Hidden Biodiversity

The Franciscan manzanita, Arctostaphylos franciscana, is San Francisco's unicorn. The Franciscan manzanita is a subtly charming flowering shrub found nowhere else on Earth. Its tragic history is filled with heroic acts by botanists striving to keep the species alive. In 1906, the specimens first used to identify the species were rescued from the California Academy of Sciences by botanist Alice Eastwood as fires driven by the San Francisco earthquake ravaged the Academy’s collections. In 1947 Alice Eastwood and others stood in front of bulldozers to wrest the last known wild plants from a construction site. The plants were sent to the Tilden botanical garden across the bay, and no one found the plant in the wild again.

But in 2009, ecologist Daniel Gluesenkamp spotted a suspicious shrub in an area being cleared of vegetation for the Doyle Drive road-widening project in San Francisco's Presidio. To the delight of botanists worldwide, the shrub turned out to be a ...more ↓

Posted on March 24, 2014 09:18 PM by kestrel kestrel | 0 comments | Leave a comment
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We live in a diverse city: diverse cultures, diverse neighborhoods, a diverse landscape - and also very diverse in the plants and animals that live here with us! Help us document the biodiversity in San Francisco! In your backyard, in your neighborhood, on your walk to work... let us know what plants and animals you've observed in our city!
Mission Blue Photo_Liam O'Brien
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Mini kestrel created this project on February 06, 2013

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