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CNPS Milo Baker Chapter General Speaker Series: The Importance of Herbaria

March 21 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Speaker: Alison Colwell

Hybrid meeting, in person and on Zoom. (Link at
Tuesday, March 21, 2023 7:30 P.M. at the Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center,
2050 Yulupa Ave., Santa Rosa

Alison will guide you on a tour of the history and cultural significance of herbaria. Herbaria are the (largely secret) repositories of knowledge of our California flora, there are likely over 100 herbaria in California, large and small. Herbaria are inhabited by an unusual, possibly eccentric, but generous and devoted community of people. The digital age is transforming how science is done, including how knowledge is stored and accessed, raising the profile and potential of herbaria (and other types of museums/libraries) significantly. It is also increasing the need and opportunity for more plant people to become involved in herbarium work.

Alison is the curator of the Center for Plant Diversity Herbarium at University of California, Davis. She has a B.A. in Botany from Cornell University (where she first fell in love with an herbarium, the Bailey Hortorium) and a PhD in Population Biology and Evolution from Washington University in Saint Louis (famous as the city home to the vast Missouri Botanical Garden herbarium). Her doctoral thesis was a molecular study: characterizing the changes in the chloroplast genomes of the plant family Orobanchaceae resulting from the trophic switch from photosynthesis to parasitism. Her recent research projects are herbarium-based: refining the taxonomy of the parasitic plant genus Aphyllon (formerly Orobanche) and studies of the flora of the Yosemite region.


March 21
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center
2050 Yulupa Ave
Santa Rosa, 95405 United States
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Milo Baker