January 10th, 2014 by Wendy Gibble
Washington’s rare plants monitored by Rare Care volunteers.
2013 was another busy year for Washington Rare Plant Care and Conservation (Rare Care). Our corps of volunteer citizen scientists contributed their expertise and time to monitor over 150 rare plant populations across Washington State. Some of these sites were visited during our annual monitoring weekend, which took place at Hanford Reach National Monument last year. We also added 20 collections to the Miller Seed Vault, including eight new species to the collection. You can read all about our 2013 monitoring and seed collecting efforts in our annual reports.
Rare Care will be offering a volunteer trainings on March 1, 2014 for our rare plant monitoring project. This citizen science project provides critically needed information on the status of Washington’s rare plants. Volunteers visit rare plant populations throughout the state and provide information on population sizes, habitat characteristics, and potential threats to the populations. Because many of these populations are visited once every decade or less, the data contributed by volunteer monitors are critical for long-term conservation of Washington’s rare plants.
Would you like to become a part of this valuable effort and have an opportunity to become familiar with some of the rare plants of Washington State? Volunteering with Rare Care provides an opportunity for you to explore Washington’s native flora, visit premier examples of Washington’s native ecosystems, and continue to build your plant identification skills. To participate in the program, volunteer rare plant monitors need to have some experience identifying native plants in the field, have a commitment to native plant conservation and good observation skills, be able to commit a few days during the spring and summer, and be able to provide their own transportation. Visit our volunteer page to learn more!
December 26th, 2012 by Wendy Gibble
Ivy Clark plants Castilleja seedlings (photo by Wendy Gibble)
Reprinted from the Rare Plant Press
Graduate student Lauren “Ivy” Clark has been knee deep in seeds ever since
she started her Master’s work at University of Washington. She first came to work with Rare Care in 2009 to develop protocols for propagating ten shrub-steppe species from seed for a project Rare Care was working on with BLM. Having developed an interest in germination ecology, Ivy also started working with Rare Care’s rare plant seed collection, conducting germination tests on collections held in the Miller Seed Vault. This ongoing work dovetails nicely with her thesis work, in which she explores the potential for hybridization between golden paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta) and harsh Indian paintbrush (C. hispida).
Both Castilleja species occur on Puget Sound prairies, and hybridization has been observed in a nursery setting. Recent golden paintbrush reintroductions have resulted in both species growing in close proximity to one another at out-planting sites. After ascertaining that the same pollinator species frequent both species, Ivy collected seeds from both species where they co-occur and is propagating them in the greenhouse. She will evaluate morphological features of the progeny to determine whether and to what extent hybridization is occurring at these reintroduction sites and whether the risk of hybridization is reduced by increasing the distance between neighboring individuals of the two species.
Ivy has had an interest in plants for as long as she can remember. Growing up in Texas, her interest in the natural world was nurtured by her parents. She’s held a variety of jobs since becoming a biologist, many of them restricting her to laboratories. Finding that she really enjoys being in the field, she hopes to use her skills and degree to work in the restoration ecology field. In the meantime, we are delighted to have her working on Rare Care projects and caring for our ex situ collection.
March 19th, 2012 by Wendy Gibble
Paintbrush and Sedge illustration by Louise Smith
The winners of the botanical art exhibit held in conjunction with the conference Conserving Plant Biodiversity in a Changing World: A View from NW North America were announced Wednesday afternoon at the close of the conference. The winners are:
1st Place: Louise Smith for Paintbrush and Sedge
2nd Place: Daphne Morris for Carex macrocephala
3rd Place: Jan Hurd for Rosa nutkana
1st place: Daniel Mosquin for Castilleja applegatei var. pinetorum
2nd Place: Michael Hannam for Veratrum viride
3rd Place: Morgan Turner for Blechnum spicant
The exhibit is on display in the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the UW Botanic Gardens through March 29th.
September 30th, 2011 by Wendy Gibble
Conserving Plant Biodiversity in a Changing World: A View from NW North America
University of Washington Botanic Gardens, Seattle, WA
March 13-14, 2012
We face an uncertain future – economically, politically, and climatically. Those concerned with managing, researching or protecting rare plants and their habitats need to be aware of these changes and have the necessary tools to effectively address them. We will have papers, both invited and contributed, that will engage all in a dialogue intended to raise questions and find solutions. Participants from throughout northwestern North America will contribute ideas and meet colleagues for future collaboration. More information at the conference website.
REGISTRATION OPENS OCTOBER 3, 2011.
August 4th, 2011 by Wendy Gibble
Arctic alpine forget-me-not, Ertrichiumnanumvar elongatum
The University of Washington Botanic Gardens will be hosting a conference next March, on Conserving Plant Biodiversity in a Changing World: A View from NW North America. Complete information is on the conference website, including program themes, sponsorship opportunities and a call for entries for a botanical art competition.
The call for abstracts will be open until October 28th.
Note that we define change as not just climate, but also economic and political change.