National Geographic : 1991 Apr
Reaching toward the Peruvian rainforest canopy with a pruner,Percy Nufiez Vargas (above) snips samples for the Missouri Botanical Garden. Passing the torch in Indonesia, 84-year-old master botanist Achmad JahjaKostermans (below) continues his life's work on tropical Asian plants by dictating notes to an assistant at Bogor's botanical garden. His collection may take 50 scientists 50 years just to record and analyze. Such institutions play vital roles in collecting and identifying plants and helping scientists track related species for breeding programs.