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Learn About Edible Plants in the Chihuahuan Desert

Carolyn Gressitt, president of the Las Cruces chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico, will give a lecture on Edible Plants in the Chihuahuan Desert on Saturday, September 27 at noon at Branigan Cultural Center.

This September, Branigan Cultural Center is featuring three new exhibits, blown: paintings by rwmullenix, Distorted Senses of Proportion by Rachel Abrams, and J.W. Fike’s Photographic Survey of the Wild Edible Botanicals of the North American Continent. A common thread through these exhibits is the importance of plant life and plant parts as artistic inspiration. Programming throughout the month of September will highlight this theme, bringing visitors lectures and activities that connect to our local flora.

Edible Plants in the Chihuahuan Desert will present many of the edible native plants that can be easily found in our environment, in addition to some non-native “weeds” that are edible. In addition, Ms. Gressitt will explain the ethics of collecting seeds and plant parts from wild native species. She will give a slide presentation and bring handouts, including the Native Plant Society of New Mexico newsletter and brochure, so that visitors can get involved with this local educational and advocacy group. More information on the group can be found at: Join us for this detailed insight into the edible landscape right before our eyes. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Ms. Gressitt has been an active member of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico since 1994, but her interest in plants goes back much further, to her childhood in Hawaii. At Oberlin College, she took courses in botany but eventually settled on English, going on to her Masters at NMSU. However, her love for wandering the desert and mountains of Southern New Mexico and her delight in local plants have sustained her life as an amateur botanist to this day.

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm and admission is free. The Branigan will be reopening after renovation for the First Friday Arts Ramble on September 5. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s Facebook page or website at

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