Lenz Sculpture Collection

Escutcheon, Mythical Bird, Contemplations and Silent Sentinel—all gifts of Dr. Lee W. Lenz, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden director emeritus—now comprise the Lee W. Lenz Sculpture Collection.

On October 26, 2011, the Board formally proclaimed the Lenz Sculpture Collection, consisting of all current and future pieces of artwork donated by Lenz, as a tribute to his long-time support of the art collection at RSABG.

A Manzanita Lost and Found

The Franciscan manzanita, unseen in the wild for eight decades, made headlines around the country when it was found.

by Bart O'Brien

“I garnered it ghoulishly in a gunnysack” said the famous California botanist Lester Rowntree of her late night procurement of one of the last wild specimens of the San Francisco manzanita (Arctostaphylos franciscana) from the Laurel Hill Cemetery in San Francisco in 1947.

Searching for the Plant Families

Scientists have been conducting research at the Garden since 1930. Today, discoveries in the critical fields of plant systematics and evolution are forging ahead with support from the NSF, other research grants and private contributions from RSABG donors.

by Laura Tiffany

Scientists have been conducting research at the Garden since 1930. Today, discoveries in the critical fields of plant systematics and evolution are forging ahead with support from the NSF, other research grants and private contributions from RSABG donors.

Plant Safari

J. Travis Columbus, RSABG research scientist and Claremont Graduate University botany professor, and Amanda Ingram, biology professor at Wabash College, chose an excellent year for field research in South Africa and Namibia.

Earlier rains served up a terrific season for regional chloridoid grasses and consequently offered ample successful collecting trips. The three-month trek, with funding from the National Science Foundation, concluded in April 2011 with a visit to the Skeleton Coast of Namibia.

Botanizing Around the Globe

RSABG botanists conduct fieldwork in Tanzania, Africa; Guyana, South America and North America.

J. Travis Columbus, CGU professor of botany and RSABG research scientist, Amanda Fisher, RSABG postdoctoral fellow, and Amanda Ingram, Wabash College professor of biology, traveled to Tanzania to study and collect chloridoid grasses including Halopyrum mucronatum (pictured right).

Porter and Morawetz NSF Grant Awards

The Research Department currently holds 11 National Science Foundation grants.

Champagne was popped to celebrate the most recent National Science Foundation grant recipients—J. Mark Porter and Jeffery J. Morawetz.

J. Mark Porter, CGU associate professor of botany and RSABG research scientist, has been awarded a three-year grant to study the plant genus Loeselia that is a member of the Phlox family (Polemoniaceae). This funding, among other endeavors, will support Porter’s fieldwork in areas where this genus occurs in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama. With this extensive sampling, supplemented with collections made by a Colombian colleague, Porter will be able to help clarify the relationships within this fascinating genus.

Jeffery J. Morawetz, The Fletcher Jones Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at RSABG, and colleague Christopher Randle at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, also received a three-year grant for their proposal “Systematic Investigation of Tropical Diversity in Orobanchaceae.” Morawetz and Randle are investigating the evolution of parasitism, and biodiversity, within the poorly known and understudied tropical lineage of the broomrape family. Their fieldwork will take them to four continents—North and South America (Mexico and Brazil), Asia (China) and Africa (Kenya and Madagascar).