COOL IMAGES: California Blooming

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Science  07 Jul 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5476, pp. 7
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5476.7a

This curious-looking flower was new to science when first noticed in 1970, sprouting in a suburban field on the Tiburon peninsula north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Dubbed the Tiburon mariposa lily, Calochortus tiburonensis is native to a patch of serpentine soils less than a kilometer across, putting it squarely on threatened species lists. You can look up this and nearly 4000 other California plant species at CalPhotos,* which has one of the biggest botany photo collections on the Web. And one of the most useful: It links to CalFlora, a database packed with taxonomic info, maps, and decades of plant-sighting reports. The 25,000 CalPhotos, developed by the Berkeley Digital Library Project originally from a monk's wildflower slides, has lately expanded to other topics—check out, for instance, amphibians and African landscapes.

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