Ahart Herbarium

Ahart Herbarium presents
All Things Botanically Related (Series)

What We Sow by Jennifer Jewell
What We Sow by Jennifer Jewell

What We Sow: The Personal, Ecological, and Cultural Significance of Seeds
by Jennifer Jewell
California Botanic Garden

Thurs, September 21, 2023

Register online here >>(opens in new window)
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

In her presentation, Jennifer Jewell will explore the philosophy of Cultivating Place, her national, public radio program and international podcast, based on the belief that gardens/gardeners are powerful agents and spaces for potentially positive change in our world, helping to address challenges as wide ranging as climate change, habitat loss, cultural polarization, and individual and communal health and being. She will explore how this power of gardens and gardeners can be viewed through a lens of seeds, and the general state of seeds in our gardened lives: how they grow, where they grow, who grows them, who sells and/or controls them, and their care up and down the seedsheds of our world.

Jewell will walk us through examples taken from her daily life, her research, and interviews over the past decade with seed keepers as synthesized in her newest book What We Sow, On the Personal, Ecological, and Cultural Significance of Seeds (2023). All together, the histories, stories, and overall state of seed wherever we find it and the people who care for it become both cautionary tales and guiding lights in ways we can all sow, seed, and grow our world more beautiful, more delicious, more biodiverse, and more brave.

Jennifer Jewell is the host of the national award-winning weekly public radio program and podcast Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden.

Jennifer JewellThe author of The Earth in Her Hands, 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants (Timber Press in 2020), and Under Western Skies, Visionary Gardens from the Rockies to the Pacific Coast (Timber Press, May 2021), in late 2023, her third book, What We Sow: On the Personal, Ecological, and Cultural Significance of Seeds, will also be published by Timber Press.

Jewell’s greatest passion is elevating the way we think and talk about gardening, the empowerment of gardeners, and the possibility inherent in the intersection between places, environments, cultures, individuals, and the gardens that bring them together beautifully – for the better of all the lives on this generous planet.

She lives and cultivates her place in interior Northern California with her partner, plantsman, John Whittlesey.
cultivatingplace.com; Instagram @cultivating_place; Facebook @cultivatingplace.NSPR

All Things Botanically Related - Past Presentations:

Eriogonum kelloggii
Eriogonum kelloggii

Eriogonum (wild buckwheats) of California with emphasis on subgenus Oligogonum
by Travis Columbus
California Botanic Garden

Thurs, August 17, 2023

View presentation recording >>(opens in new window)

There are 119 currently recognized species of Eriogonum in California, making it the second-largest genus after Carex. Adding varieties, there are 215 species and varieties in the state. Eriogonum subgenus Oligogonum is well represented with 25 species including the widespread species E. umbellatum, which has an astounding 25 varieties in the state. Flowers of Oligogonum are basally constricted and cylindric (termed a floral stipe), resembling the pedicel. As is true of Eriogonum as a whole, many species and varieties of Oligogonum are narrowly distributed and rare, often limited to unusual soils including serpentine. In my presentation, I will give an overview of California's wild buckwheats with a focus on Oligogonum and including new findings from my research.

Travis Columbus is a Research Scientist at California Botanic Garden (formerly Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden) and Professor of Botany at Claremont Graduate University, where he has worked for 29 years. Most of his career has focused on the systematics of grasses. In recent years he has added research on wild buckwheats and relatives, in particular lineages that are diverse in California.

Check out previous presentations in the All Things Botanically Related Series >>(opens in new window)

California Phenology Thematic Collections Network

Screenshot of CHH2 websiteAhart Herbarium is actively photographing specimens in the collection and linking the images to the collection information for each species. This information is accessible through the California Phenology Thematic Collections Network (www.CCH2.org(opens in new window)). Through a National Science Foundation grant, the Herbarium will be imaging over 30,000 specimens in the collection which will be similar to the one here. Collectively, over 23 different herbaria and collections across California will be located on CCH2. Check out the website!(opens in new window) 

Screenshot of CCH2 Website

Entire specimen Specimen close

Ahart Herbarium passed another minor milestone by accessioning over 125,000 specimens – see the number 120,000 stamped in the middle of the Herbarium logo on the lower left side of the sheet in the left photograph. This specimen is another fine example of the collecting and specimen mounting of Lowell Ahart – his collection number 21,434 from last summer.

Located in Holt Hall room 129, the Herbarium is the most complete repository of plant specimens from northeastern California. The emphasis is on the northern California flora, and includes a great number of rare, threatened, and endangered plant species. Established with specimens donated by the late Professor Vesta Holt in the 1950's, the herbarium now contains more than 107,000 dried and mounted plant specimens. The majority of samples are flowering plants, conifers, and ferns, but bryophytes, lichens, and especially slime molds, are also well represented. The herbarium is used extensively for identification of sensitive and other plant species by various agencies and individuals. Loans of herbarium specimens are made to any higher academic institutions who request them.

Facilities available to visitors to the herbarium include the use of high-quality dissecting scopes, a compound microscope, an extensive reference library, an internet-connected computer, an internet connection for personal computers, and, with suitable training, access to the collection of specimens.

Users of the herbarium facilities and collection are encouraged to make plant collections during their field excursions and donate them to the herbarium. This is how the collection grows and increases its utility and importance to the whole botanical community.

Photo Contest Winner
The Friends of the Ahart Herbarium are once again sponsoring a Native Plant Photo Contest. Contest runs through May 31, 2023. For more details and how to submit your photo, please check out Events on the Friends website.

Friends of the Ahart Herbarium Workshops!

Save the Date!
Introduction to the Willows of California (Salicaceae)

by John Bair
Saturday, June 24, 2023

California is home to over one quarter of the estimated 120 willow species growing in North America. Cottonwoods and willows are the most common riparian hardwood species in California and yet many of us have little idea of how to tell them apart. Species identification is often neglected because willows are thought to frequently hybridize, which is further compounded by only having vegetative material during field visits when we think we need flowers to make a positive identification. The workshop will focus on the leaf, stem, and other vegetative growth characteristics that are useful in making identification while also emphasizing the regional distributions of the different species. The goal of the workshop is to provide a broad overview of willows, highlight vegetative characteristics used in the identification keys in The Jepson Manual (second edition) and familiarize participants with the six most common willows in California.

Check back soon for more info!

View the Friends of the Herbarium Calendar >>(opens in new window)

Herbarium Logo

We can now process book orders from Studies of the Herbarium >>

Ahart Herbarium is again open to the public!

Summer hours are Thursdays 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and by appointment.

Visiting the herbarium is by appointment only, by contacting the Curator at ljaneway@csuchico.edu.

Visitors accessing campus facilities must comply with CSU Chico vaccination policy.
Thank you.