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.

Two New DIGG Awards

Diana Jolles and Jose Zúñiga, Claremont Graduate University botany doctoral candidates, have both received Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants (DDIG), a highly-competitive grant funded by the National Science Foundation.

Jolles’ DDIG grant supports her travels to the southern- and northern-most edges of the range of Pyrola picta (in the Ericaceae or Heath Family) to observe their natural history and collect specimens between June and August 2012. She will travel to the Sierra San Pedro Mártir in Baja California, the north coast of British Columbia, and the southeastern coast of Alaska. Collections will be used for genetic analyses, detailed morphological study and will be accessioned in the RSABG herbarium.

Botanists Travel Briefs

Field work furthers RSABG scientific and student research

McDade and Kiel in Costa Rica

Lucinda McDade, Judith B. Friend Director of Research and Professor and Chair of the Claremont Graduate University Botany Department at RSABG, and doctoral candidate Carrie Kiel traveled to Costa Rica in January to collect members of Acanthaceae.

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.

CPC Annual Meeting 2012

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is hosting the Center for Plant Conservation’s national meeting on April 18-21.

The Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) is a consortium of 36 botanic gardens or plant conservation organizations dedicated to saving plants from extinction in the U.S. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) was a charter member of the CPC, which was founded in 1984.

The four-day conference brings together conservation professionals from across the U.S. for workshops, presentations, tours to help conserve rare or endangered flora.

New Student Grants and Visiting Scientists

Hasenstab-Lehman Earns Research Grants

Doctoral candidate Kristen Hasenstab-Lehman recently received a highly competive graduate student research fellowship from the Torrey Botanical Society. The fellowship will support fieldwork for her doctoral dissertation on the genus Varronia and other members of the Boraginaceae (Borage Family). This grant brings the number of RSABG botany students who have received the Torrey Botanical Society prestigious fellowship to four.

David Rogers' Big Bugs

Big Bugs was exhibited at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden February through July 2012.

Rogers' playful art installation skews scale and creates an environment that shrinks visitors and enlarges common creatures to uncommon proportions.

Insects are often taken for granted. But these little creatures outnumber us one million to one. Many live in communal groups working as one for the common good. Their ranks include engineers, soldiers, weightlifters, weavers, hunters, stalkers, gatherers and even royalty.

Horticulture and Propagation of Native Plants at the Garden

Horticulture and Propagation of California Native Plants at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden 1950-70

"A Second Summary of the Culture of California Plants at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, 1950-1970." Download the PDF.

Authored by Percy C. Everett; Edited by Bart O'Brien. Published by Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden March 2012. 

The Mediterranean City Conference 2012

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is proud to be a 2012 endorsing organization for The Mediterranean City conference, to be held in Los Angeles June 25 through 27.

The Mediterranean City: A Conference on Climate Change Adaptation will initiate an ongoing collaboration of cities working together to share ideas, needs and strategies to realistically adapt to the current and future impacts of climate change as they similarly affect the five Mediterranean-climate regions of the world. The conference will bring together an international network of experts from the academic, policy, business, public health and government worlds, and will stand as an example for how cities can work together across regional and national boundaries to bring more resources and knowledge to building solutions.

USFWS 2011 Recovery Champion

In March, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden was selected as one of the 2011 Recover Champions.

RSABG, one of two award recipients from the Pacific Southwest Region, was selected for the recovery work being done to conserve more than 100 federally listed plants.