The recipient of our 2011 Grand Prize Rare Plant Treasure Hunt Award for most occurrences updated is Don Davis, Treasure Hunter Extraordinaire! Don caught the botany bug this spring and went into the field almost every weekend from the end of April through October. He found 42 new and historic rare plant occurrences in the desert and mountains of Southern California. Don documented many Opuntia basilaris var. brachyclada (Shortjoint beavertail cacti), Orobanche valida ssp. valida (Rock Creek broomrape) and Calystegia peirsonii (Peirson's morning glory). Don is studying botany and hopes to make a career of it in the future. Thank you Don for all your long hours- planning, traveling, searching, photographing, identifying and documenting!
The Red Jeepsters, the husband and wife botanical team of Kathy and Rich LaShure, have earned our 2nd place award as Intrepid Treasure Hunters. They decided this summer and fall to combine their weekly hikes in the Southern Sierras with treasure hunting and they found 32 rare plant populations! Kathy is president of the Creosote Ring CNPS sub-chapter, volunteers at the Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest and makes artisan soaps out of her home. She's a busy lady, thank you both taking the time to find and document rare plants!
Photo of Mountain phacelia (Phacelia orogenes) taken by Kathy.
Our 3rd place award for number of occurrences updated goes to Natalia Blackburn and her team members, Carrie Sowa, and Lisa Couper and all their spouses. They documented 20 rare plant populations on their own in Northern California, with a special focus on Brandegee’s Clarkia, and attended several staff-led treasure hunts. Thank you all!