Fall 2002 Newsletter
Redbud Chapter Newsletter Vol. 11, No.4, Sept. 2002
Wild Lilies of California
Redbud member, Brad Carter, spent six months of 2002 traveling throughout northern California and photographing members of the Lily Family (Liliaceae). Brad will share his experiences in the field hunting for the rare Western Lily, (Lilium occidentale), Redwood Lily (L. rubescens) and Bolander's Lily (L. bolanderi). We'll be treated to photographs of many uncommon Fritillaries, Wild Onions, Brodiaeas and Mariposa Lilies from Brad's collection. His slide presentation on October 23 will be a preview of his work in progress—an illustrated guidebook on the large and fascinating Liliaceae Family in California.
Brad has a Bachelor's degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Cal Poly, San Louis Obispo and an MBA from UC Irvine. He worked at several botanical gardens in southern California, including UC Irvine's Arboretum, where he was curator of a large collection of California and South African bulbous plants. In 1999 he moved to Tampa, Florida, to serve as Director of the University of South Florida Botanical Garden. In July 2001, Brad returned to California to resume work on his Lily book and to make his home near Grass Valley.
Nancy and Ames Gilbert of Far West Bulb Farm will bring bulbs for fall planting & info on growing native lilies. (However, their stock of Lilium humboldtii bulbs is sold out for 2002.) They've created a beautiful and interesting new web site: www.californianativebulbs.com.
To get there: The library is located at 980 Helling Way, Nevada City. At the intersection of Hwy 49 & 20 in Nevada City, turn west toward Downieville on Hwy 49. At about 1 mile, turn right at the Nevada County Government Center & follow the signs to the library.
The Los Angelization of Placer County
In spite of a General Plan that envisions doubling the Placer County population in the next 20 years, that isn't fast enough for a few powerful land speculators. Plans are moving forward that will ensure an endless spread of suburbs and strip malls across all of western Placer County, destroying open space, wildlife habitat, oak woodlands, and prime agricultural land forever.
The forces behind these plans are not deterred by the following facts:
What is happening? What can we do about it? Come and find out!
Ed Pandolfino serves as Placer County Conservation Chair for the Sierra Foothills Audubon Society and is a member of the Mother Lode Chapter of the Sierra Club. While currently working with Placer County officials on promoting open space, Ed also finds time to be an avid birder and enjoys working on forest issues. For information contact Cathie at 530-878-9116.
To get there: From Hwy 49 in Auburn, just after 49 passes under I-80, there is a T intersection. Continue straight ahead at this intersection to the Auburn Civic Center. The building looks like an old school. Go to the large parking lot behind the building & look for the Rose Room entrance.
Mark your calendar for the Oct. 23 and Nov. 6 Chapter meetings!
Take a few minutes at the Sept. 21 Plant Sale to look at the noxious weeds exhibit. We'll have new brochures by the Nevada Placer Weed Management Area. Many aggressively invasive non-natives are still being used in landscapes and gardens. Here are just a few examples: English Ivy (Hedera helix), Jubata Grass (Cortaderia jubata), St. John's Wort (Hypericum perfoliatum), Periwinkle (Vinca major), Salt Cedar / Tamarix (Tamarix chinensis, T. gallica, T. parviflora, T. ramosossima), Giant Reed (Arundo donax), and French Broom (Genista monspessulara)
Recommended web sites for more detailed info and photos are:
Sunday Oct 20, Sausal Creek Field Trip 10am-3pm
Have you ever wished you had more help carrying out native plant protection and restoration projects? Would you like a paid staff member to take on some tasks? Want to find out how you can find funds to support activities that will educate about, protect, and restore native plant communities? If so, this is the conference for you!
The goals of this conference are to function as a springboard for creating partnerships between non-profits, businesses and government agencies interested in increasing the use of California native plants. The registration fee for the conference is $20. This includes morning and afternoon refreshments, lunch, and a wine and cheese. The field trip is $10. Attendance is limited to 80 at the conference and 30 on the field trip. This event is expected to fill, so don't be disappointed; register early!
Please make your checks out to CNPS. Send your check and a self-addressed, stamped envelope (or e-mail address) to: Kathy Kramer, CNPS Education Coordinator, 1718 Hillcrest Road, San Pablo CA 94806. Questions? Call (510) 236-9558 between 9 am and 9 pm, or e-mail Kathy(at)KKramerConsulting.net.
Redbud Chapter has donated plants to start the new native plant garden next to the Visitors' Center. Please call Mary Miller at 530-432-4255 to help with planting.
By Paul Recer, Associated Press
The ancestor of all the grains, fruits, and blossoms of the modern world may have been a fragile water plant that lived in a Chinese lake 125 million years ago.
The plant, called Archaefructus sinensis for "ancient fruit from China," is of a species never before seen and carries the clear characteristics of the most primitive of flowering plants, said David Dilcher of the Florida Museum of Natural History and the University of Florida.
"It is like the mother of all flowering plants," said Dilcher, co-author of a study appearing Friday in the journal Science. "It changes our whole impression of what is the oldest of all flowering plants."
Botanists had long considered a woody plant from New Caledonia as the most ancient of flowering plants. Dilcher said the new discover precedes that magnolia-like species.
The discovery also suggests that flowering plants got their start as herbs growing in shallow pools and were able to reproduce quickly, a distinct advantage for survival, said Dilcher. Archaefructus "was not a flashy flower," he said. The plant's flowering part had no real petals but acted only as a reproductive unit.
"The reason we can say it is a flowering plant is that the seed is enclosed inside of carpels of the fruit," said Dilcher. "That is primary key." A carpel is the female part of a flower.
Dilcher said that Archaefructus apparently lived in clear, shallow pools, with its flowers and seeds extending above the water surface. Its leaves probably were submerged, he said, and the limbs were partially supported by the water. The plant rooted in the floor of the lake.
The best evidence of its waterlogged lifestyle is that fossils of nine fish were found among the branches of the plant in the slab of stone dug from the ancient lake, he said. "The closest modern relative is probably the water lily," said Dilcher.
At the time the plant thrived, 125 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed the Earth and the early ancestors of mammals were tiny creatures skittering among the rocks.
Dilcher said the lake were the plant lived was near erupting volcanoes. The plant was buried and preserved by a heavy fall of volcanic ash.
Other experts in Science said it will require more examination of Archaefructus before it is generally accepted as the most ancient of flowering plants. But Peter Raven of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis said it "may be the most significant flowering plant ever found."
by Arthur M. Shapiro, Ph.D.
Butterfly gardening in the foothills is different from butterfly gardening in the Central Valley. In the Valley, most of the butterfly species are weedy, highly dispersive, multiple-brooded, reach highest densities in the autumn, and depend on a combination of introduced plants (weeds and cultivated species) and irrigation for their continued presence. In the foothills, though some of these weedy species still occur, most of the butterflies are native, adapted to the foothill climate and thus restricted to one or two broods a year in spring, and less likely to feel at home in a garden. You have many more species nearby to the foothills, but may have a lot less action to see in your garden!
Your strategy and success gardening for butterflies in the foothills will depend heavily on your landscape surroundings.
There are very special butterflies that feed as larvae on MacNab Cypress, Leather Oak (Serpentine Scrub Oak, Quercus durata, pine mistletoes, etc. - watch for them.
With so many local situations to take into account, gardening hints for the foothills can only scratch the surface. Keep the following in mind:
Few butterfly species can maintain an ongoing population within the confines of a residential lot, even a big one. If you get breeding, it will be as part of a larger metapopulation whose borders are constantly changing. Remember that an ongoing population requires larval host plants, pupation sites, adult food supply, and mating sites (which may require male territories).
The principal function of a butterfly garden is to intercept individual butterflies as they move through an area and detain them where they can be observed and enjoyed. Occasionally, one can actually boost numbers by planting nectar sources or larval hosts if these are in short supply. More often, one is just moving individuals around, from one place to another.
Valuable natural history data can be obtained from a butterfly garden.
Skillful planting will enable you to maximize both the number of individuals and the number of species you see, but be realistic in your expectations - don't expect endangered species to breed in your backyard.
***THIS LIST IS BY NO MEANS EXCLUSIVE***TRY EXPERIMENTING!***
PS: WEEDS THAT BUTTERFLIES LOVE (not already mentioned)
All the following are host plants of butterflies in our area!
Guess what? Poison Oak is of no butterfly importance whatsoever!