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Cultivating Place: Genny Arnold And California Native Bulbs

This week on Cultivating Place, we’re joined by Genny Arnold, Seed Program Manager at the Theodore Payne Foundation who speaks with us about the care and long-term keeping of our native geophytes — those coolest of plants which have an underground storage organ, like a bulb or tuber or corm, which helps them to withstand some of the planet’s harshest conditions: cold, heat, drought and dark. Or a hot dry California summer.

California is home to close to 300 species of native geophytes, many of which are now rare or endangered. This spring, after a winter of closer-to-normal rainfalls, many of our bulbs are treating us to a particularly spectacular year of bloom.

Theodore Payne is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the understanding, preservation and use of California native flora and is located in the northeast corner of the San Fernando Valley. The Foundation preserves the legacy and carries on the work of Theodore Payne, a pioneering Los Angeles nurseryman, horticulturist and conservationist widely considered to be the father of the native plant movement in California.

Genny has worked with California native plants and seeds for more than a decade. Previous to her position as Seed Program Manager at TPF, she served as Seed Conservation Program Technician at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. Her experience with seeds has given her an appreciation for the unique form and beauty of the native garden in all its phases. She also likes to hike in our local wilderness areas to observe wildflowers and plants in their natural habitat.This week on Cultivating Place, we’re joined by Genny Arnold, Seed Program Manager at the Theodore Payne Foundation who speaks with us about the care and long-term keeping of our native geophytes — those coolest of plants which have an underground storage organ, like a bulb or tuber or corm, which helps them to withstand some of the planet’s harshest conditions: cold, heat, drought and dark. Or a hot dry California summer.

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Jennifer Jewell is the creator and host of the national award-winning, weekly public radio program and podcast, Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History & the Human Impulse to Garden, Jennifer Jewell is a gardener, garden writer, and gardening educator and advocate. Particularly interested in the intersections between gardens, the native plant environments around them, and human culture, she is the daughter of garden and floral designing mother and a wildlife biologist father.