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Protecting California’s Flora

Articles: Protecting California’s Flora

Tuolumne fawn lily (Erythronium tuolumnense ). Photo: Stephanie Penn
It was a stormy March afternoon, but the rain had temporarily let up. As Michael Uhler knelt down next to a small plant and gently pulled the foliage back to show off several silky yellow flowers he said, “It just started blooming this week.” The unusual blooms, with petals curling back like bird feathers, belonged to a rare and endangered plant called Tuolumne fawn lily (Erythronium tuolumnense). In the wild, the plant grows in a single part of the Sierra Nevada and can be found nowhere else in the world. Michael, the gardener who manages the Sierran collection at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden, says that for many people, visiting this garden may be the only opportunity they will ever have to see rare California plants like the Tuolumne fawn lily.
At the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Tilden Park, over 2,500 different California plants are cultivated. Over 106 of them are listed by the state and U.S. government as rare, threatened, or endangered. In addition, the garden cultivates numerous plants found on the California Native Plant So...

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