Southern California Botanists

Southern California Botanists


on Gerry Scheid, Senior Biologist and Permitting Specialist with over 35 years of experience. Gerry has a M.S. in Ecology from San Diego State University and joined RECON in 1988. While he specializes in wetland projects (i.e., conducting wetland delineations, assisting clients in securing permit approvals from regulatory agencies), he is a trained botanist who also conducts field surveys to map vegetation communities and search for sensitive plant species. Gerry is a member of the California Native Plant Society - San Diego Chapter and the Southern California Botanists. In addition to wetland and sensitive species surveys, he prepares mitigation plans for these resources and helps implement them. In his spare time, he enjoys playing golf, listening to and composing music, and loves to travel both domestically and abroad. Thank you Gerry for all of your service to RECON!
What is the low growing red-flowered legume that grows on Sycuan Peak?
Presentation by Keir Morse for the 2020 Southern California Botanists Symposium. This gives an introduction to the genus Malacothamnus (Malvaceae) and some results of his ongoing research on the genus. Also included is the bonus feature "Abraham Lincoln - Trichome Model".
Coming up on November 28 in Los Angeles County...
Does anyone know what kind of tree this is?
Hoa mua và địa lan....
Hello! Is there a way to purchase the "Botany is Bitchin" sticker online? New truck needs a new sticker!
SCB logo states found in 1927, and so does this page. And yet, I noticed that a Directory of members for 1973, stated that SCB formed in 1946, just after WWII ended. The directory also states that SCB became a chapter of CNPS in 1971, and continued as a chapter for at least 2 more years, into 1973. If my memory serves me well, by the 1980s, SCB became a stand-alone organization again, separate from CNPS. Perhaps there are records at CNPS or at RSABG, or a long-time member that can be interviewed, who can enlighten us further about the early years of SCB? The 1927 date seems to correlate with the date of RSABG coming into being, if I am not mistaken? And I am curious as to why the earlier years of the annual symposia, prior to circa 1999, are not listed? Peace, Roy...
You may want to attend this April 12 talk by Matt Candeias of In Defense of Plants at Theodore Payne Foundation.
These bushes smell great.
Come join us at the California Academy of Sciences! We are seeking an Assistant Curator specializing in western North American plants (especially Californian) & is interested in collections, sci comm & increasing diversity. Applications by Nov 7. More info & to apply:

Southern California Botanists is an organization of individuals devoted to the study, preservation,

Operating as usual


Hey all SoCalBot symposium attendees! We’re putting out a call for poster abstracts! Abstracts are due October 7, 2022, and must be submitted electronically to posters (at) Submitters will be notified by October 14, 2021 if their poster has been accepted. Please do not submit abstracts for posters that have been previously displayed at a SCB symposium. A free 1-year SCB membership will be awarded to the student with the best poster. Additionally, student poster presentations qualify for free symposium registration!

Check out our website for information regarding formatting, etc.

We’re looking forward to seeing all your awesome posters 🥳

📸: Erika Gardner at the 2019 SCB symposium


Registration for the 48th Annual Southern California Botanists Symposium is live!!
The symposium is going to be in-person for the first time in two years, and we are SO excited!! Our topic this year is Islands: Isolated but not Desolate. We’re going to have talks ranging from the Channel Islands to habitat islands, and everything in between. Head on over to our website to check out our list of awesome speakers, and register today!! 🥳
Students, be sure to email membership (at) with proof of student status for your discount code!

We can’t wait to see you all!

📸: John Game


👀 Look out, SoCalBot members!! 👀
Two new Crossosoma journals are going to be mailed out this week! We’re so excited to get this awesome research to you!!


We’re so excited to announce this year’s Southern California Botanist’s symposium:
Islands: Isolated but not Desolate! We’ll have speakers talking about everything from the California Channel Islands to sky islands, and everything in between!
It will be Saturday, Nov 5, 2022. And it will be in person, at the Seaver Auditorium in Claremont, CA!! 🥳
We’re so excited to see everyone in person for the first time since 2019! Stay tuned for registration and speaker information - it will be going live on our website in the coming weeks!

Photos from Southern California Botanists's post 06/02/2022

Have you ever see deformed or mutated plants like these? This deformity is called a fasciation and is caused by the apical meristem growing the wrong direction producing flattened or ribbon-like growth. These three examples were seen this past Monday on the Angeles National Forest near Elizabeth Lake.

Photos from Southern California Botanists's post 05/21/2022

In celebration of , here are a few of our very own Southern California endangered plants.

Photos from Southern California Botanists's post 03/06/2022

And, finally, our winner of the Alan Romspert Grant in Desert Botany is Courtney Matze! 👏🏼

Courtney grew up in Florida, but lived in Washington for 10 years before recently relocating to Claremont, CA. She has a bachelor’s degree in art as well as a Bachelor of Science in Plant Biology. She recently obtained her Master’s of Science in Plant Biology from Washington State University. At WSU she studied the molecular underpinnings of distyly in the tropical genus Turnera as well as alpha-amylase genes and proteins in cultivated wheat.
Her interests in botany are vast and she has many years of experience working with plants in different areas including molecular genetics, field botany, restoration and horticulture to name a few. She is currently interested in floristics, conservation, and plant evolution.
Courtney is extremely excited to be working in Southern California due to its huge amount of biodiversity and endemism. Her main goal throughout her studies at the California Botanic Garden is to learn as much as she can about plant diversity in Southern California with the hope of contributing her research towards conservation.

Her study will document the vascular flora of the Piute Mountain Range located at the southern end of the Sierra Nevada. The Piutes are a transition range leading to the Tehachapi Mountains and Transverse Ranges. This position makes it significant as a potential North-South plant migration corridor from the Sierra Nevada into the Transverse Ranges. The study site is situated near the juncture of the Sierra Nevada, Mohave Desert, Central Valley and Transverse Ranges with elements of all four appearing in the vegetation. It encompasses coniferous forest, chapparal, Joshua tree woodland, as well as desert transition zones. The site also contains a wide variety of geologic features and substrates, including a series of metamorphic rocks and limestone. The array of habitats and substrates is expected to harbor a diverse flora as well as rare and endemic plants.

Photos from Southern California Botanists's post 03/01/2022

It’s time to announce the winners of the annual SoCalBot grants 🎉 We offered five grants this year, and over the next five days we’ll be highlighting the winners and their research! First up is Annie Meeder, the winner of the Susan Hobbs Grant for Field Research! 🥳

Annie Meeder is a graduate student in the biology with an emphasis in ecology under Dr. Jenn Yost at California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo where she is studying vegetation dynamics on Santa Cruz Island. Annie’s love for ecology and plants began in high school on a trip to Santa Cruz Island doing volunteer research—she now helps lead those trips. In her free time Annie enjoys triathlon, reading, and drawing. Her favorite plant is Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. asplenifolius, the Santa Cruz Island Ironwood.


Southern California Botanists has a new president! 🥳

Nina House has been on the SoCalBot board since 2019, and vice president since 2020. She is now stepping into the role of president!

Nina is a third-year master's student at the California Botanic Garden (CalBG) in Claremont, California. Her thesis is a floristic inventory of the Manter and Salmon Creek watersheds in the southern Sierra Nevada, Tulare County, CA. She moved to California in 2017 after graduating from State University of New York at Oswego with her bachelors in biology. She then worked as a Seed Conservation Intern at CalBG before starting the graduate program in 2019.

Her interests lie in conservation, botanical field work, natural history collections, public policy, and science communication. She hopes to one day work for a nonprofit, where she can work to understand and conserve plant life and educate the general public on conservation and botanical issues.

She is so excited for the opportunity to lead SoCalBot through the next two years! 😊


Say "Howdy" to your new SCB Vice President! 👏🏼

Drew Kaiser works for the National Park Service as the Botanist for the Mojave National Preserve. He has also worked for Death Valley National Park and Stanislaus National Forest. His botanical focus is in the flora of the Mojave Desert, but he really enjoys the Great Basin, White and Inyo Mountains, and Eastern Sierra flora. When the summer heat gets the best of him, he heads up into the mountains to volunteer with the GLORIA-Great Basin organization, monitoring the effects of climate change on alpine vegetation communities. Drew has been on the SCB Board of Directors since 2018. He currently serves on the workshop, mailing, and diversity committees. Drew is also an award-winning homebrewer, so be on the lookout for some tasty brews at the 2022 SCB Symposium banquet dinner!


With the new year, some changes have come to our board! But before we announce those changes, we just want to take some time to thank our outgoing president.

Having completed her two-year term, Allison Rudalevige is stepping down to make way for a new SCB president. During her time in office, she successfully shepherded the SCB through some of the biggest challenges in our history! These challenges included the pandemic and its effect on in-person board meetings and the SCB symposia, political and social unrest which led us to question our inclusivity, as well as severe drought and wildfire that limited plant growth and activity, and restricted access to many natural areas.

Throughout this dismal period, Allison remained resolute, upbeat and determined to carry on with the SCB mission. The SCB board and membership owe her tremendous thanks for leading us through this difficult period.

Thank you so much Allison!! 👏🏼

📸: Sarah Thomas


Crossosoma bigelovii is currently in flower on the Sand to Snow National Monument. Crossosoma is also the name of the journal put out twice a year by the Southern California Botanists organization. This year we will be publishing multiple floras from various areas of Southern California.


Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

This seemed like an apt time to feature some of the Master's students in CalBG's Botany graduate program! These women have some mean skills in the field and laboratory, plus they know how to rock a pair of overalls!

Left to Right:
• Courtney Matzke – Floristic study of Piute Mountain Range, Sierra Nevada
• Peri Lee Pipkin – Floristic study of the Silver Peak range, Esmeralda Co, NV
• Nina House – Floristic study of Manter and Salmon Creek watersheds, Sierra Nevada
• Selena Vengco – Drivers of flower color polymorphism in Erythranthe discolor

Learn more about our graduate students' work on our website!

Seedling by seedling, Joshua trees will rise again in fire-scorched desert 12/15/2021

Seedling by seedling, Joshua trees will rise again in fire-scorched desert

Southern California Botanists Director at Large Drew Kaiser is in the L.A Times today! Check out some of the important work he, and many great volunteers, are doing to plant out Joshua trees on the Cima Dome burn scar, which was heavily burned by a massive wildfire in the summer of 2020 killing approximately 1.3 million Joshua trees:

Seedling by seedling, Joshua trees will rise again in fire-scorched desert Two decades from now, if all goes well, the tiny bits of greenery planed by volunteers will be full-fledged Joshua trees.

California Botanist Named 2021 E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Award Recipient 12/09/2021

California Botanist Named 2021 E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Award Recipient

Southern California Botanists Director at Large Naomi Fraga received the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Award today! From E.O. Wilson himself: “I congratulate Dr. Fraga and express gratitude for her heroic work to save rare plants and protect Earth’s diversity,” said Wilson. “Her advocacy for plants, which far too often are overlooked, is of utmost importance in abating the extinction crisis.”

California Botanist Named 2021 E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Award Recipient Center for Biological Diversity: Naomi Fraga Wins Award for Outstanding Science to Save Native Plants


This Saturday, Nov 6 Sage Against the Machine will be holding a free Dia de los Mu***os show and community alter at Panorama City Rock Garden. They will be helping to raise money for our grant in honor of Jessica Orozco. The event will be from 5:30-9pm. You can also donate at this link:



We want to say thank you again for attending this year’s virtual Southern California Botanists symposium! It was a great time and we hope you learned as much as we did!

Putting on a symposium takes a lot of work. It couldn’t be done without our dedicated board members, all of whom are volunteers!

We’re putting out a call for more board members! We meet every other month (six times a year) from 7:30-9:00pm. In-person meetings are at the California Botanic Garden, but we happily accommodate distance/coronavirus by meeting via Zoom. Our work is divided up between committees, with each focusing on one branch of what our organization does: field trips, workshops, Crossosoma, Leaflets, grants, merchandise, etc.

Please contact membership (at) for more information and to express your interest in becoming a board member. We welcome anyone who has an interest in botany to join the board!!

We’re so excited to work with you!! 😊

Photo: SCB 2019


The symposium is starting in t-minus 10 minutes!! We’ve got it projected on the big screen 😎


Today (10/15) is the last day you can register for the annual Southern California Botanists symposium. Registration will close tonight at 11:59pm. Head over to our website to get your last-minute tickets!


We’re just THREE days away from the annual Southern California Botanists symposium!! It’s not too late to register! Check out our website for more info:

We have some seriously awesome speakers lined up! Jesse Potter is going to be talking about “Bolsa Chica: History, Restoration, and Rarities”. We can’t wait!!


The annual Southern California Botanist’s symposium is THIS WEEKEND, Oct 16!! 🥳 We are so excited to see all your smiling faces and learn from some amazing speakers! Dr. James Thorne (pictured) will be speaking on “Considering Analog Climates and Vegetation - and Micro-Refugia for Climate-Adaptive Plant Conservation”.

If you haven’t already, you can register today at our website:


We’re just under a week away from the annual Southern California Botanist’s symposium! This year’s topic is: Conservation and Floristics of California’s Rare and Relictual Ecosystems! You can get more info and register on our website:

We have such a great lineup of speakers! Lluvia Flores-Renteria, PhD will be discussing her research: “Elements to consider in the conservation of pinyon pines”! We’re so excited!!


Just ten more days until the Southern California Botanists symposium! Our topic this year is Conservation and Floristics of California’s Rare and Relictual Ecosystems. Register today and get more information on our website:

We have so many awesome speakers lined up this year! Dr. Karolina Heyduk is going to be presenting on “Local adaptation in a desert perennial: early data from Joshua tree common gardens”. We’re so excited!


The 47th annual SoCalBot symposium will be Oct 16, 2021! That’s just twelve days away!! The theme this year is Conservation and Floristics of California’s Rare and Relictual Ecosystems. For more information and to register, check out our website:

To get you as excited as we are, we’ll be sharing our speaker lineup over the coming days. First up: Michael Moore, PhD. He’ll be presenting on “Staying Alive: biomineralization and climate change on a gypsum archipelago”.

Photos from Southern California Botanists's post 09/28/2021

A farewell to summer. Last week on the last day of summer botanists from California Botanic Garden worked with the Federally Endangered Mojave tarplant (Deinandra mohavensis) which was fitting and special as it has a unique scent that always reminds me of summer, and one I seek out during summer. This was at one of its northern most locations and was doing surprisingly well despite how dry this area has been this year. Goodbye summer, hello fall.


Hey all! We’re putting out a call for poster abstracts for our upcoming symposium on Oct 16, 2021.
To accommodate the virtual format, posters will be shared digitally along with a short (2-3 minutes) pre-recorded video highlighting the main findings presented in the poster. A live Q&A with the poster presenters will follow.

Abstracts are due October 1, 2021.
Check out our website for more information:

Photo: Erika Gardner, SCB Symposium 2019


The annual Southern California Botanists symposium is coming up fast!! Our topic this year is Conservation and Floristics of California’s Rare and Relictual Ecosystems. It will be held virtually on Oct 16.
We’re so looking forward to “seeing” everyone there! For more information regarding speakers, and to grab your tickets, please go to our website:

Photos from Southern California Botanists's post 09/01/2021

Dendromecon rigida (bush poppy) is notoriously difficult to germinate. As a result not many of us have seen seedlings of this species. Here are a couple of photos of baby bush poppy seedlings along with a photo of an adult plant. Look how unexpectedly skinny the cotyledons are! This species requires fire for germination so this year while doing post fire surveys on the San Bernardino National Forest botanists from California Botanic Garden saw thousands of the cute little guys.

Photos from California Botanic Garden's post 08/27/2021

Botanists at California Botanic Garden do awesome work, and sometimes make the front page of the Los Angeles Times:

Photos from Southern California Botanists's post 08/17/2021

California sawgrass (Cladium californicum) has a California Rare Plant Rank of 2B.2 and a very limited distribution in Southern California. It grows in marshes, bogs, and swamps, several of which have been developed in the last 100 years. These plants were observed today at the BLM’s Dos Palmas Preserve, Riverside County.

Photos from Southern California Botanists's post 07/30/2021

Cutest plant of the week award goes to Townsendia condensata (cushion townsend daisy) which in California is only known from a few rocky alpine ridges and slopes in the White Mountains and Sweetwater Mountains.


An ancient and gnarled foxtail pine (Pinus balfouriana) from last week in the Golden Trout Wilderness. Some of these trees can live for thousands of years.


The Yosemite bog orchid (Platanthera yosemitensis) is a narrow endemic, found in just a few meadow systems in Yosemite National Park and adjacent Forest Service lands. One of the funky unique characteristics of this plant that make it distinct from the other orchids of the area is that is stinks! It smells like a guys locker room/sweaty stinky feet sort of smell, so probably fly pollinated. So a total stinker of a plant but a beauty nonetheless.


A true cliffhanger, Petrophytum caespitosum subsp. acuminatum (marble rockmat) is a rare and unusual one (this is a rose!), only known from around a half dozen locations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. At this location 99 percent of the population was unreachable by human hands.

Photos from Southern California Botanists's post 07/09/2021

It’s that time of the year again in Southern California: lemon lily (Lilium parryi) season! They can grow near trails and are unfortunately illegally picked at times. Treat them with admiration and respect. And check out all their native insect visitors. Bug magnets!

Videos (show all)

The Yosemite bog orchid (Platanthera yosemitensis) is a narrow endemic, found in just a few meadow systems in Yosemite N...
A true cliffhanger, Petrophytum caespitosum subsp. acuminatum (marble rockmat) is a rare and unusual one (this is a rose...
During this period of social distancing consider spending more time in your garden. Nothing more relaxing and therapeuti...
A short video Seed Conservation Manager Cheryl Birker made of one of our seed trips where we went up the Palm Springs Tr...




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