Volume 21 No. 5 September 2001
THE CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY
Volume 21 No. 5 September 2001
September Meeting: Our September meeting will be in the Mammoth Lakes area at the Green Church. Michael Honer, a graduate student at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, will give a slide-illustrated talk based on his research on the Flora of the Glass Mountains. Michael has spent two field seasons collecting in the range, and was one of our first two recipients of a Mary Dedecker Botanical Grant. The meeting will be on Wednesday, September 26, and will begin at 7pm. The Green Church is on HWY. 395 at Benton Crossing Road.
The November meeting will again be our annual potluck and member slide show. Pull together some slides to show, and watch for more information in the November newsletter.
NEXT CHAPTER BOARD MEETING
Tuesday, September 18 at 7:00 p.m. at Sally and Daniel’s house at 401 E. Yaney Street. All chapter members are welcome and encouraged to attend.
Acting President's Message:
As our long, hot, dry, smoky summer ever so slowly changes into Fall, it's time again to think about either heading to the beach, floating the Owens River, or coming to our Fifth Annual Native Plant Sale. The sale will offer a great variety of local natives ready for planting in your garden. Karen has more information available in the following pages of the newsletter.
Another activity you might think about is volunteering with our local Bristlecone Chapter. You get what you put into CNPS, and we are only as strong as our volunteers. Our Board will soon be short of a few elected positions, so if you're interested you can contact Sally Manning, the Nominations Committee Chairperson. I want to thank Mark Bagley for organizing our Field Trip schedule for the past several years, but he is stepping down so we need a Field Trip Chairperson. I also want to thank Cecil Patrick for handling tee-shirt sales, and thanks to Jerry Zatorski for taking over as our new tee-shirt salesman. We still need someone to fill the vacant Education Chair (hey, it's comfortable), and we also need someone to handle Hospitality for our 5 meetings a year (many perks).
I also want to thank our many volunteers on the Board and in the background who do so much to make our CNPS chapter the envy of the nation, or at least the envy of the other 30 CNPS chapters.
... Stephen Ingram
Native Plant Sale
Tri-County Fairgrounds, Bishop
Another plant sale, our fifth one, is just around the corner. Once again, all the plants were grown from locally collected seeds and cuttings, ensuring that these plants are well-adapted to grow in our high desert climate. While two dry years have taken their toll on seed quality and thus plant numbers, we will have a nice variety of species this year. There will be about 50 different species offered for sale.
Some of the highlights are plants for creeksides or moist places such as yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Red columbine (Aquilegia formosa), and three different monkeyflowers (Mimulus cardinalis, guttatus, and lewisii). Plant these hummingbird and butterfly favorites under a Western hackberry tree (Celtis reticulata) or a Velvet ash tree (Fraxinus velutina). Another little treasure to tuck into a shady place is Coral bells (Heuchera rubescens).
The sophisticated gardener will want to eschew the gaudy penstemons and grab some grasses such as Great Basin wild rye (Leymus cinereus), Alkali sacaton (Sporobolis airoides), Alkali muhley (Muhlenbergia asperifolia), and the paradoxically showy Needle and thread grass (Hesperostipa comata). Grasses have great wildlife value from the goldfinches who perform acrobatic maneuvers to nab seeds, to the many species of butterflies who uses the Poaceae, or grass family, as larval foods.
There is no reason to deny ourselves all flashiness when we have the Inyo bush lupine (Lupinus excubitus) in good quantities. This plant seems to thrive when pioneering in decomposed granite in full sun. Good companions from the Sagebrush scrub plant community for this beautiful lupine would be the fiery Scarlet milk-vetch (Astragalus coccineus) and the fragrant Desert Mountain penstemon (Penstemon fruticiformis).
Please check out the full species list and the planting guide on our website (www.bristleconecnps.org) or give Karen a call at 387-2913 with any questions.
NATIVE PLANT GARDEN
In memory of Mary DeDecker
Eastern California Museum
Arrangements for developing the native plant garden at the Eastern California Museum, commemorating Mary DeDecker, have been in the works for several months. The museum has already installed two sturdy bridges and a wheelchair-accessible trail. The site is ideal for educating museum visitors about the natural history of Eastern California in an outdoor setting, and we are thrilled to be able to showcase local native plants selected, germinated, and grown by chapter members. Donations of labor, materials, equipment rentals, and other forms of help are still most welcome. If you would like to become involved with this project, please contact Jerry Zatorski in Bishop at 872-3818 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Members and friends are currently needed to help with site preparation, planting, and periodic maintenance. Assistance will also be needed in preparing signs and other informative materials for museum visitors. Upcoming work days are scheduled as follows:
Saturday September 15, 8 a.m.: Prepare the site for planting by installing drip irrigation line and removing some on-site vegetation.
Saturday September 22, 8 a.m.: Prepare planting beds for young transplants and seeds.
Saturday September 29, 8 a.m.: Plant young transplants and some seeds.
Please bring work gloves, sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen, and snacks. Jerry will arrive at 8 a.m. each work day, and we expect to finish by early afternoon. The Eastern California Museum is located west of highway 395 at 155 N. Grant. Please contact Jerry for more information.
Botanical Grant Program
The Bristlecone Chapter of the California Native Plant Society is pleased to request applications for its small grants program in memory of renowned local botanist, Mary DeDecker. This program is a fitting way to remember Mary's many contributions to the people and plants of the eastern Sierra. The program will award up to two grants of not more than $500 each.
The purpose of these grants is to facilitate research and projects that increase the understanding and appreciation of our region's native flora and ecosystems. There are a wide range of appropriate possible subjects for funding, from basic taxonomic or ecological research to a school garden featuring native plants and their pollinators. The only requirement is that the project be relevant to the native plants of the northern Mojave Desert, Sierra Nevada, and Great Basin portions of eastern California.
The deadline for submission of grant proposals is November 16, 2001. To receive guidelines for the grant application or for more information, contact Karen Ferrell-Ingram at 140 Willow Road, Swall Meadows, CA 93514, or at (760) 387-2913 or email@example.com.
CNPS Bristlecone Chapter 2001 Fall Field Trip Schedule
October 13, Saturday. Parker Lake Hike, Mono Basin Fall Colors. Leaders: Cathy Rose and Kathy Duvall. Meet at the Crestview Rest Stop north of Mammoth Lakes on Hwy. 395 at 9:00 a.m. or at the Parker Lake trailhead at 9:45. (From the north June Lake Loop Road, drive 1.5 miles toward Grant Lake and turn right onto Parker Lake Rd. Go 2.4 miles to the trail head.) This will be an easy hike of 4 miles round trip, starting at 7950' elevation at the trail head and going up to 8400' at Parker Lake. After hiking over a perfectly formed terminal moraine, large old aspen, 6 types of conifers, huge mountain mahogany and other native shrubs will be seen. Besides colorful foliage, we will look for birds including the dipper along the stream leading up to the lake. Bring lunch and water. For more information call Cathy at 935-4329 or Kathy at 872-1466.
Everyone is welcome, including non-members, but please no pets. For all field trips, be sure to bring plenty of water, lunch, good walking shoes or boots, and appropriate clothing for hot sun or inclement weather. Also useful are a hand lens, plant books and floras. Trips leave at the time announced, so please arrive at the meeting site a few minutes early. Unless indicated, the average car should do fine. Car pooling is encouraged
Juniper Flat: An Opportunity Lost?
There has been much publicity recently in the local media regarding efforts by a coalition of groups to persuade Senator Barbara Boxer to sponsor legislation to give wilderness status to selected areas in the Eastern Sierra. The Bristlecone Chapter has gone on record supporting wilderness proposals in the northern Inyo Mountains. I personally believe wilderness designation is the single most effective way to further CNPS's mission of protecting native plants in their natural habitats.
The fact remains, however, that the Republican Party controls both the US House of Representatives and the Presidency and wilderness designation is not a priority for the Republicans. Whatever Senator Boxer does, I think it unlikely that any wilderness legislation will be enacted into law before the next presidential election.
I make this point because there is a very real and immediate threat to both native plants and wilderness which is being overlooked in the controversy about potential wilderness legislation. The same astronomers (the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter Astronomy a.k.a. CARMA) who recently attempted to build an observatory at Upper Harkless Flat have now set their sights upon another beautiful, undisturbed basin surrounded by limestone ridges in the northern Inyo Mountains. They have named this one "Juniper Flat".
Officially, it is within a "roaded area" in the Inyo National Forest. It adjoins a designated wilderness on one side, however, and a formally designated "Inventoried Roadless Area" on the other. Anyone who can visit the site, and (without looking at a map) determine where the legally designated wilderness and Inventoried Roadless areas end and the "roaded area" begins has better eyes than I do (or else has been working for the Forest Service too long)! This is a de facto wilderness if there ever was one. And of course, being in the Inyos there are CNPS—listed species all around. I counted six in the course of one afternoon.
The threat to Juniper Flat merits the attention of wilderness advocates. Ironically, a letter to the Inyo Register in June argued against the proposed observatory not on the grounds of disturbing wilderness values but because the proposal would create another "off-limits" area on public land -- the same argument which is often made against wilderness designation! It would seem that opposition to the proposed construction at Juniper Flat is an issue on which many people can agree. Instead of recognizing an opportunity for cooperation, however, both pro- and anti-wilderness partisans remain locked in confrontation while time runs out for Juniper Flat.
Supervisor Jeff Bailey is responsible for the management of the Inyo National Forest. If he is not convinced the proposed construction is an appropriate use of Juniper Flat he is under no obligation to act upon CARMAs' application for the needed Special Use Permit (SUP). CARMA announced last May that it hoped to submit its SUP application late this summer.
Please visit Juniper Flat as soon as possible, consider the magnitude of the proposed road and observatory construction, and let Supervisor Bailey know what you think. A map and a description of the proposed project is on the conservation page of the Bristlecone Chapter website at http://www.bristleconecnps.org/conservation.
Supervisor Jeff Bailey
Inyo National Forest
873 North Main St.
Bishop, CA 93514
FIELD TRIP REPORTS
Tioga Crest,July 21st
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks" John Muir 1877. Our alpine adventure up along Tioga Crest on Saturday July 21st certainly gave us much more than we all dared dream. For our climbing efforts we received sweeping views of near and far glaciers, lakes of many colors, glacial-carved valleys, high alpine peaks, deep canyons, windblown ridges, the stately Mono Craters, smooth plateaus at 12,400 ft. and distant mountain ranges. Horned larks, gray-crown rosy finches, juncos and a golden eagle flew the skies during our visit.
Looking closer to the ground as we left Gardisky Lake, we found wonderful miniature gardens of the dense deep fuchsia mats of Epilobium obcordatum (rock-fringe). Sedum roseum snuggled up against the rocks. The delicate annual Saxifraga bryophora (bud saxifrage) grew in damp granite sands. Five different kinds of Eriogonum (buckwheat) were seen: Eriogonum ovalifolium, Eriogonum nudum, Eriogonum umbellatum, Eriogonum roseum and Eriogonum incanum.
Following a faint mining trail higher up on Tioga Crest we found mats of Podistera nevadensis (Sierra podistera), Phlox condensata and Astragalus purshii. The shiny green leaves and 1 cm. high catkins of Salix reticulata nivalis (snow willow) were unmistakable on the plateau at Dore Pass. From the pass, we looked east down into the Oneida Lake basin far below. Later, as we descended to Saddlebag Lake, we came across hundreds and hundreds of the starry rosettes of Lewisia glandulosa in full bloom. Each little flower had glands on the edges of the sepals.
Plants at the alpine zone came early this summer. Gentians were in bloom in the wetlands beside Saddlebag Lake, a tame place compared to the lonesome windy heights more than 1000 ft. above where we had spent the day.
. ……..Cathy Rose and Kathy Duvall
Who's in a Name?
Eastwood's willow, Salix eastwoodiae Cockerell ex A.A. Heller (Salicaceae)
Toothed gilia, Aliciella triodon (Eastw.) Brand [=Gilia triodon Eastw.] and Broad-leafed gilia, Aliciella latifolia (S. Watson) J. M. Porter [=Gilia latifolia S. Watson] (Polemoniaceae)
Eastwood's willow occurs in moist areas at high elevations in the Sierra Nevada. This especially attractive shrub, bearing woolly stems and leaves, and with lots of red in its stems and buds, may be found growing abundantly in Onion Valley. It was named in honor of Alice Eastwood (1859-1953), long associated with the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) in San Francisco, by a contemporary of hers, the highly regarded bee specialist T. D. A. Cockerell (of the University of Colorado). The name was published within a larger 1910 publication by the California-Nevada botanist A. A. Heller. Salix eastwoodiae is one of 8 California plant species named for Eastwood which contain 'eastwood' in the specific, subspecific, or varietal names; Erigeron aliceae, another California plant named for her, invokes her given name. Only the willow occurs in the Eastern Sierra.
In 1892, while botanizing in Utah and Colorado (the latter being the state in which she came to maturity as a botanist), Eastwood discovered a new Gilia which she named G. triodon in an 1893 publication. (This plant also occurs in eastern California; Mary DeDecker made 11 collections of it in Inyo Co., over the years 1969 - 1995.) All of us who have struggled to identify Gilias would readily agree that it is a difficult and diverse group. Members of several current genera, such as Linanthus and Loeseliastrum, were, in Asa Gray's time, included within Gilia. Many botanists over the years have made attempts to sort out the variability and come up with better groupings of this disparate melange of species. Back in 1905 (the year before the disastrous San Francisco earthquake, so fateful for Eastwood) the German botanist August Brand came to believe that Eastwood's plant was sufficiently different to warrant a new genus, which he named Aliciella in recognition of her as the discoverer, and also out of gratitude for Eastwood's help with specimens. People aren't usually honored with plant names based on their given name, but there already was a genus Eastwoodia, with one species, for a shrub of the sunflower family (Eastwoodia elegans Brandegee) which Eastwood discovered in central California. It was named for her in 1904, 10 years after Eastwood became Curator of Botany at the CAS, by her mentor and predecessor, Katherine Brandegee. Brand's genus Aliciella was not widely accepted and was relegated to footnote status throughout most of the 20th century. In a recent attempt to straighten out the Phlox family problem children, based on DNA analyses, J. Mark Porter, Rancho Santa Ana botanist, has revived the genus name and placed many former members of Gilia in it. Broad-leafed gilia (or holly gilia as Mary called it) is one of several of the new Aliciellas that occur in our region - and one of the most striking. It is always a pleasure to encounter along arid Eastern Sierra washes with its large glossy dark green leaves, forming a beautiful background for its bright dark pink flowers. It was first collected in 1874 by C. C. Parry in the vicinity of the Virgin River in Utah. Parry sent his collection to Harvard, where it was named by Asa Gray's brilliant but somber protege Sereno Watson. Now, entering the revived genus, it takes on an association with the renowned 'Miss Eastwood' (as she was known to her multitudinous and far flung associates).
Eastwood was largely self educated, with no formal schooling beyond high school in Colorado. College degrees weren't necessary for this brilliant and energetic self starter. She developed a consuming interest in botany early in life, which carried her through an outstanding career. She was Curator of Botany at the CAS for over half a century, retiring in 1949 at age 90. In the course of those years she nurtured numerous budding botanists and horticulturists, saved precious museum specimens and records during a heroic day in 1906, built up a vast plant collection - twice - before, and again after, the big quake. She became deeply engaged in all matters pertaining to botany - from the most basic levels of taxonomy to the most practical aspects of horticulture. And, she once wrote to a friend, " . . I love all those who love plants.". She travelled much of California on foot, horseback, stage coach, and later, automobile in her quest for new specimens for the Academy, and new species for science (she named 125 species of California plants). While many contemporaries (e.g., Jepson, McMinn) gave floral and other measurements in inches and feet [and even the archaic "line" (1/12 inch)], Eastwood used the metric system in her publications. She published more than 300 scientific papers, articles of more general interest, and books.
She was by all accounts a woman of robust stature and ample voice, "endowed with unusual energy", "she could endure the hardships of arduous field work", and it was said that she could sustain travel at 4 mph on foot, easily covering 20 miles a day in the field (40 on a horse). Early on she was discouraged from going on excursions with an all-male hiking club, but the men later gave her full welcome when it was found that she could keep up with the best of them.
No doubt stemming from the poverty experienced during her youth, she was always of a frugal nature. It appears that, through the first decade or two of the 20th century, her monthly income was in the $55 - $75 range. A minor real estate investment (a vacant lot in young Denver) brought her a handsome return when she sold it during a boom period. She invested the proceeds prudently, which brought her a measure of financial independence, but only because of her frugality.
She often returned to the Academy near penniless after a lengthy field trip.
. . . to be continued . . .
Erratum: In my essay on Charles Lewis Anderson (Sept., 2000), I mistakenly included Silene in a list of genera with species or varieties named for him; actually, Silene verecunda Wats. ssp. andersonii (Clokey) Hitch. & Maquire was named for E. G. Anderson, who collected with the distinguished early-20th century Nevada botanist, I. W. Clokey. Thanks to Jerry Tiehm for the correction. ...LB
The California Lichen Society Events
The California Lichen Society (CALS) is hosting the following 3 events this fall and would like to invite all interested CNPS members to attend. There is no cost for the events and the contact persons are listed.
November 18, 2001 'An Afternoon with Stephen Sharnoff', a slide presentation and book signing event celebrating publication of Lichens of North America By Irwin Brodo, Sylvia Duran Sharnoff, and Stephen Sharnoff Goethe Room, California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, 2 pm to 4 pm. The book Lichens of North America will feature 805 lichen species from the United States and Canada described and illustrated in color, with approximately 500 additional species discussed. It will include 927 color photographs, 821 black and white illustrations and newly compiled range maps for most of the species described. Contact Judy Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707-584-8099 for questions.
CALS Fall Workshop Series
September 22, 2001- 'Hands On' Lichen Basics
San Jose State University, Duncan Hall, 10am to 4pm. CALS Founding member, Barbara Lachelt will present this Saturday workshop, 'Hands-On' Lichen Basics. Barbara has developed a 'teaching set' of lichens she uses to illustrate lichen morphology. The workshop will be held in Duncan Hall at San Jose State University from 10am to 4pm. Duncan Hall is located on San Salvador Street at South 5th Street. It is easily reached by taking the 7th street freeway exit from Hwy 280. The campus map can be found on the San Jose State Website:
http://www.sjsu.edu/campusmap/map.html. Bring a lunch. Coffee, tea, and snacks will be available. Contact Judy Robertson at email@example.com or 707-584-8099 for questions.
October 20, 2001 - Introduction to Lichens
UC Berkeley, University Herbarium, 1001 Valley Life Sciences Bldg., 10am to 4 pm. Janet Doell, co-author of the CALS Mini guide to Common California Lichens, CALS founding member and first President will guide us through an Introduction to Lichens. Come to learn lichen groups, common lichen genera, and basic morphological features.This workshop will be held in the Conference room at the University Herbarium, 1001 Valley Life Sciences Bldg., UC Berkeley, from 10am to 4 pm.
Bring a lunch. Coffee, tea and snacks will be available. Please contact Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-236-0489 if you have questions.
The Bristlecone Chapter Warmly Welcomes the Following New Members
Pat Young - Hemet