“Building Botanical Bridges- The Fascinating Flora of Cuba”
The Santa Barbara County
Annual Potluck, Installation of Officers
and the Bouquet of the Year Award
will be held on January 3rd, 6:30pm
at the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
on the corner of Foothill and La Cumbre Road
Speaker: Paul Mills:
“Building Botanical Bridges-
The Fascinating Flora of Cuba”
Cuba is known as the land of warm people, vintage cars, lively music and dance, but beyond all of that it is a biodiversity hotspot that has a very rich flora comprised of many endemic plants. I had the opportunity to visit this largest of the Caribbean islands twice in 2017.
The island is 720 miles long with an average of 50 miles wide and has a variety of landscapes from valleys with rich, deep soils to dome shaped limestone outcrops known as mogotes. Only 19% of the country remains forested, down from 90% at the time of Spanish colonization with much of the land initially being cleared for sugar cane plantations. Cuba has approximately 6000 species of plants with more than half being endemic – found nowhere else.
A huge variety of plants are found there, from cacti and succulents to palms and cycads, but it’s the palms that dominate the landscape. There are close to 100 different taxa in 16 genera with an extremely high rate of endemism – 90%. The royal palm (Roystonea regia) is ubiquitous in Cuba (there’s a nice example in the 700 block of State Street) and is the national tree.
Please join us for the Society’s Annual Potluck. Come out to see old friends and come out to meet new ones. Doors open at 6:00pm, so please come early and help with the setup. Be sure to wear your name tag so everyone will know your name.
Bring your favorite dish to share for 6-8! Plates, utensils, napkins, and coffee will be provided. Please provide your own serving utensil for your dish and your own non-alcoholic beverage. Labels are helpful to let everyone know what they’re eating. (Great for people with food allergies too.)