)
    "In 1984, we finally accumulated the financial resources to purchase a new home in a suburban neighborhood, just three miles from where I worked as a botanist at the Morton Arboretum, near Glen Ellyn, Illinois..." Read this essay by Dr. Wilhelm.
  • Essay: "Otankik: On the Edge of the World that Bore Chicagou" (June 2018)
    "How lovely it must have been to stand, 200 years ago, on the brow of the great sweeping bluff southwest of Chicago! Fifty feet above the vast, low prairie flats to the north and east the humid haze of the great lakeshore delineated the horizon. Out before you lay in the distance the area known to the local native people of the time, Chicagou—"the place were grows the plant that smells like a skunk"—namely, Allium tricoccum, Wild Leek..." Read this essay by Dr. Wilhelm.
  • Essay: "Building a Loving, Healthy Home for a Tree"
    "Of the 1879 plants native to the Chicago Region, only 110 (6%) can be classified as trees. Yet, most of us have a visceral affinity to trees that is significantly out of proportion to other groups such as shrubs, grasses, sedges, and wild flowers. People spend academic careers studying the matter. Bards wax poetically about them. Artists depict trees with special characteristics and moods in paintings. We like to sit under them and be near them. The "greening" of a landscape generally connotes planting them. Irrespective of the biome, peoples of the world generally cleave to trees---for whatever reason. So, how does our culture, here in the Midwest, manifest its love of trees? How might this love be more fulfilling for both us and the tree?" An essay by Dr. Wilhelm.

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