Monday, June 28, 2010

Read All About It...

We made it into the San Francisco Chronicle! Read about two journalists' take on the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt and the trip that they made searching for rare plants on Mount Diablo.

Monday, June 21, 2010

In the Mountains

It's that time of year when botanists start to head up to the mountains to find things blooming. I just got back from a field trip in the southern Sierra Nevadas with Kern County CNPS Chapter members and look at what we found.

Phacelia exilis, list 4.2. The rare lavendar windows flower
Calochortus westonii, list 1B.2. A rare marioposa lily

Monday, June 14, 2010

Enlisting the Boy Scouts

When it comes to service the Boy Scouts are very giving. I enlisted their help on a treasure hunt to find this rare variety of cactus, Opuntia basilaris var. brachyclada. They found several populations. Good job Scouts!
An exciting snakeskin find!

Monday, June 7, 2010


The great thing about the desert is it always suprises you. You never know what you will find or what will be in the next wash or on the next hill. Two weeks ago we were in the field and it started to hail! That's what is covering my hat below.Then we ran into a herd of wild burros, two of which are pictured below. Not exactly great for plant life, but a part of the desert nonetheless.
Here we found the largest indigo bush I've ever seen. Beautiful.

And our best suprise, the rare penstemon-Penstemon fruticiformis var. amargosae!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Even Kids Like It!

Sorry for my delinquent blogging hardcore fans, but I have been in the field a lot and finding all sorts of goodies. Here are some of the latest pictures. Look at my flickr page for more photos.
These kids were happy to join us on a field trip and were very adept at finding cacti and yucca. They loved being outside, seeing and learning about wildflowers and chasing after a lizard or two.
A rare desert mallow, Sphaeralcea rusbyi var. eremicola, with highly dissected leaves.
Below: Cymopterus gilmanii, a rare find from the carrot and parsely family, can you see the resemblance? (but p.s. don't eat it!)
And for the pièce de résistance I present the White Bear Poppy, Arctomecon merriamii, which has eluded me until now. When I finally saw it I shrieked for joy. Every part of it is lovely and delicate, even the very fuzzy leaves. You too can find such treasures although you may have to climb a little farther than you thought you would, it's so worth it!