Sanden Totten / KPCC
Ecologist John Knapp shows off the Santa Cruz Island bush-mallow plant, only found on the island. He says the leaves are so large and soft because they never had to evolve to be sharp or small to avoid large herbivores like deer. The only natural herbivores on Santa Cruz Island are insects.
On a bright, warm California day, a couple dozen botanists gathered in a valley on Santa Cruz Island for a group picture. Instead of saying cheese, they each shouted out their favorite native plant species. These are the die-hard plant enthusiasts attending the first annual California Islands Botanical Extravaganza.