July 8, 2019
Michael Wilken-Robertson – Kumeyaay Ethnobotany
Join us on July 8 for a presentation by anthropologist and California State University, San Marcos professor, Michael Wilken-Robertson. Wilken-Robertson’s talk, based on his recent book, Kumeyaay Ethnobotany, will explore the ways in which California’s original peoples and their descendants used their extensive knowledge of local flora and fauna to sustain their culture and lifestyle.
Michael Wilken-Robertson’s research and advocacy work with Native Baja Californians has explored traditional arts (pottery, basketry, oral narratives, and song), ethnobotany, history, languages, and cultural landscapes of the indigenous peoples of the northern Baja California region. He has developed lifelong collaborative relationships with native artists and traditional authorities to foster cultural revitalization and sustainable community development. Wilken-Robertson’s fascination with native plants and the natural landscapes of the Californias has inspired him to explore the many ways that humans have interacted with their environments, from the ancient past into the present.
The Kumeyaay Nation was once a vast territory, spanning the U.S.-Mexico border. Over thousands of years, the Kumeyaay learned to use indigenous plants for food, clothing, protection and medicine. Although some of that knowledge has been lost, Professor Wilken-Robertson’s conversation with Kumeyaay elders has allowed him to capture much of it. His book explores the relationship between California’s native peoples and native plants. The guide is lavishly illustrated with beautiful photographs to show these plants in their native habitat as well as the many uses to which they are put, from food to clothing to tools and appliances.
Be sure to join us on July 8 to gain a new perspective on California’s native plants. A book-signing will precede and follow the talk. The evening starts at 6:00 PM at Congregation Beth Israel. Admission is free for SDHS members and $15 for non-members.
August 12, 2019
AUGUST MEETING – Al Klein
Fat Plants: Caudiciforms and Other Succulents
Monday, August 12, Congregation Beth Israel 9001 Towne Centre Drive San Diego, CA 92122
Caudiciforms are a grouping of many totally unrelated plants, all of which have a fat stem, trunk or succulent roots. Their swollen base or root is used for water storage and from it a thin vine or stem grows. A perfect example of this is Dioscorea elephantipes. However, many other plants that fall into this classification, such as the euphorbias. Caudiciforms is a very broad term that can also include pachycaul trees, such as Ficus palmeri. Other plants, such as cycads, also have caudexes. However, Al will be concentrating on the succulents he grows.
Al's interest in the natural world started in his childhood. Growing up in Chicago, he would make regular visits to Field Museum of Natural History, and read books on the natural sciences. His favorite hobbies were growing exotic plants like cacti and collecting fossils, minerals, and insects. When he moved to California at the age of 17, he was amazed at the diversity and beauty of the flora of California, and he found his passion in plants. Al worked at South Shores Nursery in San Clemente California while attending California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where he received his Bachelor of Science in Ornamental Horticulture with an emphasis in landscape design and retail nursery management.
After graduation Al was hired by Rogers Gardens in Corona Del Mar, California. Within a year, he was promoted to Nursery Manager. Soon Al he was asked to help open a nursery-gift shop in Escondido California, called Canterbury Gardens and Gifts. After almost 35 years as a partner at Canterbury Gardens, he retired. He is now running Botanic Wonders full time, fulfilling his true passion.
Join us on August 12 for what is sure to be a fun evening learning about these rare and wonderful plants.
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