2023.05.03 | Cambria Wildflower Show Seen by 600 People

Jo Ellen Butler, retired executive director of Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve (FFRP), led a triumphant return of the Cambria Wildflower Show this past weekend. Around 600 people came to view the dazzling diversity of plants found in northern San Luis Obispo County from Morro Bay north to the Monterey County line, and from the crest of the Santa Lucia Mountains to the shore.

A cadre of around 16 adventurous collectors brought hundreds of specimens to Vets Hall on Friday so they could be identified and prepared for display by another group of dedicated volunteers. D.R. “Doc” Miller led the botanical identification team with the assistance of Al Normandin and Mark Markwort. Marcelle Bakula organized her volunteers to prepare the specimens and displays.

Walt Andrus took the lead in preparing the hall for the show, including setting out some tables loaned by the Lions Club. Suzy Siegler and Becky Kincaid shepherded the Wildflower Café that featured treats from local bakers, delicious lunches, and welcome coffee. Barbara Beuche recruited volunteers to staff the FFRP pop-up booth where business was hopping. The California Native Plant Society sold helpful references for native plant identification and gardening. All the while, Jo Ellen kept everything moving forward smoothly.

Due to covid restrictions, this was Cambria’s first Wildflower Show since 2019. It was inspired by a similar show presented by the Monterey Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. That show is in its 63rd year so Cambria’s show is a relative newcomer at 15 years.

How many plants were on display? No definitive answer was available, but a rough count put it around 500. With the heavy winter rain and late spring warming, the plants were in peak condition, fully hydrated and ready for their spot in the show. FFRP looks forward to doing it all again in 2024.

Article first published in https://cambriaca.org/