Catch up on behind-the-scenes action at CalBG with our biannual newsletter, The Matilija. In this issue: all about CalBG's graduate program in Botany and much more!
It's poetry in the Garden! From lyrical to haiku, let's celebrate nature in verse. Enjoy poetry written and read by poets from all over the southland and across the country. Featuring readings by The Far & Wide Poets and The Southern California Haiku Study Group.
Join us for a behind the scenes tour of CalBG’s Library and Archives with Librarian Irene Holiman and Research Associate Gary Wallace. In this short tour Irene and Gary will highlight some of the unique aspects and strengths of the research-grade library here at CalBG.
Did you know that there are seven species of birds in North America whose names start with “California?” And did you know that five of the seven can be seen at the California Botanic Garden? So where better to take a class about California birds than the California Botanic Garden?Join your host, Tina Stoner, President of the Pomona Valley Audubon Society, who will take you on a quick tour of these seven species. She’ll discuss their natural history, how to identify them and where to find them, in the garden and beyond.
Join us for a behind the scenes tour of the largest botanic garden dedicated to California native plants with Peter Evans (Director of Horticulture) and James Reed (Plant Records Manager). In this short tour, Peter and James will show us around the garden grounds highlighting some of our iconic plants, conservations groves, and the value of botanic living collections in conservation and research.
Join us for a behind the scenes tour of the largest seed bank dedicated to California Native Plants! Cheryl Birker, Seed Conservation Program Manager at CalBG, will show us around and highlight the importance of seed banking in native plant conservation.
Join CalBG conservation professionals as we learn about ex-situ plant conservation and efforts to protect one of the rarest fir trees in the world, the Santa Lucia fir (Abies bracteata).
Join us for a virtual tour of the herbarium at CalBG with Curator Mare Nazaire. We will get a behind the scenes glimpse into the work done everyday at one of the country’s largest herbaria and learn about the importance of preserved plant specimens in scientific research.
We're wrapping up Tree Month with an appreciation for the shade trees provide us during the warm sunny summer months. California Botanic Garden, located in Claremont in Los Angeles County, California, is fortunate to have a small grove of redwoods in our living collection. Follow along to see Coast redwoods in their native habitat in Redwood National Park and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and learn about their environmental interactions.
Take a road trip with CalBG staff out to the extremes of Death Valley! Get a glimpse of what it's like to be a field botanist and the work of the Conservation Staff here at the Garden.
Gain insight into summer garden care with Chip Grubbs, Horticulturist at CalBG. Learn about caring for both newly planted and more established plants, watering techniques, summer pruning and typical maintenance. Look ahead to the next planting season and get tips on garden additions that look great throughout summer, others that are summer dormant, and how to expand your micro habitat for summer wildlife.
Take a stroll with Maria Jesus, graduate student at CalBG, as she highlights some wonderful butterfly and native plant relationships. Come on in for a visit to the Garden to learn about more of these fascinating butterfly and plant connections.
With many butterfly species, like the monarch, becoming threatened and endangered, it is important that we help provide suitable habitats for them wherever possible - including your home garden! Join us virtually as Evan Green, Horticulturist at CalBG, walks us through all things butterflies.
Join Steve Bryant, biologist and volunteer at CalBG, as he dives into the biology of butterflies! Learn about the lifecycle of a butterfly, host and nectar plants, and how you can help the native butterfly populations of Southern California! Join us this June for Butterfly Month in the Garden! How many butterflies can you spot on your next visit?
Come on in to CalBG for a summer sunset stroll! Take advantage of the cooler evenings and our extended hours, now open from 8am - 8pm Tuesdays through Sundays now through the end of August!
Ashlee Armstrong, CalBG Grounds Manager, presented a talk about maintaining a select number of established plants. She addressed the basic questions about when and how to prune, what to do if the plant is overgrown, how to water new and established plants especially during the summer.
The Power Point slides are provided. Unfortunately, CalBG was not able to fully record the live presentation and follow-up questions.
This is a recording of a live tour from Monday, May 10. Join Mary Beierle (Artist at AMOCA Ceramics Studio) and Carrie Kiel (Postdoctoral Fellow at California Botanic Garden) for a live, virtual tour of Clayfornia: Ceramic Sculpture in the California Sunshine. Hear insights about the exhibition, learn about California native plants, and explore this unique collaboration between the California Botanic Garden and the American Museum of Ceramic Art.
Learn how to collect, clean, store, and germinate seeds with the guidance of Cheryl Birker, Seed Conservation Program Manager at CalBG, and Steven Valdez, Lead Nursery Technician. By understanding the process of ethically collecting and saving native seeds, you can ensure future generations of the beautiful flowers and plants in your garden!
This is a recording of the Arrange Wild class held on May 8.
Learn to create a wonderfully spring-themed arrangement with pops of pinks, purples, oranges and yellows that will be sure to bring joy to all that take in its beauty! With the expert guidance of Linda Prendergast of CalBG’s Native Designs, you will learn the steps to make a fabulous spring floral arrangement. As you get to know the aesthetic characteristics of these beautiful flowers, our horticulture staff will bring insight into their horticultural value and help you learn how to grow and maintain these native plants at home.
Our spring favorites like the California poppy, firecracker penstemon, and douglas iris are still going strong, but now they have some new friends in bloom to join them! See if you can spot the beautiful blooms of chick lupine, elegant clarkia, or the flowers of the hedgehog cactus on your next visit to CalBG!
Join Maria Jesus, graduate student at CalBG, as she takes a walk on the wildflower side! Take a look at the beauty of the wonderful wildflower, Lupine. Learn some tips on how to identify different species in this, sometimes tricky to differentiate, genus. Want to enjoy the beauty of these wildflowers at home? There are multiple varieties available at the Grow Native Nursery Online Store.
Many of us have been able to experience the magic of vibrant hillsides showing a kaleidoscope of colors during a superbloom in California, but why isn't every year a superbloom year? Learn all about the bloom and bust cycles of wildflowers with Maria Jesus, M.S. Botany student at Claremont Graduate University & CalBG, as she takes you on a virtual tour to several beloved wildflower hotspots around the state and reveals the best strategies for wildflower viewing during dry years like 2021.
This is a recording of a live tour from Monday, April 12 at 12pm. Join Grayson Fair (Artist in Residence at the American Museum of Ceramic Art) and Danielle Wildasinn (Visitor Experience Coordinator at the California Botanic Garden) for a virtual tour of Clayfornia: Ceramic Sculpture in the California Sunshine. Hear insights about the exhibition, learn about California native plants, and explore this unique collaboration between the California Botanic Garden and the American Museum of Ceramic Art.
Join Keir Morse, PhD student at CalBG, and take a closer look at the wonderful perennial herb, penstemon! Take a walk in the Garden and see how many species of penstemon you can find! Can you find one with an actual beardtongue? Want to enjoy the beauty of these wildflowers at home? There are multiple varieties available at the Grow Native Nursery Online Store.
April is Poetry Month! Poets Zoomed in from all over the southland on Saturday, April 3 to share a day of poetry.
Join Maria Jesus, graduate student at CalBG, and take a closer look into our state flower, the California poppy! Come on in for a walk in the Garden to see these vibrant orange blooms in person. Want to enjoy the beauty of these wildflowers at home? Grab a seed packet from Grow Native Nursery's Online Store and plant some in a pot on your patio or scatter around your yard in the fall for a delightfully orange yard next spring!
The Garden has come alive with color and wildlife activity! Come on in for a walk in the Garden to see all the beautiful native wildflowers in bloom! Can you spot some special pollinator friends on your visit?
Learn to get the most out of your camera as you explore the natural world around you! Join us as Keir Morse, botanist and photographer, introduces the basics of photography. Gain insight into camera settings such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO and more. Test out your new photography skills with a visit to the Garden!
Join native food enthusiast Antonio Sanchez, Nursery Manager of the Santa Monica Mountains Fund, as he teaches about the ancient and emerging field of California native foods and their cultivation. Learning from and paying honor to the many living traditions that have been passed down by indigenous peoples, this unique lecture explores how old ways can combine with new ways to find a place in local gardens and kitchens. Explore some of the many California native plants that you can grow at home and incorporate into your diet!
Come for a walk at the Garden this month to take in the first signs of spring! Rediscover the Garden with all your senses. The smell of California lilac (ceanothus sp.) will enchant you, the bright pops of color around each corner are sure to bring you joy, and the sounds of birds chirping are full of delight. Don't miss the beauty of March at CalBG!
This is a recording of the Habitat Gardening for Birds and Other Pollinators class led by Chip Grubbs on Feb. 27, 2021.
Join us virtually as Chip Grubbs, Horticulturist at CalBG discusses the care requirements for various native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers that attract and support different types of birds. Learning how to incorporate a diverse plant palette in your garden will bring birds and pollinators to your garden year-round. As you learn how to take care of a variety of plants, you will ensure they have a long, healthy life providing food and shelter for your favorite winged friends. With a little time and effort, you can build healthy plant habitats that help to build healthy bird populations!
Curious about how to preserve old photographs, scrapbooks, and other personal collections? In this video, CalBG Archivist Rachel Poutasse provides a brief overview of the archival collections at the CalBG library, along with some basic principles of preservation, and tips and tricks for handling papers, photographs, artwork, audiovisual material, and more!
Get to know some pioneering women in botany with Peggy Perry, a Plant Sciences professor at Cal Poly Pomona and member of the CalBG board of trustees! Learn how women have advanced California horticulture, landscape design, botanical science and conservation.
Spend some time with Bob Everett, wild bird rehabilitator and founder of the non-profit organization Wild Wings of California, and his three feathered friends. Get to know Odie, the screech owl, Honey, the barn owl, and Bruce, the great horned owl, and find out what makes them tick. Learn about their habitats, unique behaviors, and amazing adaptations that make them such great nocturnal hunters. Enjoy this informative video with the whole family!
Join us as Tina Stoner, President of Pomona Valley Audubon Society, walks you through how to use the tools of the trade (binoculars and field guides), keeping records, and how to identify birds by using the four fundamentals of birding. Put your newly acquired skills into practice with a birdwatching visit to the Garden!
Guided by Ashlee Armstrong, Grounds Manager at CalBG, you will gain insight into the objectives of pruning, techniques for pruning perennial shrubs, subshrubs, and small trees, what tools to use, and general pruning timelines for common native plants. By pruning you will stimulate plants to make fresh growth, thus keeping them youthful looking and, often, flowering more abundantly.
Have you thought about how you would like to be remembered? If you have, perhaps your thoughts have centered on ways you can leave an enduring legacy that reflects how you helped others and the good that you achieved during life. Marivel Zialcita, founder of MMZ Law, has been an attorney for over 18 years and practices in the area of trust and estate. She is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters. Join us to learn about how to provide for and protect yourself and your family, while also benefiting the organizations you care about.
A brisk walk through the Garden, a cup of hot cider, and the smell of fir and pine. Learn how to create a little bit of that festive feeling and fill your home with a wonderfully fragrant holiday centerpiece. Linda Prendergast of Native Designs, a volunteer group at CalBG, will lead us through the steps of making a festive holiday centerpiece. Gain insight into the ecological qualities of the native greenery with Lucinda McDade, Executive Director at CalBG.
This is a recording of the Propagation: Seeds, Cuttings and Divisions Class held on December 5, 2020.
The reward of watching a tiny seed grow into a thriving plant is like nothing else! With the guidance of Steven Valdez, Lead Nursery Technician at CalBG and Master Gardener, we focus on multiple methods of propagation including seed starting, cuttings, and divisions. Become familiar with some of the tools and materials used in the Garden’s nursery and learn what is practical to do at home.
Graduate student Maria Jesus discusses the Conglomerate Mesa, a unique portion of her research site located in the Southern Inyo Mountains, along with CalBG Director of Conservation Programs, Naomi Fraga.
California Botanic Garden partnered with As You Like It, one of our fabulous caterers at the Garden, and Abe Sanchez of the Chia Café Collective (CCC) for this virtual event. CCC is a group of local tribal members and collaborators that honors indigenous people and their vast traditional knowledge of the nutritional and medicinal bounty of native plants. Learn all about the flavors, ecology, and cultural relevance of California's native plants in autumn.
California Botanic Garden, previously Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, has a very rich backstory within the history of Southern California horticulture and the life of Susanna Bixby Bryant. The Advisory Council has created the Susanna Bixby Bryant Legacy Project and charged it with establishing a legacy garden to pay tribute to CalBG’s founder.
Join graduate student Christina Varnava in setting up a sheet and some lights to attract and study moths at night. It is best to do this experiment on a new moon when there is the least amount of moonlight, and be sure to try it during other seasons to see different species of moths throughout the year!
Explore the incredible plant diversity of California, one of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots, and learn how climate change may threaten our state's native diversity. The accompanying exercise utilizes the Garden's Herbarium specimens and various mapping resources to examine characteristics of several native plants, map their distributions, and through modeling approaches, determine how climate change may influence future distributions and diversity.
Join graduate student Christina Varnava for video about amphibians! First, we learn some fun facts about amphibians, including the ones you can find here in the Garden. Then, Christina shows us how to fold two amphibian origami crafts that come in our Things That Go Bump in the Night activity box!
The benefits of planting with natives are vast! With the guidance of Steven Valdez, Lead Production Technician at CalBG and Master Gardener, learn about some tried and true native plant performers for most garden environments, shade versus full sun selections, how to prepare your site for planting, watering and basic tips for new plants and how to adapt their care as they become established.
Sophie Winitsky is a botanist from Los Angeles CA. Her interest in conservation stems from a love of biodiversity and California. For her MS, completed at California Botanic Garden, she compiled a floristic inventory of Adobe Valley in Mono County, CA. She is currently a PhD student at Montana State University working on the systematics, biogeography and conservation of the legume genus Marina.
Our conversation focused on the intersections between art and native plants, and how the artists adapted to new modes of presenting their work that extend beyond the walls of the gallery and other traditional formats. CalBG resident artists included Margaret Gallagher, Hannah Michael Flynn, Miwa Matreyek, Eliza Swann, and John Zappas.
Join graduate student Christina Varnava for a fun educational video where we explore dormancy in California native plants!
Dr. Fraga joined the staff of CalBG in 2001 as an intern in the herbarium. As she gained experience through education and hands-on learning, she became responsible for programmatic leadership and management of the field studies program - early version of today’s conservation program - in 2003. Since 2015 she has served as the Director of Conservation Programs. Naomi is passionate about plant conservation and her research focus includes plant systematics, floristics, rare plant biology, and pollination biology. You can learn more about Naomi's research on her website monkeyflower.org
#BlackBotanistsWeek, a campaign first organized in July 2020 to "promote, encourage, create a safe space for, and find more Black people (and BIPOC) who love plants!," sparked a nation-wide dialogue on the vital and ongoing need to make the plant sciences more inclusive, accessible and diverse. On this episode of Forever California, we hand the mic to Naomi Fraga, PhD, Director of Conservation Programs at California Botanic Garden, as she stewards a panel discussion on diversity in the plant sciences. Panelists include Dr. Tanisha Williams, Dr. Ann Sakai, Dr. Muriel Poston and Dr. Joel Abraham.
Join us for a moment of observation and reflection through the lens of nature journaling. By using a combination of art, writing, and science, nature journaling helps to form a deeper connection to the natural world around us. Hone your observation skills and free your creativity in this two-hour webinar with botanical illustrator Brittany Burgard.
Get ready for an epic and utterly delicious fusion of California native plants and ice cream for our first-ever Freeze Wild event! California Botanic Garden partnered with Bert & Rocky's Cream Company in Claremont to create three unique flavors of ice cream that speak to the true flavors of California.
Join graduate student Nina House as we explore the state of California all while on site here at California Botanic Garden! She's taking us on a tour of California's Superlatives. From the oldest to the tallest to the biggest native plants, Nina shares some interesting insights about all of them! We couldn't possibly assign one to be the 'Best,' that just wouldn't be fair!
California Botanic Garden is home to the California Seed Bank, the largest collection of rare native plant seeds in the state. Learn how our Seed Conservation Manager, Cheryl Birker, runs operations that could help save important plant species from the brink of extinction!
Follow along as we go through how to arrange a beautiful arrangement using native flowers grown right here at California Botanic Garden. Linda Prendergast, head of Native Designs, a CalBG volunteer group that grows California native plants for use in exquisite flower arrangements, walks us through how to skillfully arrange a fabulous floral showpiece. As you get to know the aesthetic characteristics of these beautiful flowers, Peter Evans, Director of Horticulture, will bring insight into growing and maintaining these native plants at home.
Squirrels are one of the most animated and assured kinds of wildlife visitors will encounter here at California Botanic Garden. These fluffy, scruffy and nutty denizens love our California native plants. On this episode, we talk with squirrel expert and Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences of Cal State LA, Alan Muchlinski.
This virtual event provided a CA native plant tasting experience with CalBG staff, As You Like It Events & Catering and Abe Sanchez of the Chia Café Collective (CCC). CCC is a group of local tribal members and collaborators that honors indigenous people and their vast traditional knowledge and spiritual relationship to the land, as well as the nutritional and medicinal bounty of native plants. Naomi Fraga, Director of Conservation Programs at CalBG, provided insight about the ecological context of each plant species.
There are remarkable flavors and extensive culinary heritages that surround California native plants. Indigenous people have been stewarding California's flora for thousands of years; the fact we get to enjoy native plant recipes today is a testament to that legacy. Join David Bryant, Director of Visitor Experience, on a tour of some of his favorite edible plants that grow well in a garden.
There are many species of native butterflies in California. These winged gems, symbols of beauty, depend on California native plants for survival. Join Butterfly Pavilion volunteer and Professor Emeritus of Biology of Cal Poly Pomona Steve Bryant and Butterly Specialist, Marion McGinnis, as we discuss native butterfly species and how to attract and raise them!
A hidden lake, a sky island, an incredibly rare plant: these may sound like the makings of a fantasy novel, but they are parts of an amazing conservation success story. Hear from our Director of Conservation, Naomi Fraga, PhD, about the different conservation programs she oversees at the Garden and the saga of the Hidden Lake bluecurls!
Join graduate student Marty Purdy on an adventure through the Garden to learn how to capture effective photos to submit to citizen science platforms like iNaturalist. We are participating in the @CityNatureChallenge, a global biodiversity celebration happening from April 24 - May 3 consisting of two parts.
Across California, our communities are associated with distinctive native plants - plants that provide vital resources for the wildlife that depend on and love them. In our neighborhoods, native plants are often right in front of our eyes, right under - or over! - our noses. Whether in small or large patches, these native plants contribute to improve environmental quality for all of us and are intrinsic to what makes California, California.
Join Lisa Pritchard, CalBG's Education Coordinator, as we look for evidence of barn owls in our California fan palm oasis! Sure enough, we'll stumble on an owl pellet and Lisa will walk us through how to dissect the bony treasures within! If you want to try your own owl pellet dissection, we recommend @Acorn Naturalists as a great source: https://www.acornnaturalists.com/.
Join us in conversation with Ashlee Armstrong, CalBG's Grounds Manager and leader of the Chaparral Fern Project supported by the Saratoga Horticultural Research Endowment. We'll discuss this multi-year project that has taken Ashlee and fellow staff out into the wilds of Southern California to collect these marvelous chaparral ferns and establish them in test plots at CalBG.
Join David Bryant, Director of Visitor Experience, on a rainy day adventure and meet some California native plants that are more thirsty than most!
California native plants are the perfect choice for home gardeners in California! In conversation with Peter Evans, Director of Horticulture at California Botanic Garden, we'll discuss some hardy species and cultivars to consider that can handle brown thumbs while looking absolutely beautiful.
Join Lisa Pritchard, our Community Education Coordinator, in making this fun, easy, nature-inspired craft that's great for kids and adults alike!
Be sure to send us your photos if you make this craft and we will share them!
Let's meet some shady characters at California Botanic Garden! There are some marvelous California native plants to consider for shady gardens, shadier spots in the yard or even in containers on shady balconies and patios! Take a walk with David Bryant and meet these low light beauties!
On our very first episode, we are taking flight, well nearly with Lo & Behold. That's his full name, but we tend to call him Lo, or little owl. Lo is a ridiculously cute great horned owlet who has quite an owldessy. Thanks to the amazing work and intervention of my colleagues at California Botanic Garden, Lo has been routinely rescued and expertly placed back in increasingly fool-proof nests.
Grow Native Nursery has reopened for pickup orders! We are excited to make our California native plants available for purchase on our new ecommerce site. All orders will receive a 10% discount; Garden members get 15% off!
Join David Bryant, Director of Visitor Experience, and Lucinda McDade, Executive Director, on a fun-filled tour of some rare and remarkable plants from the Channel Islands, growing at California Botanic Garden!
While the Garden is closed in response to LA County and statewide orders, we will be working to bring our California native plants to you! Follow David Bryant, Director of Visitor Experience, through a sensory trail today and find out about the sights, smells and tastes of some of our fabulous flora.