The study and science of plants.

big sur coast

Live Biodiversity

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There’s a certain predictable expression that frequently settles on the face of the friend or family member I’m talking to when I say the word “biodiversity.” I’d call it tolerantly bored.

black walnut tree

Tree Detectives

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The Northern California black walnut led scientists into a genetic mystery: is this a rare tree, or a common one?

East Bay Regional Park District Bans Glyphosate

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This past July, the East Bay Regional Park District announced a ban on the controversial herbicide glyphosate, also known by the brand name Roundup. The prohibition was effective immediately in picnic areas. The district said it would discontinue use of … Read more

fasciated poison oak

Fasciated Plants and Where to Find Them in the Wild

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What is this weird belt-like growth on poison oak? Fasciated plants have fascinated humans for thousands of years due to their gnarled and belt-like growth patterns on stems or bizarrely elongated flowers. Fasciation has been documented in over 107 plant … Read more

rainbow seaweed

An Artist Finds the Life Lessons of Seaweed

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If you’ve ever stepped into a certain kind of beach town gift shop on the Northern California coast, you are likely familiar with Josie Iselin’s work: an artist, Iselin creates slim coffee table books filled with detailed, dramatically lit photographs … Read more

flowers at Jepson Prairie

What Does Trampling Do to Wildflowers?

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How much damage does trampling do to wildflowers? No other state is as iconic for its flora as California, so it’s no surprise that thousands of Californians have flocked to Southern California to experience wildflower heaven in this year’s “super … Read more