Native artisan baskets and pottery

The beauty of California lies not only in our remarkable flora, but in its people as well. For the indigenous peoples of the region, native plants often became cultural pillars.

The gift shop at the Garden is now featuring traditional willow and wiregrass baskets and clay pottery hand made by Pai Pai and Kumeyaay Indians tribes in Baja California, Mexico.

RSABG co-hosts 2010 National Children and Youth Garden Symposium

American Horticultural Society’s National Children and Youth Garden Symposium “The Vitality of Gardens: Energizing the Learning Environment.” The three-day event will be held in the heart of downtown Pasadena at The Westin Pasadena on Thursday, July 22 through Saturday, July 24, 2010.

Claremont High School students show off research at RSABG

Claremont High School students dove into fieldwork at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden this year. Now the group of 40 juniors and seniors in Carly McKean’s International Baccalaureate Environmental Systems and Societies classes are planning a celebration highlighting their research at the Garden on Friday, June 4, 2010, at 3:15 p.m. at the Garden.

The students’ research involved monitoring chaparral and dessert habitats at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. McKean asked the students to create experiments that involved two ecological tools that allow scientists to measure the abundance of organisms in an area. Projects included transect and quadrat studies to monitor the impact of introduced weed species on native plant biodiversity. The students will report on their findings to date. This is the beginning of a long-term study that will be continued in years to come by McKean’s students.

“Outdoor field studies is especially suited to engage students in science,” says Director of Education Lorrae Fuentes at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. “Observations made in the field stimulate students to produce their own questions. The results of these inquiries are often unexpected, but rarely are they uninteresting. Ultimately students gain skills and understanding needed to critically evaluate the important current issues in science and the environment.” 

“This [the Garden] is such an amazing resource for us,” says McKean.

Green Tips for Earth Day

April 22, 2010 marks the 40th anniversary for Earth Day. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is celebrating Earth Day by offering Southern California gardeners 10 simple tips to help make green thumbs even greener. By using California native plants, local gardeners can reduce water bills, spruce up their garden and invest in their local environment.

“Native plantings in the landscape work with our hot dry climate without requiring a large input of resources in the way of water, pesticides or fertilizers,” says Director of Horticulture Susan Jett at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden.  “But the real selling point is their incredible beauty and habitat value.”

According to The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California typical landscape irrigation in hot, dry areas can account for 70 percent of the summer water use for single-family homes. These 10 steps can help reduce water usage in the garden.
 

RSABG chosen Best of LA 2010

The Garden was named LA Weekly’s “Best Place to Grow your Own” in the publication’s “Best of L.A. 2010” edition. The private, non-profit botanic garden is dedicated exclusively to California’s native plants. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden (RSABG) also operates two native plant nurseries, one in Claremont and a second in Westwood, Los Angeles.

Jedd Birkner wrote in LA Weekly “See what would actually be growing here without watering before we arrived and started pouring asphalt and laying down PVC. Then go to the adjacent Grow Native Nursery. Buy it. Plant it. Save water. Save L.A.”

An active partner with the California Native Plant Society, RSABG displays about 2,000 taxa of California plants and has several conservation programs, including one of the largest herbariums in the U.S., an extensive seed conservation program and a living collection that includes tens of thousands of plants.

RSABG has been affiliated with The Claremont Colleges since 1951 when the Garden operation was moved to Claremont from Santa Ana. Claremont Graduate University’s Botany Program is based at the Garden.

Read more about the award at LA Weekly’s website.
 

Rare Plant Treasure Hunt

You'll never look at the desert the same way!

The Rare Plant Treasure Hunt is a citizen science project of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) funded in part by grants from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management.

Teams of botanists and amateur plant detectives venture out into public lands across the state to record rare plant occurrences.

World travelers: RSABG botanists

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden faculty and research scientists are a jet setting crew. Frequently on the go, RSABG botanists travel around the world for field research and to collaborate with fellow researchers. Here's a run down of recent trips by three research scientists.

Botany Students Land Research Grants

The research undertaken by the majority of our graduate students involves field and lab work. Fieldwork can be expensive, especially when foreign travel is involved. Some laboratory research is inexpensive (e.g., gathering data on the anatomical structures of plants), but other aspects of lab work, most notably gathering DNA data is costly. For these reasons, as well as acquiring grant writing skills can be an essential part of graduate education.

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.