Last year I successfully collected seed from over 30 populations of goldfield flowers (Lasthenia californica and L. gracilis), thanks to the people who volunteered to join me along the long stretches of road I travelled. The populations we found ranged from San Diego all the way to Kneelend CA!
Collecting seeds at the Tejon Ranch Conservatory. From Left: Rachael Olliff-Yang, Ana Penny, Bridget Wessa, and Ellery Mayence. Photo credit: Lynn Yamashita
To find the patches of goldfield flowers I used data from pressed plants stored in California herbaria, which can be accessed though the Consortium of California Herbaria website (CCH), as well as records taken by citizen scientists using the iNaturalist app. If you love taking photos of plants, please upload them to iNaturalist – This data is REALLY useful!
Goldfields and a lady beetle Photo credit: Ana Penny
Thanks to the help of undergraduates Pooja Butani, Emily Cox, Roxanne Gardner, Edith Lai, Miranda Lee-Foltz, Emma Reich, and Zoë Ziegler, we have now grown one full generation of plants in the greenhouse. We meticulously tracked seed germination, plant flowering time, cross pollinated the flowers (by rubbing them together), and collected the seeds.
Successfully wrapping up this semester thanks to this team of undergraduates! They are amazing! pic.twitter.com/wX3gueaqKI
— Rachael Olliff Yang (@rlolliffyang) May 2, 2018
The seeds we sowed have become seeds again, and we are looking forward to planting them out for another experiment in the Fall.
I look forward to sharing the results of these studies with you all. In the meantime, you can see more photos from the Lasthenia seed story, by Lynn Yamashita and Ana Penny.
Photo credit: Lynn Yamashita