The East Bay Unusual Plants Program—Past, Present, and Future

The East Bay Unusual Plants Program—Past, Present, and Future

January 22, 2020
7:30 pm

Speaker: Dianne Lake
Location: Garden Room, Orinda Public Library

Photo by William Michael Lake.

Although the chapter’s Unusual Plants Program has been going on for almost 30 years, many members, especially newer ones, may not be familiar with it. We were the first chapter to notice and address our locally rare or “unusual” plants (native plants that are rare in our two counties, but not statewide).

Our speaker, Dianne Lake, who has coordinated our chapter’s Unusual Plants Program since its inception, will present a short history of how and why our program started and how it has progressed. She will also discuss the chapter’s online database, “Rare and Unusual Plants of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties”, and demonstrate some of its search capabilities. Finally, she will present future plans and goals for the program, including how members can get involved and help the chapter track these sensitive species.

A follow-up training program on monitoring local populations and adding observations to the database will be offered on Sunday, February 2, at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve near Antioch. Contact Dianne for more information at

Dianne Lake has been a CNPS member since the mid-1970s and became Rare Plant Committee Co-Chair with Brad Olson in the late 1980s. In the early 1990s she began to focus exclusively on locally rare plants, and the Unusual Plants Program was established. Dianne has hiked and botanized extensively in the East Bay for many years, becoming familiar with the flora of almost every nook and cranny in the two counties. In the 1980s she taught wildflower identification classes before becoming a botanical consultant in 1989. In 2016, Dianne was named a CNPS Fellow, the highest honor CNPS awards its members, in recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments towards understanding, appreciation, and preservation of California native plants.

East Bay CNPS members meetings are free of charge and open to everyone. This month’s meeting takes place in the Garden Room of the Orinda Public Library at 26 Orinda Way, Orinda 94563, a few blocks from the Orinda BART station. The Garden Room is on the second floor of the building, accessible by stairs or an elevator. Email if you have questions.