Wild about Monkeyflowers (and other California wildflowers): an exploration of monkeyflower diversity and the flora of California
Speakers: Naomi Fraga
Date: Thursday, November 17, 2016 (doors open 6:45 pm, Speaker at 7:30 pm)
Location: Fullerton Arboretum,1900 Associated Road, Fullerton
Directions: From the Orange Freeway (57) exit east on Yorba Linda Blvd. Turn left on Associated Road, then left into the Arboretum parking lot. The meeting will take place in the Visitor Center/Education building.
Plants placed in the genus Mimulus L. (Phrymaceae), as traditionally defined, are commonly known as monkeyflowers. These charismatic plants are exceedingly diverse in western North America with over 150 of the nearly 200 species worldwide occurring here. Nearly 60% (ca. 100) of the species native to western North American occur in California. However, Mimulus has recently undergone significant changes in taxonomy leaving the name Mimulus virtually absent from the California flora. Naomi will present an overview of these changes and provide information on how to identify the genera recognized in California: Erythranthe, Diplacus and Mimetanthe and how these differ from Mimulus in the strict sense.
An overview of monkeyflower diversity in California, including information on rare monkeyflowers and new species in the genus Erythranthe, will be presented. At least eight new species of Erythranthe native to California have described in the past five years and many of these are rare species of conservation concern. At least 66 species of monkeyflowers (Erythranthe and Diplacus) are currently listed by U.S. government agencies and native plant societies as sensitive, rare, or endangered, making Mimulus a group of conservation concern. An evaluation of species discovery and its implications for conservation will be presented, with insight from recent taxonomic studies in Erythranthe. Results of this study will inform a taxonomic revision that also incorporates evidence from morphology and ecology.
Naomi Fraga PhD serves as Director of Conservation Programs at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden where she provides leadership for the Conservation Program and directs the field studies program. In this capacity she works closely with federal, state, and local agencies to provide information needed for on-the-ground management including baseline botanical surveys, monitoring, and developing conservation strategies and management guides for plant species. Her research interests include plant geography, conservation biology, pollination biology, and rarity in endemism. Naomi is also currently serves on the board of Southern California Botanists. Naomi completed her PhD in Botany at Claremont Graduate University in 2015 and holds a M.S. in Botany from Claremont Graduate University and a B.S. in Botany and Biology from California Polytechnic University, Pomona.
Two different, but overlapping, proposals have been made to designate part or all of our backyard Santa Ana Mountains as a National Monument. Stay tuned to see if a Monument is designated, and if so, what it includes!
1. The Santa Ana Mountains to Sea National Monument would encompass about 101,500 acres of OC, principally:
- Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
- Crystal Cove State Park
- Upper Newport Bay
- Bommer Canyon
- about 1/3 of the Trabuco District (Cleveland National Forest).
U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, is expected to introduce a bill proposing this Monument to Congress in September. See latimes.com/socal/daily-pilot/news/tn-dpt-me-monument-20160823-story.html for details.
2. A small group, which included activists from the Sierra Club and the California Chaparral Institute, met earlier this summer to discuss a Santa Ana Mountains National Monument that would encompass the entire range, with about the same boundaries as the Trabuco District.
Another meeting on this proposal is scheduled for Sept. 22, 10-1, at the Wildomar Library, 34303 Mission Trail, Wildomar, CA. About 35 are signed to attend, including several OC residents. If you would like to attend, contact Linda Castro, . Video call-in is available. To carpool from San Juan Capistrano, contact Celia Kutcher, .
The idea of designating the Santa Ana Mountains as a National Monument has been around for a while. One version, the “Grizzly Bear National Monument” was so-called in honor of the last grizzly bear in California, which was killed in Trabuco Canyon in 1908.
Native Gardeners’ Corner—Members’ Tips, Tricks, and Techniques
This column is a regular newsletter feature offering chapter members and local experts a chance to briefly share information on many things related to gardening with natives. Answers are listed in order received.
The request for this Edition of the OC-CNPS Newsletter is: “Which Summer and Fall blooming native plants are your favorites?”
Thea Gavin -“I have several buckwheat species in my backyard garden; all are profuse summer bloomers that hold onto the lovely dried flowers for a long time.”
Leon Baginski - “Oenothera hookeri, given enough water in late spring and mid summer will throw out big yellow flowers well into the fall while the already formed seed pods further down the stem attract American finches.”
Antonio Sanchez –“Abutilon palmeri - This roundish ball of orange flowers does well in the summer heat and responds to heavy pruning to keep it flowering thru much of spring, summer and fall. Doesn't seem to mind a little extra water during the summer, much like the monsoons it gets from its native desert areas, to keep it fresh looking and flowering for months. Also, Eriogonum x blissianum—a nice hybrid of E. giganteum and E. arborescens, it can look like a Cleveland Sage when young and full of leaves, and the spring-summer flowers are an excellent mix of its 2 parents, pinkish-white, large and showy. Excellent bee and butterfly plant. Has responded well to aggressive dead-heading to keep it lightly flowering through fall. Good for gardens that may not have room for E. giganteum.”
Rama Nayeri --‐“I know this is not 100% native but I really like Autumn Sage because of all the varying flower colors.”
We are now accepting applications to our annual grant for student research on local native flora. This year advanced undergraduates are also eligible! Application deadline is December 16th. See Grants tab for a full description.