Brown Bag Lunch Lecture – January 19, 2017

Botanical Discovery and Inventory in Joshua Tree National Park

by Tasha LaDoux PhD

Bring your lunch, bring your friends, or just bring yourself to our Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series once a month.  Speakers will present topics of special interest for high desert residents. The lectures start at 12:00 p.m. Admission is $ 5 – Free for Members/Sponsors – beverages will be served.

The California desert represents one of the more pristine habitats in California, yet it remains one of the least documented floras in the state.  Despite the fact that the National Park Service has managed the ~800,000 acres of Joshua Tree National Park since 1936, recent efforts have added over 100 species to the catalogue of vascular plants.  Significant field discoveries include several species at the edge of their geographic distribution, newly described taxa, and many new rare plant occurrences. Currently, there are ~725 vascular plant species documented within the boundaries of JTNP: annuals represent the dominant life-form (50%); over 90 taxa are considered obligate summer bloomers; and only 7% are considered non-native plant taxa.  As exemplified by Joshua Tree National Park, the desert regions within California remain a place of great botanical diversity.