“Delightful and informative, clever without being cute...Our audience will love this program.” WHRV, Norfolk, VA

I’m Flora Delaterre, plant detective. Plants are my beat; phytomedicinals (medicinal compounds from plants) are my specialty.


From 1996 through 2013, The Plant Detective, a project of Montana Public Radio begun by the University of Montana School of Pharmacy, educated western Montanans and ultimately people around the United States (and Canada and the Philippines) about medicinal plants and their importance in human health historically and now. Still available for listening in this site's audio archive, each 1.5-minute episode investigates one plant and its medicinal compounds, benefits, efficacy, risks, or lore. Legendary plant detective Flora Delaterre spearheads investigations and delivers the word from locations as farflung as Sri Lanka and Siberia, the Appalachian Mountains and the rainforests of the Northwest, research labs and your own backyard. The show was available free to radio stations thanks to Montana Public Radio listeners and a variety of sponsors.

As of early 2014, Montana Public Radio continues to podcast The Plant Detective. Subscribe here or at mtpr.org.


Flora composed a special goodbye for Montana Public Radio listeners: 

Hello, dear friends!  As I’ve said for the past eighteen years, “I’m Flora Delaterre, Plant Detective. Drawn by the mystery of medicinal plants, and their alarming disappearance, I decided to investigate.”

Now, I decided to retire. Nineteen years ago, University of Montana Pharmacy professor Rustem Medora heard a show about herbs and spices on Montana Public Radio, and thought there should be one like it on his area of expertise, medicinal plants. He contacted KUFM station manager Terry Conrad, who contacted Beth Judy, producer of the other show, who searched for me and invited me to come to Missoula. Little did we know our little show would turn into a long-term gig.

Over twenty years, we built a show with original theme music composed first by Scott Billideau, then Charles Nichols; worked on each script with Dr. Medora, Mark Blumenthal, Robyn Klein, Botanical Medicine professors and clinicians at Bastyr University in Seattle, Tai Sophia Institute in Maryland, and the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism, plus local editors too numerous to name; recorded with Terry, William Marcus, and for many years, my good friend Beth Anne Austein; plotted national distribution with Linda Talbott; and watched the show go national twice, once to 25 other stations, later, with marketing support, to 120 (also in Canada and the Philippines!). An initial grant from the American Society of Plant Biologists and sponsors like Genuine Scooters and Frontier Herbs made the show largely self-supporting financially. Another grant helped MTPR adopt podcasting technology, starting with “The Plant Detective.”

The only problem was, I could never get too far from a microphone. Listeners know I broadcast from perches around the world, but eventually a microphone does feel like a chain. My sights are set farther, higher, and deeper—on places where, evidence suggests, new plants with astounding compounds await, where I might want to linger with no regard for time.   

You can still hear “The Plant Detective” on my website (www.floradelaterre.com, then “Radio Show” and “Audiofile Archive”). All 273 shows are there. OR, subscribe to “Plant Detective” podcasts at mtpr.org (go to “Connect,” then “Podcasts,” choose “Plant Detective,” “Subscribe,” and how you’ll listen). Shows will arrive regularly in your inbox.

It was your positive response to our show years ago that made western Montana a center nationwide of public education about medicinal plants. Thank you from the bottom of my own heart, and from the very root tips of all my plant friends! May the plants be with you! May you never stop treating them right, because (by now I hope you’re convinced) some day they might be treating you!  Love and good health,



Flora in the news

"There is no doubt this series is both entertaining and informative. We at WETD 90.7 Alfred, New York, receive many positive comments... Keep up the good work."

Search the site

Contact Flora

The information presented on this website is not a prescription. Further research and consultation with a trained health professional are strongly advised before using herbal remedies or any medicine. Links to other websites are provided as a service, without responsibility for other sites’ content.

Flora Delaterre® is a registered trademark of the University of Montana and is used under an exclusive license agreement. The name and mark Flora DelaterreR and the content of this website are protected by U.S. trademark and copyright law. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Acknowledgments and
Friends of Flora

Illustrations by Anna Veltfort

Web/Graphic Design by
Adam Chew