WSU Botany Club sells plants for scholarship


(Photo by Spencer Boyce) Students sell plants for the botany sale last year. The sale raises money for the botany program and club.

After a hot summer in the greenhouses atop the Weber State University Science Lab Building, plants are taken out and sold at the WSU Botany Club’s fall plant sale.

Clint Hartmann, a member of the botany club, manned the booth for the botany sale.

“We raise money for a scholarship for students picked by the WSU staff,” he said.

All the plants are grown in the greenhouse on the sixth floor of the science lab building.

“We sell them to students to take care of,” Hartmann said. “We educate them on soil, what it takes to repot a plant and the watering needs of certain plants.”

The home and garden class offered through WSU teaches how to properly care and prune plants. This class also participates in growing the plants that are sold during the botany sale in the fall and spring.

The greenhouse is home to around 100 species from the most basic fern to carnivorous plants.

“They are mostly tropical plants,” said Sonya Welsh, the botany lab manager.

The carnivorous plants require high humidity and are not for resale. Most of the plants for sale are indoor plants and unable to live in Utah’s outdoor climates. A lot of the plants WSU propagates are given to the university by students and faculty who ask the club to adopt their own plants that they are unable to care for, Hartmann said.

The botany club gives tours of the greenhouse, including individual tours during monthly Science Saturdays, Hartmann said. Science Saturdays allow families to come to campus and learn more about the scientific universe. Many different science departments put on presentations, alternating each month.

“Plants are person-specific,” Hartmann said. “Some women wants something that looks good, others are looking for ease. Some are looking for medicinal like aloe vera.”  (The aloe vera leaves can be broken open and applied to burns.) “Many students say they want a plant that requires little attention.”

The botany club has 30 active participants who participate in cleanups, attend a class on mushroom cultivation and host events like the upcoming Bonsai, which is an event focused on keeping miniature trees. They also join other Ogden organizations and lead educational hikes that teach about local vegetation.

Brennan Cluff, a freshman in the botany class at WSU, purchased an aloe vera plant at the sale.

“It’s a practical plant,” he said.

The botany club is open to any student. It meets every other Friday at 12:30 p.m. in the botany lounge, room 422 in the science lab building.

The botany sale will continue throughout the week with a manned sale today from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Thursday and Friday individuals can purchase plants from a cart using the honor system.