The Chico State Herbarium

Chico State Herbarium presents
All Things Botanically Related (Series)

Mimulus glaucescens and M. guttatus
Distinguishing vegetative traits of each species. Mimulus glaucescens (left) has glaucous, glabrous, and perfoliate peduncular bracts, whereas M. guttatus (right) has non-glaucous, glandular-pubescent, and distinct bracts.

Species boundaries between Mimulus glaucescens and M. guttatus in Butte and Tehama counties, California
by Dr. Chris Ivey, Professor

January 20, 2022
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The cohesion of recently-diverged species is thought to be maintained by traits that reduce the chance of interbreeding with close relatives. Typically, barriers to reproduction are well-defined, or if not, species boundaries are indistinct. Mimulus glaucescens, which is endemic to Butte and Tehama counties, California, has long been recognized as distinct from its close relative, the widespread M. guttatus, based on vegetative characters, despite an unsettled taxonomy among other close relatives in the genus. Nonetheless, both species broadly co-occur, they both flower in the spring, their floral morphologies are similar, and fertile hybrids have been reported from earlier greenhouse studies – yet hybrids are rarely reported from field collections. Thus, barriers to reproduction are not obvious, despite what appear to be clear species boundaries. My students and I have used field, greenhouse, and laboratory experiments to characterize multiple potential reproductive barriers between these taxa, and we found reproductive isolation to be weak. Recent analyses of whole-genome sequence data support the monophyly of M. glaucescens, but also find that introgression and interbreeding is common between the taxa. Thus, although these taxa are widely considered to be distinct species, the boundaries defining them as such appear to be poorly supported.

Chris Ivey has been on the faculty of Biological Sciences at Chico State since 2006. He earned his B.A. from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA in 1989, and his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 1998. He had various research and teaching positions in Costa Rica, Florida, Virginia, and Illinois prior to joining the department in Chico.

All Things Botanically Related - Past Presentations:

Emily Brodie
Botanizing the Trinity Ultramafic Sheet in the
Klamath Mountains of NW California

Fire and California’s high elevation five-needle pines
by Emily Brodie
UC Davis Ecology Graduate Group

November 18, 2021
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Five needle pines are the monarchs of California’s mountaintops and have great intrinsic and ecological value. But it’s a tumultuous time for these beloved trees due to rapid changes in high elevation climates, increasing pressure from bark beetles and pathogens, and accelerating fire activity. In this talk, we’ll discuss some of the unique characteristics of five needle pines as well as the history of fire in five needle pine ecosystems and whether or not it poses a threat to their persistence.

Emily Brodie is a five-needle pine enthusiast and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in the UC Davis Graduate Group in Ecology. Her current work focuses on the influence of fire and fire severity on tree regeneration and understory diversity in California’s subalpine forests. After graduation, she hopes to work at the boundary of science and management, translating, developing, and implementing scientific knowledge in our changing world.

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

California Phenology Thematic Collections Network

Screenshot of CHH2 websiteThe Chico State 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

The Chico State Herbarium passed another minor milestone by accessioning its 120,000th specimen – 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.

Herbarium Logo

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

The Chico State Herbarium is again open to the public!

Fall Semester hours are Fridays 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.

Masks are required inside all campus buildings.

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

Upcoming Workshops

Upcoming workshops from Friends of the Herbarium!

Stay tuned for upcoming fall workshop information!

Visit the event calendar(opens in new window) for more info!