WOODLAND HILLS : 500 Plants Given to Pierce Nature Center

Sticky monkey flower, hoary-leaved ceanothus and other specimens of plants indigenous to the Santa Monica Mountains area have been donated to the Pierce College Nature Center by the Soka University Botanical Research Center and Nursery.

About 500 plants representing 25 species that were donated by the Calabasas research center will be planted and researched by Pierce’s biology and resource management classes, said Soka University spokesman Jeff Ourvan.

“We had a lot of extra plants for our demonstration garden. It propagated a surplus of plants because our garden did really well,” Ourvan said.

The Woodland Hills college lost much of its native plant population recently when some sheep were accidentally let into its garden center and ate them, said Keith Eobry, a botanist and a consultant to Soka University.


Eobry said one of the donated plants is the Malibu baccharis, a species that has only begun to be researched. Other specimens will help Pierce’s garden attract native insects. For example, the false indigo is the plant food of the dogface butterfly, California’s state insect.

The Botanical Research Center conducts research on native plant life and is trying to restore part of the Soka campus to its natural state.