This is a recording of talk given by Maria Jesus, M.S. student at Claremont Graduate University (and California Botanic Garden) on Tuesday, November 17 as a part of our Conservation Stories: A Virtual Lecture series.
During this presentation, Maria Jesus discusses the Conglomerate Mesa located in the Southern Inyo Mountains with CalBG Director of Conservation Programs, Naomi Fraga
Maria Jesus is a graduate student at Claremont Graduate University (at California Botanic Garden) where she is completing a vascular flora of the southern Inyo Mountains. Thanks to a chance encounter with a plant identification course during her undergraduate English studies, Maria abandoned plans to become a librarian and found her way to field botany. She has since completed several field seasons monitoring plants in the Chihuahuan Desert, Sonoran Desert, Southern Plains, Southern Cascades, and the Great Basin. Just prior to graduate school, she managed a multi-agency vegetation monitoring program aimed at informing adaptive management of public lands. Maria is a Switzer Fellow (2019) and is passionate about advancing native plant conservation through her floristic research and beyond.
This is a recording of our Taste Wild II webinar held on Zoom on November 14.
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). 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.
The virtual event included a keynote address from Abe Sanchez of CCC. Our Caterer, As You Like It, shared some of their experiences in crafting these delectable foods. We then tasted each item and introduced the recipe and ingredients. Abe shared insights about the nutritional aspects, flavors and cultural relevance of the included plants. California Botanic Garden staff shared the ecological importance of each species.
This is a recording of our Fall 2020 Volunteer Enrichment held on Zoom on Monday, November 9.
This first Volunteer Enrichment for the 2020-2021 year was entitled “Susanna’s Wild Garden: A Living Legacy.” California Botanic Garden, previously Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, has a very rich back story within the history of Southern California horticulture and the life of Susanna Bixby Bryant. The Board of Overseers, now called 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. To get a feel for who Susanna was and lay the groundwork for the development of this garden, historical and biographical research is being done by John Bradley, Yvonne Wilson, and Peggy Perry. As a result of their work, a body of information is becoming available for the use of the legacy garden creators. At this time, we also want to inform CalBG volunteers and members of our work. We hope you can join us to for a review of the past that is leading us to the development of the future.
With the new moon coming up this weekend on November 15, we thought we would provide you all with a fun moth hunting video! Join graduate student Christina Varnava in setting up a light colored sheet with 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. Be sure to try this experiement in other seasons and you will surely have different species of moths visit your set up. Let us know if you try this and what you find!
For more family friendly activities based on nocturnal knowledge, check our our Things That Go Bump in the Night activity boxes here: https://www.calbg.org/event/things-that-go-bump-in-the-night-activity-box-coming-soon
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!
Jump on over to our website and buy your own Things That Go Bump in the Night activity box! It includes the supplies for these origami crafts and SO MUCH MORE!
Bump Boxes: https://www.calbg.org/event/things-that-go-bump-in-the-night-activity-box-coming-soon
This is a recording of the Planting with Natives horticulture class held on Saturday, October 24.
The benefits of planting with natives are vast! Aside from the wonderful aesthetic qualities and pops of vivid color natives bring to your garden, by planting species most suited to this Mediterranean climate, you will conserve water and support our local pollinators and seed dispersers... not to mention being able to enjoy wonderful wildlife viewing!
In preparation for your fall planting, join us Saturday, October 24 from 11 am to 12 pm for our virtual Planting with Natives horticulture class via Zoom. 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.
Armed with your new native planting knowledge, visit the online Grow Native Nursery - open to the public on November 5th - to make selections for your fall planting.
This is a recording of a previous lecture. This fall, join us via Zoom every third Tuesday of the month from 6 pm - 7 pm for an evening of conversation about conservation.
Sophia Winitsky, Ph.D. student at Montana State University
Discussing the Adobe Valley with Director of Conservation Programs, Naomi Fraga
Tuesday, October 20 | 6pm - 7pm
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. She has worked for the California Native Plant Society, the Jepson Herbarium and with the Inyo National Forest.
This video is from a moderated panel discussion with the five exhibiting artists of our Summer 2020 Artist Residency program.
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.
Each artist gave a micro presentation focusing on the ideas behind the work they created during the residency, as well as their larger creative practice. The artists further talked about the unique experiences and insights gained from their visits to the Garden.
Artists include: Margaret Gallagher, Hannah Michael Flynn, Miwa Matreyek, Eliza Swann, and John Zappas.
The Artist Talk was held on Tuesday, September 22 from 6 PM - 7 PM. The virtual and onsite exhibitions launched on Friday, August 28th, 2020. The virtual exhibition ends on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 and the onsite exhibition ends Thursday, October 1, 2020.
Join graduate student Christina Varnava for a fun educational video where we explore dormancy in California native plants!
This is a recording of a previous lecture. This fall, join us via Zoom every third Tuesday of the month from 6 pm - 7 pm for an evening of conversation about conservation.
Naomi Fraga Ph.D., CalBG Director of Conservation Programs
Discussing the San Bernardino Mountains with CalBG Executive Director, Lucinda McDade
Tuesday, September 15 | 6 pm - 7 pm
Naomi 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 earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in Botany from Claremont Graduate University (at California Botanic Garden) and her B.S. in Botany from Cal Poly Pomona. Naomi is passionate about plant conservation and her research focus includes plant systematics, floristics, rare plant biology, and pollination biology. In addition to her role at the Garden, Naomi serves as the Secretary for Southern California Botanists, as chair of the Environment and Public Policy Committee for the American Society for Plant Taxonomy, and as Treasurer for the Amargosa Conservancy. 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. Black people (and BIPOC) have faced systemic racism in related professions, in addition to plaguing discrimination that haunts people of color outdoors and in the field - such as the incident that happened to Audubon Board Member Christian Cooper in New York's Central Park.
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. Joining Naomi are scientists, activists, professors and community leaders who share their experiences discovering botany and moving the needle forward for inclusion in the field.
This is a recording of the Nature Journaling class held on Saturday, August 29. 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 the guidance of botanical illustrator Brittany Burgard. In this class, you will learn about the historical context of nature journaling, practice warm up exercises to get you started, and spend time labeling and fine tuning the details of your illustrations. Use these skills on your next walk through the Garden to take a breath, slow down, and discover something new.
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 CalBG staff David Bryant, Director of Visitor Experience, and Lucinda McDade, Executive Director, as they taste these frozen treats and share the botanical backstories of these wild flavors.
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 seeds that are stored to safeguard the future for native plants. We have banked conservation seed collections of roughly one-third of all species native to California. We endeavor to collect seeds from every species to ensure the survival of our invaluable and absolutely irreplaceable flora. Part of the job of Cheryl Birker, Seed Conservation Program Manager, is to conduct germination trials to test the viability of seeds in storage. To do this, she has to figure out that perfect recipe, the perfect trick, to trigger plants to grow. On this episode, we’ll learn about these germination trials and techniques - from smoke water to “disturbance” - that Cheryl has implemented to get seeds growing as well as the fundamental purpose and incredible work that goes on at the California Seed Bank at California Botanic Garden.
This is a recording of our Arrange Wild class, a virtual program where participants learned how to make a flower arrangement with California native plants. We were thrilled to bring a little bit of our blooming garden right to people's homes! In this recording, you can 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. There are actually three species that reside here - the western gray squirrel, ground squirrel and eastern fox squirrel. Of the three, the fox squirrel is invasive, a species that was brought to Southern California by human means. Its presence here brings up questions about the future of our western gray squirrels in the garden, as fox squirrels have been displacing and extricating our native tree squirrel here in the LA basin.
On this episode, we talk with squirrel expert and Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences of Cal State LA, Alan Muchlinski. Alan has been researching the impacts of fox squirrels on our native western gray squirrels for decades and has spent the past 11 years studying the populations of these two squirrel species at the Garden. He has discovered some interesting relationships and surprising correlations about our resident squirrels. Tune in to hear more about this epic saga of the most squirrelly nature.
This video is a recording of the Taste Wild virtual event hosted by California Botanic Garden (CalBG). Participants enjoyed a delicious spread of desserts lovingly crafted with native flowers, herbs and other ingredients. The virtual event provided a tasting experience with CalBG staff, As You Like It Events & Catering and Abe Sanchez of the Chia Café Collective (CCC). As You Like It prepared all of the desserts and provided culinary expertise and recommendations. Abe shared the amazing culinary uses, cultural legacies and health benefits of the remarkable species incorporated into each dessert. 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 and provide a bounty of herbs and even fruit!
There are many species of native butterflies in California. These winged gems, symbols of beauty, depend on California native plants for survival. We call this the butterfly connection!
We are unfortunately unable to open our beloved Butterfly Pavilion this year, an exhibit that showcases native butterflies and their favorite host and nectar plants, but we are excited to share the wonders of these remarkable organisms with you virtually. Join us in conversation with 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! Whether you have a big backyard or a balcony, you can cultivate plants that support and draw in these gorgeous creatures. From the iconic monarchs to dazzling tiger swallowtails, California dogfaces to the masses of painted ladies, California is abounding with butterflies. But these important pollinators could use many more native plants as further habitat is disturbed and developed. Give them a hand (or host or nectar plant) and support our local butterflies!
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. Hidden Lake bluecurls (Trichostema austromontanum ssp. compactum) live only along the shoreline of Mt San Jacinto's only lake, one that appears and disappears like a mirage depending upon annual precipitation. This adorable plant — tiny, aromatic and purple-flowered — was once considered so threatened that it was federally listed. Thanks to the remarkable work of California Botanic Garden's Conservation Programs, California State Parks and US Fish and Wildlife Service, this species has been successfully delisted because of important protective measures and field research conducted by these agencies.
In this episode we 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. First is a period of sharing observations of nature in and around our neighborhoods followed by a period of identifying the species that were observed.
We hope you join us to learn more about the nature around us! As we stay safe at home and in our neighborhoods this year, we have a chance to better understand the biodiversity in our cities and communities.
April 11-19 is Native Plant Week! We are celebrating a bit differently during these challenging times by taking a moment each day to appreciate the fabulous native plants that live right next door. On this week's episode, Native Plants Next Door, we're partnering with the fabulous California Native Plant Society to discuss the local plants that live in our communities and the actions we can take to care for these botanical neighbors.
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. From the stately coast live oak on the street corner, to a flourish of wildflowers in a roadway median, to the chaparral that brushes up against the backyard. For many of us, our home gardens also contribute native plant neighbors. 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! Will she uncover the skeleton of a vole, shrew or other rodent?
As you walk your neighborhood, see if you can spot evidence of barn owls. If you want to try your own owl pellet dissection, we recommend @Acorn Naturalists as a great source: https://www.acornnaturalists.com/.
The majority of ferns used in California landscapes are non-native and water-loving; low-water-use alternatives are rarely available. We're working to introduce five native, low-water-use fern species to the nursery trade that are uniquely adapted to California's Mediterranean climate.
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 established them in test plots at CalBG. Ashlee will share progress on our horticultural trials aimed at testing the viability of chaparral ferns in the home landscape.
Lucinda McDade, Executive Director, will shed light on the ecology of these chaparral ferns including how they interact (or not) with herbivores.
Join David Bryant, Director of Visitor Experience, on a rainy day adventure and meet some California native plants that are more thirsty than most! From giant chain ferns to seep monkeyflowers, there are some fabulous plants that appreciate a bigger gulp of water here in our Golden State and in our home gardens. Find out who on this virtual Garden tour!
California native plants are the perfect choice for home gardeners in California! They can be exquisitely beautiful, are often quintessentially water-wise, support a vibrant web of life and speak to an aesthetic unique to California.
In today's episode, we're going to learn some foolproof native plants to consider in your home garden or landscape. 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. We'll also ask members of our Horticulture team about what plants they've found to be fairly indestructible and garden-friendly in their experience cultivating California natives.
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. He has fallen out of his nest not once, but twice, and to keep things light in these very challenging times, I'm going to fastforward and say he is safe now and cuddled up with mom in a Cadillac of owl's nests. 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! These are challenging times and we hope these tours spread a little botanical joy. Please consider supporting us at www.calbg.org. See you on the next tour
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.