Thursday, March 18, 2010

It Begins...

Muilla coronata-a rare desert plant

Welcome to the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Blog. The Treasure Hunt has now begun. Things are starting to bloom and it's time to get out into the wild and search for California's rare treasures!

What is the Treasure Hunt?
The Rare Plant Treasure Hunt is a new program started by the California Native Plant Society (CNPS). Volunteers will look all over California searching for rare plants and documenting their locations. Individuals can go into the field with established groups, form their own teams or go out alone to search. Teams or individuals that have documented the most rare plants by the end of the season will also win prizes!

Why is it important?
This effort is largely to help us conserve California's native rare plants, but we can't conserve them if we don't know where they are. Today, over 2200 of California's plants (that's about 30% of the native flora) are considered rare by CNPS. Despite our best efforts, the current status of many of these plant populations isn't well known. Location information for thousands of rare plants hasn't been updated for decades. We need your help to find these plants!

Who can participate?
Anyone! You don't have to be a botanist or know anything about plants. Just have a willingness to learn and a desire to conserve rare plants.

How can I participate?
Contact me at and to receive all the materials you need to get started or to sign up for a field trip. For more information on the program, go to

Field Trips:
There will be many field trips throughout the season. Each field trip will be lead by experienced botanists.

Thursday-Friday, April 1-2 Carrizo Plain Treasure Hunt.
Join us for a search at the Carrizo Plain National Monument! Come for one day or all three days. Details to follow.

Wednesday-Saturday, April 7-11th Mojave Desert Excursion.
We will be searching all over the Mojave for rare plants. Join us for all or part of the trip. We will be camping, which is a great way to get the full Mojave experience. Meeting time and place details to follow.

Clark Mtns in the East Mojave Desert

Saturday, April 17th El Paso Wash, Indian Wells Valley Field Trip
We will explore the area southwest of Ridgecrest (north drainage of El Paso Mountains) that is the proposed site for the Solar Millennium Ridgecrest project. Ileene Anderson, Center for Biological Diversity biologist, has given us some guidelines. “Eschscholzia minutiflora ssp. twisselmanii (Red Rock poppy), Cymopterus deserticola (Desert cymopterus), Phacelia nashiana (Charlotte’s phacelia). We might also spot a Desert Tortoise munching on wildflowers!

Meet at 9:00 AM at the intersection of Brown Road & Powerline Road. That’s 7 miles south of the intersection of Hwy 178 and Brown Road in Inyokern or 2.9 miles west of the intersection of Hwy 395 and Brown Road (coming from Ridgecrest). Passenger cars OK to meeting site. Bring water, snacks, hat, sunscreen, Jepson Desert Manual, notebook and pencil, camera.

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome idea. I'm always interested in learning more about plants. If I lived in California, I'd be there!