Plants and Fungi

From majestic 300-foot redwoods to the luscious black witch’s butter mushroom, the San Francisco Bay Area is alive with plants and fungi. Yet many of these rooted natives are threatened by the twin forces of development and invasive species, making their survival particularly critical for the food web.

Latest from Plants and Fungi

How Are Wildflowers Coping with the Drought?

February 13, 2014 by Sue Rosenthal

It’s tough to be a plant when there’s no water! Rainfall is one of the most critical—and most unpredictable—of all the factors that affect wildflower bloom. So how are they coping?

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For the Love of Seaweed

February 13, 2014 by Beth Slatkin

Josie Iselin’s passion for discovering natural treasures along the shore started young, and later evolved into her life’s work: turning ...

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A Botanist, a Bay Area Island and a Big Surprise

January 28, 2014 by Alessandra Bergamin

In the mid 90s, botanist Mike Wood was contracted by the U.S. Navy to undertake a rare plant survey of Yerba Buena Island as the military prepared to leave the base. At the time he didn't think the island would be of much botanical interest. But two decades later, he's still going back.

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The Versatile Bulb: The Many Uses of Soaproot

January 13, 2014 by Sue Rosenthal

Food seems an unusual use for a plant called soaproot. In fact, food is just one of many traditional California Indian uses for the plant, some apparently contradictory. Soap, food, glue, medicine, poison, and more — all from a hairy, fist-size underground bulb.

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Before the Annual Fungus Fair, It’s All About Finding the Right Mushroom

December 23, 2013 by Emily Moskal

Served in French dishes under the alias pom pom du blanc, lion’s mane has a texture and taste resembling lobster or shrimp. Chris Schoenstein, a lifelong enthusiast and member of the Mycological Society of San Francisco, has only seen one 2 or 3 times. But that, if you’re a mushroom hunter, is the hook that keeps you coming back to an event like the Wunderlich Foray.

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Critical Habitat Identified for Franciscan Manzanita

December 20, 2013 by Eric Simons

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has declared 230 acres of San Francisco critical habitat for the Franciscan manzanita, the oft-discussed rare shrub famous for its dramatic rediscovery and the relocation of a sole survivor in 2009.

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Traditional and Modern Methods of Acorn Preparation

December 05, 2013 by Emily Moskal

Bay Area oaks are prolific, but acorn use has diminished within the last 200 years. With the help of modern kitchenware you can rediscover the art of acorn preparation and its rich history grounded in Native American traditions.

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Restoring Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge

December 02, 2013 by Alessandra Bergamin

Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge has been shaped by industry and development leaving its three endemic and endangered species clinging to their habitat. But in a recent partnership between the Port of Stockton and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, dredged sand from the San Joaquin River will be offloaded at the refuge to aid with large-scale dune restoration.

2 Comments

How Can You Tell a True Turkey Tail from an Imposter?

November 28, 2013 by Alessandra Bergamin

Bracket fungi, named for their shelf-like structure, can often be seen fanned out of decaying wood. But how can you tell if what you're looking at is a true turkey tail or, an imposter?

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Bay Researchers Fight Uphill Battle with Invasive Cordgrass

November 21, 2013 by Rachel Diaz-Bastin

Three years ago, managers at the Invasive Spartina Project thought they’d be almost out of a job by now. But while the ruthless and hybridizing cordgrass hasn't spread any more, it hasn't been eradicated either and this final push to eliminate it, will be the hardest.

5 Comments

 
 
 
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