California is an incredibly diverse state that holds more kinds of plants than any other state. It is home to one-third of all plant species found in the U.S., including over 2,300 rare plants. However, plant conservation faces an immense challenge in this region, especially in southern California, which is home to one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country. With over nine million people, Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the United States; the Greater Los Angeles Region covers over 34 square miles in five counties and is the largest metropolitan region in the U.S. in terms of area. The big city of Los Angeles is getting bigger and this global biodiversity hot spot is facing pressure from continued urban expansion, habitat fragmentation, and increasing resource use from a rapidly expanding population. Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden was established in 1927 in part to conserve the plants of California and is the largest public garden devoted to California native plants.
Our diverse conservation program is growing to address the needs of our region. Our resources and facilities are dedicated to advancing conservation of the most imperiled plants and habitats. On this trip, we will explore the state of plant conservation—both in situ and ex situ—in California. We will set the scene at a local preserve located at the wildland/urban interface that is protecting a threatened species (Brodiaea filifolia, thread-leaf brodiaea). We will also immerse you in behind-the-scenes tours that will explore the living collections on the garden grounds, as well as the herbarium, seed bank, nursery, library, and laboratories. The day will end with a reception on the garden grounds.
Lunch will be provided on this tour.