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March 6, 2006

Arboretum hosts talk and slide show on flora of Scotts Creek watershed

Local botanists and photographers will present an illustrated journey through the diverse flora of the Scotts Creek watershed at the UCSC Arboretum on Monday, March 13. The talk and slide show will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Horticulture Building. Parking is limited, so carpooling is encouraged.

Photo of a flower

The Scott Creek watershed is home to an incredible diversity of flora.

Botanists James West, Randall Morgan, and Roy Buck will describe the watershed, a local hotspot of floristic diversity. They will illustrate their presentation with photographs by Albie Miles, curriculum editor and horticulture instructor at the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, and Dylan Neubauer, a freelance photographer and graphic designer.

The event, cosponsored by the UCSC Arboretum and the Santa Cruz chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), celebrates the recent publication by the Santa Cruz Chapter of CNPS of An Annotated Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Santa Cruz County, California. Morgan, a local botanist and fellow of CNPS, is the principal author of the checklist, which was edited and designed by Neubauer.

The Scotts Creek watershed, located on the north coast of Santa Cruz County, comprises 30 square miles of land, stretching from coastal strand to chalky ridgetops. A variety of geologic forces--including landslides, rapid uplift, and faulting--have contributed to the incredible floristic diversity found in this isolated region of the Central Coast. Of the 1,448 species of plants known to be present in the county, more than 55 percent occur in the Scotts Creek watershed. Over 600 native taxa have been identified, many of which are rare, new to science, or in need of taxonomic clarification.

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