Sawabi program August 28



Sawabi, a chapter of the Idaho Native Plant Society, invites you and your friends to a program on Monday evening at 7:00 PM, August 28, in the North Fork Room (third floor) of the Pond Student Union Building, lower campus of Idaho State University.

After a brief talk by Dr. Karl Holte on The Plant Family of the Month, the main speaker Camille Nowell, M.Sc., will present a program titled The North American Cercis (redbud): A Study of Evolution and Adaptation.  Camille will introduce the North American Cercis (redbud), and explain how she determined there could be a ‘cryptic’ third species in North America.

Refreshments will be available.

Questions: Contact Paul Allen,


For many centuries Cercis, a genus of attractive woody plants that includes the western and eastern redbud, has been a focus of botanical study and appreciation. The first recorded mention of the group was by the ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus, circa 325 BC. Native Americans, distinguished botanists, and eminent statesmen have also taken an interest in Cercis, including Carl Linnaeus, George Washington, Asa Gray, Edward Lee Greene, Milton Hopkins, and Duane Isley.


More recently scientists have been investigating this group to better define its species and to understand its global patterns of distribution. The traditional taxonomic treatment of Cercis described two species in North America: the eastern species C. canadensis and the western species C. occidentalis. In her master’s research on Cercis, Camille found through DNA analysis that Cercis in the Colorado River drainage may in fact be a different species. In her presentation, Camille will introduce the redbud genus and explain how she determined there could be a “cryptic” third species in North America.


During the 2017 field season, Camille Nowell has been working in the Bureau of Land Management’s Pocatello Field Office implementing the Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (AIM) strategy. The AIM strategy is targeted at collecting standardized inventory and long-term ecological data at multiple scales across western public lands. This year in southeastern Idaho with a small crew she collected botanical and soils data in low forests, mesic shrub woodlands, sage steppe and xeric shrub grasslands.


Previously she has conducted botanical surveys in the Mojave Desert, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the San Joaquin Valley.


Camille earned her M.Sc. degree from San Francisco State University in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology, with an emphasis on California native flora. Her research on Cercis took her on expeditions throughout montane California, and the Colorado Plateau.


Camille also enjoyed working on barn owl, golden eagle and prairie falcon studies for the East Bay Regional Park District.