Ahart Herbarium

Ahart Herbarium presents
All Things Botanically Related (Series)

Shane Hanofee
Shane Hanofee

The Flora of Nevada County, California…Including some Notable New Collections

Presented by Shane Hanofee

Thurs, June 20, 2024
7pm - 8pm
Virtual Meeting (via Zoom)

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After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Nevada County and the cross-section of the Sierra Nevada it spans offer diverse habitats and a diverse set of plant species that inhabit them. For the first time, a true Flora of Nevada County is in the works. This is a listing of every single native and naturalized plant that grows within the county, with identification keys and local insight on their abundance, range, and habitat preferences.

Years in the making, this Flora is nearing completion. The author, our own Shane Hanofee, will provide a primer on Nevada County floristics and the plants that grow here. He’ll also share the process of making a flora, the botanical history of Nevada County, and some exciting discoveries made in the production of this work.

Shane Hanofee is a self-taught certified field botanist who became enamored with native plants shortly after moving to California from New York over a decade ago. Since then, he has travelled throughout California exploring and documenting California’s fascinating flora. In that time, Shane has developed a keen understanding of the floristics of the northern Sierra in particular, while cultivating a love for plant taxonomy and science communication. He is the former president of the Redbud Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. He lives in Grass Valley with his wife Ashley and their bouncing baby boy, Milo.

All Things Botanically Related - Past Presentations:

Lowell Ahart and John Dittes
Lowell Ahart and John Dittes

Botanical Landscape
Botanical Landscape

Two Decades of Botanical Adventures with Lowell Ahart (2002-2024): A Pictorial Overview of Our Work and Explorations of Northern California Landscapes

Presented by John Dittes

Thurs, May 16, 2024
7pm - 8pm
Virtual Meeting (via Zoom)

View Presentation Recording >> (opens in new window)

Join us as we reminisce on the botanical works and travels of renowned Northern California botanist and plant collector Lowell Ahart, in accompaniment of John and his life and business partner, Josephine. Since 2002, the trio has developed a close and “uniquely productive” friendship. Together, they’ve worked on numerous Landscape Scale projects in Central and Northern California, including botanical surveys for timber and fuels-management projects on the Plumas National Forest (PNF), Conservation Easement Documentation Reports on northern-California ranchlands, rare plant surveys and vegetation monitoring for floodplain restoration projects on the Modoc Plateau, surveys and wetlands delineations on salmonid fisheries habitat projects, collecting for a pharmaceutical investigation, and others. The three have enjoyed numerous “fun” trips afield together as well, always with plant presses at hand, and valuable herbarium specimens and data made. Seasoned botanists and those “new to botany” alike will enjoy this story and visual overview of the landscapes explored, botanical discoveries made, and interesting people met along the way.

John Dittes has worked since 1990 on botanically-related projects throughout California and the western states. He has been employed as a Rare Plant Botanist for the PNF, as consultant with Jones and Stokes Associates (now ICF), and since 2000 along with Josephine, has been an independent contractor with Dittes & Guardino Consulting. Since 2015, he has also worked as a Registered Nurse, the last 3 years on the Medical Surgical-Oncology Unit with Enloe Health in Chico. John also developed and taught technical workshops for the CSU Chico Herbarium, including Introduction to Plant Identification, ID of Plants from Vernal Pools and Seasonal Wetlands, and Introduction to ID of Poaceae, Asteraceae and Fabaceae. In addition to botanical interests, he has deep appreciation for the natural and cultural history of California, conducts research on Pleocomid Rain Beetles, is an avid photographer, enjoys fishing, and is fond of dogs.

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.

Friends of the Ahart Herbarium Workshops!


Monkey Flower

Understanding Monkeyflowers: Identification and Appreciation
by Steve Schoenig
Saturday, June 1, 2024, 9am-4pm

Join monkeyflower expert Steve Schoenig on an exploration into the beauty and diversity of monkeyflowers (genus Diplacus, Erythranthe, Mimetanthe). Steve will provide hands-on advice for the—sometimes tricky—identification of monkeyflowers and give an overview of the fantastic diversity of mokeyflowers in the state.

Visit the Friends of the Herbarium(opens in new window) for more information! 

Register online here >>(opens in new window)


Introduction to the Willows of California (Salicaceae)
by John Blair, Willow and Cottonwood Taxonomy and Physiology Expert
Tuesday, June 22, 2024, 9am-5pm

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. The goal of the workshop is to instill confidence about vegetative characteristics used in the identification keys in The Jepson Manual and familiarize participants with some of the most common willows in California.

Visit the Friends of the Herbarium(opens in new window) for more information! 


Forest and lake

Forest Insects and Diseases of California Conifers Workshop and Fieldtrip
by Danny Cluck, Forest Entomologist and Bill Woodruff, Plant Pathologist, US Forest Service
Saturday, June 25, 2024, 9am-4pm

Forest professionals are often asked to assess the health of trees within private and public lands. But making decisions on the health and probability of mortality trees can be complicated. There are many factors to assess and this workshop will present information to aid in the assessment of the health of trees, particularly California native conifers and oaks. Workshop participants will be shown examples in the field of the most common native forest insects and diseases that impact local forest health.

Visit the Friends of the Herbarium(opens in new window) for more information! 

Register online here >>(opens in new window)

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

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Ahart Herbarium is 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.