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A GROWING PASSION: Plants: The Endangered Species

Airs Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 at 8:30 p.m. on KPBS TV + Monday, Jan. 14 at 8:30 p.m. on KPBS 2

Host Nan Sterman and San Diego Zoo Global native seed collector Stacy Anderso...

Credit: Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC

Above: Host Nan Sterman and San Diego Zoo Global native seed collector Stacy Anderson look at Tecate cypress tree seed cones which require fire to open and release seeds.

California has the largest number of rare plants and animals of any state in the nation. In California, San Diego is a hot spot of biodiversity.

There are more species of plants here than almost anywhere else in the world. Or at least there were more species of plants than almost anywhere else in the world.

As the region has developed, shopping malls, schools, roadways, office buildings, and homes cover what was once vernal pools, and other rare habitat areas. As a result, San Diego County is also on the hot list for endangered species.

In this episode, we meet Dr. John Clark, the charismatic scientist who is executive director of the Center for Plant Conservation, which recently relocated from the Missouri Botanical Garden to join forces with the San Diego Zoological Society.

Photo credit: Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC

Host Nan Sterman (right) working with Joe Davitt (left) and Stacy Anderson (center) of San Diego Zoo Global’s Native Seed Bank to collect an herbarium specimen of a rare plant on the dunes at Dog Beach in Ocean Beach, Calif.

Dr. Clark takes us to see examples of endangered plants, many of which are all around us — we simply don't recognize them.

We talk with Dr. Clark about why these plants are important, what exactly it means to be an "endangered" plant, and what, if anything, we can do to slow the rate of plant extinction both locally and worldwide.

Photo credit: Courtesy of AGP Productions, LLC

Host Nan Sterman examines the bark of a tree at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, for damage by the Ips beetle, a pest that is devastating these ancient trees. San Diego, Calif.


Episodes of A GROWING PASSION will be available for streaming on demand following the broadcast. All past seasons are available on demand now.


A GROWING PASSION is on Facebook, and you can follow @GrowingPassion on Twitter. Share photos and follow the series on Instagram.

Center for Plant Conservation is on Facebook, Instagram, and you can follow @CPCplants on Twitter.


More and more San Diegans strive to make socially, environmentally and economically-responsible choices.

From earth-friendly and water-wise gardens to organic foods and habitat restoration, we demand options that protect our health, feed our communities and protect our natural resources.

A GROWING PASSION is an Emmy-winning lifestyle program that explores San Diego County's agriculture and horticulture activities as an expression of this growing earth-friendly movement.

From backyard food production to major horticultural growers, from low-water landscapes to sustainable practices around the home and in the garden, we tell stories about the natural and manmade landscapes that shape the social, cultural, environmental and economic interests of our community.

We celebrate how San Diego grows.


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