Fraga Awarded 2010 Switzer Fellowship

Naomi Fraga, Ph.D. candidate in the Botany Department at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) and Claremont Graduate University, has been awarded a Switzer Environmental Fellowship. Each scholar receives $15,000 to help with the expenses related to completing their masters or doctor degrees. This year, only 21 fellowships were awarded to emerging environmental leaders who are currently pursuing advance degrees that will enable them to address critical environmental challenges.

Rare Botanical Folk Art Revealed

A future exhibition at The Huntington will feature extraordinary botanical art safeguarded for decades in Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden’s herbarium and library collections.

Rare botanical artwork squirreled away among the pressed plant specimens in the herbarium and the library’s special collections at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) is scheduled for debut as part of a temporary art instillation at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in 2013. The exhibition, under a propitious motif titled “When They Were Wild: Capturing California’s Wildflower Heritage,” is a result of a collaborative effort between RSABG, The Huntington and the Theodore Payne Foundation.

Curating the plant specimens of the Thorne collection

Last year the RSABG herbarium was awarded an NSF grant to process the backlog of unaccessioned specimens from Professor Robert Thorne’s botanical collecting around the world.

Thorne, emeritus curator and professor, retired after a distinguished career at RSABG. The specimens in question have been held at an off-site storage facility; they urgently need to be processed and placed in the herbarium to be properly cared for and, as importantly, to be available for researchers to study. As of this year 4,000 of an estimated total of 10,000 specimens have been prepped and are ready to be mounted.

New articles by Professor Prince

Professor Linda Prince’s research examines two very different groups of flowering plants—members of the dicot tea family (Theaceae), and two families of the monocot ginger order: the prayer plant family (Marantaceae), and canna lilies (Cannaceae)—to further understand phylogenetic framework, to clarify evolutionary relationships among plant groups.

RSABG Research Welcomes Visiting Scholars

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is pleased to welcome visiting sabbatical professors Carolyn Ferguson and Mark Mayfield, both from Kansas State University and Carlos García-Verdugo de Lucas, Fulbright postdoctoral researcher for the spring of 2011.

Carolyn Ferguson, associate professor of biology at Kansas State University and curator of the KSU Herbarium, studies Phlox, a genus of about 70 species of plants found mostly in North America.

Sorting out the Ruellieae Family Tree

Researching a diverse and widespread plant family, scientists at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and visiting scientists from Ethiopia are delving into the importance of biodiversity.

Erin Tripp, principal investigator and post-doctoral researcher at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG), along with co-principal investigator Lucinda McDade, Judith B. Friend Director of Research at RSABG, are reconstructing the phylogenetic tree (family tree) of the plant lineage Ruellieae to further scientific understanding of the diversity of life.

'Reimagining the California Lawn'

Three horticultural experts, educators and designers offer a might tome full of turf grass alternatives.

With more than 300 color images, the second collaboration of Carol Bornstein, David Fross and Bart O’Brien offer oodles of design inspiration, detailed plant profiles of water-conserving plants from around the world and practical solutions for home gardeners.

The authors will be at the Garden on Sunday, April 17, 1 p.m., for a special presentation and book signing for “Reimagining the California Lawn” (Cachuma Press, March 2011). Refreshments will be provided. The book will be for sale at the California Garden Shop at RSABG. This event is free; no Garden admission necessary for book-signing attendees.

Bornstein, Fross and O’Brien collaborated on “California Native Plants for the Garden,” published by Cachuma Press in 2005.

Read more about “Reimagining the California Lawn” in a recent L.A. Time article.

Claremont Unified School Board honors RSABG

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden was recognized as a Claremont Unified School District partner at a recent Board of Education meeting on Thursday, May 5, 2011.

The presentation from the school board at a regularly schedule board meeting recognized the outstanding educational opportunities provided by the District’s partnership with Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and for the ongoing commitment to Claremont students, faculty and staff.

BCM Foundation Grant Helps Kids Get Outdoor Education

As Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) continues to grow as a leading native plant, ethnobotany and natural history of California resource for educators, k-12 students and families, the BCM Foundation awarded RSABG a $35,000 grant to strengthen and expand environmental education offerings.

“This grant underscores a growing need for environmental education among our state’s schools that would otherwise be unable to afford quality programming,” said Eric Garton, RSABG director of visitor services. “And the children we serve because of this funding stand a far greater chance of being inspired and compelled to become the future environmental stewards.”

Solarization of Fay's Wildflower Meadow

Fay's Wildflower Meadow was completely covered with impermeable plastic sheeting this August as the first step in solarizing the soil. Solarization is a low-cost, non-toxic method for weed control, in which the area is mowed, watered and covered with clear plastic for several months during the summer. The heat of the sun turns the trapped moisture to steam which kills pathogens and weed seeds. This is a great example of using natural processes to maintain a landscape instead of chemicals.

Make Room for Wildlife

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is a Certified Wildlife Habitat

This won’t come as a surprise if you’ve been to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, but in August the National Wildlife Federation recognized us as an official Certified Wildlife Habitat site.

From hawks to butterflies, the Garden attracts a multitude of wildlife. Habitats not only nurture year-round resident birds but also provide stopover sites for migratory birds. Biologist Mark Hostetier of the University of Florida says that “urban environments are an important factor in the future conservation of many species. Not only has urban sprawl grown into the paths of stopover sites on bird flyways, but the sheer volume of human development has changed the amount of area available for nesting and overwintering.”