Monday, February 11     7:30 p.m.
“Wildflowers of China Camp, Marin County”
Guest Speakers: Doreen and Vernon Smith

Yes, China Camp is not usually mentioned as one of our more remarkable wildflower areas, but there are some trails that are botanically diverse, fairly level, not bicycle-busy, and good for seeing some of our attractive local species. The colonies of the fragrant blue-purple ground iris (Iris macrosiphon) are noteworthy. Plant communities present in the lower altitude parts of the park that we’re covering in this presentation are coastal terrace prairie, mixed evergreen woodland, and saltmarsh.  Higher elevations have much common manzanita chaparral, but manzanita can also be seen without hiking up the steep slopes. An initial plant checklist was made by a Marin CNPS member, the late Rosamund Day of San Rafael. The present Marin Chapter’s checklist, online at our website, is an update.

Doreen graduated from Bristol University in the U.K. with a degree in Zoology and Botany. Her first job was working on the Flora of Tropical East Africa at the Royal Botanic Gardens Herbarium, Kew. After emigrating to the United States in 1967, she hiked with Wilma Follette’s group whenever family and work allowed. She has spent the last 50 years learning about the plants of California, especially those of Marin County. Now she is the rare plant specialist for the Marin Chapter of CNPS. Contact her by email for identifications of photographs and other local plant information.

Vernon Smith is a retired medical physicist who enjoys the outdoors and takes a pleasure in photographing the flowering plants. Doreen helps him find the correct identification, and suggests plant subjects, even those species that appear to most people as obscure little green weeds. He has contributed more than 1,200 plant photos to the CalPhotos website, and has received numerous requests to use some of these photos on websites, in publications, and in museum exhibits.