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by Cristina Baltayian, posted by Deb Shaw
Cristina Baltayian’s botanical art workshops at the Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden begin again  October 2, 2018. These classes will explore colored pencils, watercolors, watercolor pencils, graphite, and some of us are exploring gouache, colored backgrounds, and more.

Regular classes will meet on Tuesdays. Registration is available on a monthly basis. Additional month-long sessions will meet in November and December, although there will be only three classes in December due to the holidays.

10am-2pm (includes lunch break) / Oak Room
$275 Arboretum members per month / $295 non-members per month (includes Arboretum Admission)

October           2, 9, 16, 23
November       6, 13, 20, 27
December       4, 11, 18 (only 3 classes – $205/$225)

Register online on the Arboretum website (scroll down to find “Botanical Art & Illustration” with links to the monthly registration).

Questions? Please call the Arboretum Education Department at 626.821.4623.

The Arboretum is located at: 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007.

by Lesley Randall, posted by Deb Shaw

In preparation for the upcoming BAGSC Exhibition, Ficus at San Diego Botanic Garden, here is a bit of information about this extraordinary group of plants.

We’ll start with the one most of us know best: the edible fig. Ficus carica, has been in cultivation since ancient times. Though humans typically eat only this species of Fig, others are considered to be keystone species in their habitats, providing food (leaves as well as figs) and shelter for a wide variety of mammals, birds and insects. Several species are plants of special significance in many cultures. For example, Ficus religiosa, the Bo Tree, is said to be the tree under which Buddha sat while gaining enlightenment.

Some figs are cauliflorous, a botanical term for plants which have flowers and fruits growing directly from their main stems or woody trunks rather than from new growth. The word comes from Latin. Caulis means trunk or stem and Flory means flower. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

Some figs are cauliflorous, a botanical term for plants which have flowers and fruits growing directly from their main stems or woody trunks rather than from new growth. The word comes from Latin. Caulis means trunk or stem and Flory means flower. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

The genus Ficus is a member of the Moraceae, or Mulberry Family. There are more than 800 species of Ficus. Most are tropical, but there are some species that survive in more temperate zones, such as the edible fig. The genus is highly diverse, with species growing as epiphytes, massive banyans, stranglers, shrubs, caudiciforms, vines and small trees. They are found from rainforests to dry rocky deserts.

 

So what makes a Ficus a Ficus?

Ficus auriculatus cut to reveal the interior and white latex. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

Ficus auriculatus cut to reveal the interior and white latex. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

There are a couple of key characteristics that separate this group. First is the unusual flower/fruit arrangement—the fig itself. Known as a syconium in botanical lingo, the fig is an urn-shaped structure lined with tiny flowers on the inside. The flowers are pollinated by a specialized group of wasps that enter the syconium through an opening called an ostiole.

The second key characteristic are the paired stipules that enclose the developing leaf. Though these often drop off as the leaf begins to unfold, they leave a distinct scar at the base of the leaf. The stipules may be separate, or fused into one structure.

The third key characteristic is the sap: a striking white or yellow latex.

Other characteristics to note are: an alternate leaf arrangement, and typically, pinnate venation. All figs share these characteristics that, combined, distinguish them from other plant genera. How these characters are expressed are what makes the group so interesting. The syconium can be as large as a baseball or less than a centimeter wide. It may be scaled or smooth, sessile or stalked and borne in leaf axils or on the main branches and trunk (cauliflorous.) The leaves are typically entire, but several species have lobed leaves. Leaves may be thick and tough, light and delicate, very large or very small. The bark can be smooth, rough, or in the case of a couple Australian species, corky and fire retardant.

Ficus with stipules and scars. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

Ficus with stipules and scars. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

Where to find Ficus in Southern California?
The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden, San Diego Zoo, and San Diego Botanic Garden all have nice collections. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens have some as well. They also can be found in parks, lining city streets, in back yards, as house plants, in nurseries and as Bonsai specimens.

Want to learn more? Check out Fig Web which has information on specific species as well as general information on the group. BAGSC members who are interested in organizing and/or attending expeditions to find and paint specimens should let us know your interest and stay tuned!

Information about the Ficus exhibition at the San Diego Botanic Garden can be found on BAGSC’s website. Information about the “Call for Entries” can be found on the “Members Only” page of the BAGSC website.

Ficus religiosa, the Bo Tree, with reddish new growth. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

Ficus religiosa, the Bo Tree, with reddish new growth. Photo by Lesley Randall, © 2017.

by Janice Sharp, posted by Deb Shaw

Download a PDF of plant introductions by the Los Angeles Arboretum, beginning in 1957.

Download a PDF of plant introductions by the Los Angeles Arboretum, beginning in 1957 by clicking the link in the article.

Starting in 1957 and continuing through to the present, The Arboretum has been responsible for the introduction of plants from around the world to Southern California. Many of these plants are now indispensable elements in our Southern California Gardens.

Download a list of 116 plants that have been introduced by The Arboretum by clicking this link: Arboretum Plant Introductions. Of course, this list of plant introductions doesn’t even come close to identifying all the plants in the Garden, but BAGSC members may find it useful for creating artwork for the upcoming exhibition at The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens newly renovated library, “Capturing the Arboretum: The Art of Botanical Illustration”

This list was originally posted in our blog article some years ago about the Arboretum note card project. It contains the currant names of the introduced plants, the year of introduction, and the accession number. The form also includes whether the plant is from a cutting (“C”), a seed (“S”), a graft (“G”) or a scion (“Scion”). Plants in bold type and underlined happen to be favorites of Richard Schulhof, CEO of the Arboretum.

In addition to the plant listing is a list of botanical names, common names and where the plants are found around the world.

Google map of the locations of Arboretum introductions

When you first click on the link in the story to the Google map of the locations of Arboretum introductions, this is what you’ll see; a list of all the plants with their locations as dots on the map. Click on “Satellite” view in the upper right corner of the map to see the information displayed over a photographic map.

If you want to find any of these plants while at the Arboretum, we have a link to a Google map of the locations of Arboretum introductions throughout the Arboretum grounds (thank you Frank!) which also was previously published on the BAGSC Blog in conjunction with the note card project.

This data is about nine years old, so some plants from the list may be missing from the maps, and vice versa, but it’s a start to the treasure hunt. When you open the site, click on “satellite” view and zoom in to see the paths and roads in the Arboretum to use as landmarks, and to find your way around.

"Satellite" view of the Google map of the locations of Arboretum introductions.

“Satellite” view of the Google map of the locations of Arboretum introductions. Keep zooming in to see the paths, roads and landmarks in the Arboretum grounds.

Questions? Contact Janice Sharp.

Happy painting!

"Satellite" view of the Google map of the locations of Arboretum introductions with plant information.

Click on the red pin marker next to a plant name you’re interested in, and the plant information will pop up on the map where the plant is located. Or, click on any red marker pin on the map, and the plant information will pop up there, too.

by Deb Shaw

Cristina Baltayian will be teaching Botanical Art & Illustration at the Los Angeles County Arboretum:
Tuesdays, November 4, 11, 18, 25, 2014
10am-2pm; Oak Room
$275 members; $295 non-members

These classes will explore color pencil, graphite, pen and ink, and watercolor on various papers, vellum and other surfaces. The emphasis will be on plant observation, drawing, composition, color theory and matching, and medium techniques. All levels of experience are welcome, and participants will find a very high degree of personalized attention. Class participation is limited to a minimum of 5 students and a maximum of 12.

The class fee is for four (4) Tuesdays each month. The next session will be: December 2, 9, 16, 23, 2014. You may bring your lunch or purchase it at the Peacock Café. A Materials List will be provided upon registration.

In addition, an exciting project has begun, in which, in conjunction with the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California, students will be studying and portraying many of the Arboretum plant introductions from the last 50 years. The goal is to build a collection of paintings that will celebrate and document the invaluable contribution of the Los Angeles Arboretum to the state of California.

Class fees include admission to the LA Arboretum. For more information, visit the class website page. Pre-registration is required; call 626.821.4623. The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden is located at: 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007.

 

And one more for all you photography buffs out there…

The LA Arboretum will also hold a workshop on “Night Photography in the Garden”
Saturday, November 22; 7-9pm
Instructor: Frank McDonough
$30 members; $35 non-members

Photographers don’t miss this opportunity to photograph the Arboretum when it’s at its most interesting and unusual; at night. Bring your cameras, LED lights, lasers and specialty light sources and go on the hunt for unique, unusual, and beautiful nighttime picture-taking opportunities. Note: Headlamp required; tripod and DSLR recommended. Please call the class register line at 626-821-4623 to register.

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